TOYS FOR TOTS ISSUES CALL TO ACTION TO HELP MILLIONS OF NEEDY CHILDREN FACING CHRISTMAS WITHOUT GIFTS THIS YEAR
Toys“R”Us, Inc. Extends Ultimate Toy Drive to Help Meet Increased Demand, Pledges to Match All Customer Toy Donations
WAYNE, NJ (December 7, 2007) –With an increase in requests for toys from families in need and early reports that toy donations across the country are down compared to last year, Toys for Tots is working hard to prevent a shortage of toys this holiday season. The projected need for 2007 is expected to surpass the 19 million toys distributed in 2006. Without the support of the American public over the next two weeks, Toys for Tots may experience a shortage of millions of toys, impacting its ultimate goal to deliver hope and joy to the more than 13 million children living in poverty in the United States.
Against this backdrop, Toys“R”Us, Inc. announced today that it would extend the toy collection dates of its Ultimate Toy Drive to help the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation collect toys for needy children who might otherwise go without even one gift this Christmas. To assist in reaching families in need, Toys“R”Us, Inc. will match the total number of toys collected in its stores to provide Toys for Tots with twice the number of donated toys.
To help the 60-year-old Toys for Tots program win this battle, Toys“R”Us and Babies“R”Us stores will collect toys through Sunday, December 16—extending the original toy collection period by an additional week. All toy donations received during the campaign will stay in the local community where they are donated and will be distributed to low income day care centers, homeless shelters, local family services divisions, foster homes, and numerous other organizations that help America’s underprivileged children and families.
As the largest retail partner in the history of Toys for Tots, Toys“R”Us, Inc. jumpstarted the 2007 campaign by giving Toys for Tots $1 million worth of toys, and the Toys“R”Us Children’s Fund awarded the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation a $100,000 grant. “Even with substantial support from Toys“R”Us, requests for toys have continued to outpace donations,” said William Grein, Major, USMC (Ret), Vice President of Marketing and Development, Marine Toys for Tots Foundation. “We encourage people across the nation to donate a toy to help us bring smiles to the faces of children who need it most this holiday season.”
“Helping children in need is part of our mission as a company, and with requests from deserving families increasing dramatically this year, we want to do whatever we can to provide toys to as many children as possible through the Ultimate Toy Drive,” said Jerry Storch, Chairman and CEO, Toys“R”Us, Inc. “At Toys“R”Us, we understand the magic of a toy in the hands of a child, and we are committed to making this a happy Christmas for America’s neediest children.”
A suggested donation list is available at Toys“R”Us and Babies“R”Us stores and online at www.Toysrus.com/ToysforTots. The list features toys and other products suitable for different ages, with specific ideas such as baby blankets and rattles for babies from birth to 2 years old, games and puzzles for 3 to 4-year-olds, play sets for 5 to 7-year-olds, and arts and crafts for 8 to 11-year-olds, among many other suggestions.
All toys collected at Toys“R”Us and Babies“R”Us stores nationwide will be matched by Toys“R”Us, Inc. The matching will not occur at the time of the toy donation, but after all donations have been collected and tallied. The number of items received at Toys“R”Us and Babies“R”Us stores will be matched with an equivalent number of toys, not with exact items. Assistance to Toys for Tots can also be made via monetary donations at any Toys“R”Us or Babies“R”Us store nationwide, or by logging onto www.Toysrus.com/ToysforTots, now through December 24.
About Toys "R" Us, Inc.
Toys"R"Us is the world's leading specialty toy retailer. Currently it sells merchandise through more than 1,500 stores, including 588 stores in the U.S. and 712 international toy stores, which includes licensed and franchise stores, and through its Internet site at www.Toysrus.com. Babies "R" Us is the largest baby product specialty store chain in the world and a leader in the juvenile industry, and sells merchandise through 259 stores in the U.S. as well as on the Internet at www.babiesrus.com.
About Toys for Tots
The Marine Toys for Tots Foundation, an IRS recognized 501(c)(3) not-for-profit public charity, is the authorized fund raising and support organization for the Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program. The Foundation provides the funding and support needed for successful annual toy collection and distribution campaigns. The Foundation is located at Marine Corps Base, Quantico, VA. Local Marine Corps Reserve units and volunteer organizations collect and distribute toys in over 600 communities covering all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. www.toysfortots.org.