Jul 26

A Match Made In Omaha

A company that makes the world more fun seems like a natural fit for the Omaha Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium – and it is. Oriental Trading Company, based in Omaha, has been a supporter of the zoo since 2002.

“Two of the areas we focus on for our community giving are youth and education,” says Sarah Osborne, the company’s communications project specialist. “The zoo does great work in both of those areas.”

Over the years, Oriental Trading Company has expanded their partnership with the zoo to include everything from donations for exhibits and holidays to supporting educational events for children and families.

Oriental Trading Company’s mascot, Flo the Flamingo, is the perfect tie-in with our flamingo flock, which they sponsor. Since the company also subsidizes zoo memberships for their employees, they get lots of pictures of employees and their families visiting the leggy pink birds when they go to the zoo.

“We get to do some really fun things with the zoo,” says Jodi Hoatson, director of corporate communications and public relations for Oriental Trading. “This year, we celebrated World Penguin Day (April 25) by sending over someone in a penguin mascot costume to hang out with kids and hand out fun, penguin-related toys. Being able to put smiles on faces while the zoo staff helps to educate people about animals is a win-win for us. Plus, it gave us an excuse to test out our penguin gear – not that we needed an excuse.”


Hoatson says that they’ve gotten an enthusiastic response from the community about Oriental Trading’s support of the zoo, from receiving photos of children putting together crafts with OTC products, to hearing from friends and family who’ve gone to zoo events and seen OTC there.

“Being community partners allows us to do what our vision calls us to do: make the world more fun,” she says. “Being able to go and see families having fun and learning together – and to know that Oriental Trading Company plays a part in that – is a tremendous feeling.”