WAYNE, N.J. (May 13, 2008) – Today, Toys“R”Us and the Toys“R”Us Children's Fund announced that their second annual nationwide in-store fundraising campaign to benefit Autism Speaks, the nation's largest autism advocacy organization, raised more than $1.5 million. All Toys“R”Us stores from coast-to-coast and www.toysrus.com collected cash donations for Autism Speaks to help fund crucial autism research and advocacy. The campaign coincided with Autism Awareness Month in April.
“We are truly gratified by the generosity of our customers and the support of our employees who made this campaign so successful,” said Jerry Storch, Chairman and CEO, Toys“R”Us, Inc. “At Toys“R”Us, we have a strong commitment to doing whatever we can to improve the lives of children and families in need, and we're proud that our efforts will help Autism Speaks fund much-needed research to solve the autism puzzle.”
In conjunction with the fundraising campaign, Toys“R”Us, for the second year, also created a special edition of the Toys“R”Us Toy Guide for Differently-Abled Kids that identifies “Ten Toys That Speak To Autism.” This authoritative resource for families, friends and caregivers of children with autism features everyday toys that promote development of language, creativity and social skills. The list continues to be available at www.Toysrus.com/AutismSpeaks.
“The nationwide response to this campaign speaks volumes about the level of awareness that has been raised about autism in just a few years,” said Mark Roithmayr, President of Autism Speaks. “Toys“R”Us has been a tremendous partner in helping us shine a national spotlight on this disorder, which affects 1.5 million individuals in the United States. With the support of their customers and employees, we are one step closer to finding a cure for autism.”
Toys“R”Us and the Toys“R”Us Children's Fund continue to serve as the national sponsor of the Autism Speaks Walk Now for Autism program, a series of more than 75 walk events in cities nationwide. Across the country, Toys“R”Us employees are joining in the effort by forming teams in their local communities to participate in the walk events.
The complete schedule of Autism Speaks Walk Now for Autism events can be found at www.WalkNowforAutism.org.
All money raised in Toys“R”Us stores, online through www.Toysrus.com/AutismSpeaks and through the Walk Now for Autism program will go directly to Autism Speaks to help fund research and advocacy efforts. In February, the Toys“R”Us Children's Fund launched the partnership by providing a $250,000 grant to Autism Speaks.
Last year, Autism Speaks raised more than $27 million through its Walk Now for Autism events, and the fundraising campaign held in Toys“R”Us stores raised an additional
$1.1 million to support crucial autism research and advocacy.
Since the partnership began in 2007, Autism Speaks has received $3.2 million through money raised during the Toys“R”Us in-store and online fundraising campaigns and through donations from the Toys“R”Us Children's Fund and Toys“R”Us, Inc.
ABOUT TOYRS"R"US, INC.
Toys“R”Us, Inc. is the world's leading dedicated toy and baby products retailer. Currently it sells merchandise through more than 1500 stores, including 584 Toys“R”Us stores and 260 Babies“R”Us stores in the U.S., more than 680 international stores in 33 countries, which includes licensed and franchise stores, and through its Internet site at www.Toysrus.com.
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 $82 million since its inception in 1985 and is one of the largest single-night fundraising events held in New York City. Point-of-purchase campaigns are also conducted, during which cash is collected from the general public and earmarked at the time of donation for a specific charity or cause.
ABOUT AUTISM SPEAKS
Autism Speaks is dedicated to increasing awareness of autism spectrum disorders, to funding research into the causes, prevention and treatments for autism, and to advocating for the needs of individuals with autism and their families. It was founded in February 2005 by Suzanne and Bob Wright, the grandparents of a child with autism. Bob Wright is Senior Advisor at Lee Equity Partners and served as vice chairman, General Electric, and chief executive officer of NBC for more than twenty years. To learn more about Autism Speaks, please visit www.autismspeaks.org.