WAYNE, NJ (May 7, 2012) – Today, Toys“R”Us, Inc. announced that it raised more than $3.1 million in its stores across the U.S. and Canada during its sixth consecutive in-store and online fundraising campaign to benefit Autism Speaks, the world’s leading autism science and advocacy organization. Coinciding with Autism Awareness Month in April, Toys“R”Us® and Babies“R”Us® stores in North America, along with Toysrus.com and Toysrus.ca, encouraged customers to donate to Autism Speaks and raise awareness for the disorder. The campaign raised more than $2.4 million in the United States and an additional $700,000 in Canada. Donations collected will help the organization fund research for autism, raise public awareness about the disorder and provide support for families affected by autism. Toys“R”Us, Inc. is the largest retail partner of Autism Speaks.
“Through our ongoing support of Autism Speaks, we are committed to making a positive impact on the lives of the increasing number of children and families affected by this disorder,” said Jerry Storch, Chairman and CEO, Toys“R”Us, Inc. “We sincerely thank our customers and employees who raised funds to help Autism Speaks find the cause and cure for autism.”
During this year’s campaign, the company unveiled a new theme, “Shine A Light For Autism,” which incorporated aspects of the Autism Speaks “Light It Up Blue” initiative, in which prominent buildings and landmarks around the world are lighted blue to commemorate World Autism Awareness Day on April 2. Throughout the campaign, Toys“R”Us offered fun, simple ideas to help families “go blue” to demonstrate their concern for a disorder that affects thousands children and families.
To help “Shine A Light On Autism” in the digital domain, Toys“R”Us created “Light It Up Blue On Facebook.” This app, available during the campaign on Facebook.com/Toysrus and Facebook.com/Babiesrus, allowed the company’s Facebook fans to give their profile picture a blue hue, blue border or more to show their support for Autism Speaks with the click of a button. Throughout Autism Awareness Month, nearly 6,000 fans chose to “Shine A Light For Autism” using this app.
Toys“R”Us also offered visitors to a dedicated microsite with a list of “Ten Toys That Speak To Autism,” with suggestions to help guide purchases of toys for children with autism, as well as Safe Play Tips designed to help ensure the well-being of children on the autism spectrum, while encouraging the benefits of play.
“Since our partnership began in 2006, the “R”Us family, as well as their customers, have provided an incredible level of support to help us solve the autism puzzle while raising awareness for this devastating disorder,” said Mark Roithmayr, President of Autism Speaks. “Through their hundreds of stores and online presence, Toys"R"Us has helped Autism Speaks to reach millions of parents across the country to educate them about autism spectrum disorders and early warning signs.”
The Toys“R”Us Children’s Fund launched this year’s program by providing a $400,000 grant to Autism Speaks. Since the partnership launched in 2007, Toys“R”Us, Inc., the Toys“R”Us Children’s Fund and customer contributions have combined to provide Autism Speaks with more than $15 million, helping the organization achieve many goals. These milestones include creating the 100 Day Kit for newly diagnosed families, tripling the size of the Autism Treatment Network (ATN) and developing the Toddler Treatment Network and the Baby Siblings Research Consortium, among others.
Continuing its commitment to Autism Speaks throughout the year, Toys“R”Us and the Toys“R”Us Children’s Fund serve as the North American sponsor of the Walk Now for Autism Speaks program, a series of more than 85 walk events in cities across the United States and Canada. Toys“R”Us and Babies“R”Us employees are participating in Walk events in their local communities helping to raise even more funds and awareness for Autism Speaks. The complete schedule of Walk Now for Autism Speaks events can be found at WalkNowforAutismSpeaks.org.
About Toys“R”Us, Inc.
Toys“R”Us, Inc. is the world’s leading dedicated toy and juvenile products retailer, offering a differentiated shopping experience through its family of brands. Merchandise is sold in 876 Toys“R”Us and Babies“R”Us stores in the United States and Puerto Rico, and in more than 625 international stores and over 140 licensed stores in 35 countries and jurisdictions. In addition, it exclusively operates the legendary FAO Schwarz brand and sells extraordinary toys in the brand’s flagship store on Fifth Avenue in New York City. With its strong portfolio of e-commerce sites including Toysrus.com, Babiesrus.com, eToys.com and FAO.com, it provides shoppers with a broad online selection of distinctive toy and baby products. Headquartered in Wayne, NJ, Toys“R”Us, Inc. employs approximately 70,000 associates annually worldwide. The company is committed to serving its communities as a caring and reputable neighbor through programs dedicated to keeping kids safe and helping them in times of need. Additional information about Toys“R”Us, Inc. can be found on Toysrusinc.com. Follow Toys“R”Us, Babies“R”Us and FAO Schwarz on Facebook at Facebook.com/Toysrus, Facebook.com/Babiesrus and Facebook.com/FAO and on Twitter at Twitter.com/Toysrus and Twitter.com/Babiesrus.
About the Toys“R”Us Children’s Fund
The Toys“R”Us Children’s Fund is a public charity affiliated with Toys“R”Us, Inc., a company that unabashedly declares “We love kids!” The core mission of the Toys“R”Us Children’s Fund is to keep children safe and help them in times of need. Since it was founded in 1992, the Toys“R”Us Children’s Fund has contributed millions of dollars to qualified organizations that support that mission, including those providing disaster relief to children and families who are victims of large-scale crises. The Toys“R”Us Children’s Fund also provides grants to leading organizations that support children with special needs.
Primary fundraising activities include the annual Toys“R”Us Children’s Fund Gala, a private, invitation-only event that showcases the work of the Fund and raises money to support its many beneficiaries. This annual benefit has raised more than $95 million since its inception in 1985 and is one of the largest single-night fundraising events held in New York City.