TOYS“R”US, INC. RAISES $4 MILLION AND NEARLY 350,000 TOYS TO HELP KIDS IN NEED DURING ITS 2012 TOYS FOR TOTS CAMPAIGN
Shaquille O’Neal (a.k.a. Shaq-A-Claus) Lent a Hand by Encouraging Customers to “Give Back with Shaq” In “R”Us® Stores Nationwide and Online
Wayne, NJ (January 10, 2013)– Toys“R”Us, Inc. today announced the results of its 2012 charitable holiday campaign to benefit the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation, during which $4 million and nearly 350,000 toys were raised to help spread holiday cheer to millions of children in need in the United States. In partnership with NBA Legend Shaquille O’Neal, customers were encouraged to “Give Back with Shaq” by making new, unwrapped toy donations in Toys“R”Us® and Babies“R”Us® stores nationwide, as well as monetary contributions in-store and online at Toysrus.com/ToysforTots. As part of this year’s campaign, the company introduced the first-ever official Toys for Tots Wish List, named “Shaq’s Santa Sack,” through which online shoppers donated hundreds of playthings to kids in need.
To jump-start this year’s campaign, the Toys“R”Us Children’s Fund, a public charity affiliated with Toys“R”Us, Inc., provided a $250,000 grant to the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation. Also, to further demonstrate the company’s commitment to spreading holiday cheer to some of America’s most needy children, Toys“R”Us donated nearly $250,000 worth of toys to Toys for Tots.
“There’s no greater joy than watching a child tear the wrapping paper off of a present on Christmas morning with a smile that stretches from ear to ear. With more than 16 million children living in poverty in the United States, we approached our 2012 fundraising campaign determined to help Toys for Tots create that experience for the little ones who need it most,” said Sloane Lucas, Director, Corporate Philanthropy, Toys“R”Us, Inc. “The success of our holiday campaign exemplifies the true commitment of our employees and the generosity of our customers across the country to this program, which enabled us to provide toys to millions of children who might have otherwise gone without.”
Building on his decades-long history of spreading Christmas cheer to kids in need, NBA Legend Shaquille O’Neal – aka Shaq-A-Claus – joined the company for a fourth consecutive year to help encourage Toys“R”Us customers and fans to “Give Back with Shaq.” Additionally, Shaq-A-Claus made an appearance on the company’s official Facebook fan pages, Facebook.com/Toysrus and Facebook.com/Babiesrus, where he challenged social media-savvy customers to join him in making a difference.
“I’ve always loved stepping into the role of my favorite alter-ego to help kids in need during the holiday season. That’s why I’m thrilled to have partnered once again with Toys“R”Us – and so many others across the country – to put smiles on the faces of millions of children,” said Shaquille O’Neal. “I owe a Shaq-mongous thank you to all who donated. Shaq-A-Claus couldn’t have done it without you!”
Toys“R”Us Leveraged Toys for Tots Campaign to Bring Joy to Victims of Superstorm Sandy
Throughout the holiday season, Toys“R”Us continually sought opportunities to lend a hand to those less fortunate, including the many families affected by Superstorm Sandy. In the storm’s aftermath, the company provided its customers across the country the ability to donate toys through Shaq’s Santa Sack online at Toysrus.com/ToysforTots, which were specifically allocated to help ensure kids displaced by the storm in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut received gifts to open on Christmas morning.
To help spread awareness in the digital domain and encourage donations, the company once again teamed up with LivingSocial to provide its members the opportunity to make a monetary contribution to Toys for Tots, which Toys“R”Us then matched in toys – all of which were distributed to Superstorm Sandy victims. Through this effort, nearly $40,000 worth of toys were provided to little ones in the tri-state area.
Customers Encouraged to Pay it Forward in Local Communities, Hundreds of Good Samaritans Rose to the Challenge
In addition to the nine-week Toys for Tots fundraising campaign, the company implemented an all-new program during which its customers were encouraged to Give Back in their local communities. The company pledged to “pay it forward” each time someone paid off the balance of a layaway order at Toys“R”Us as an act of kindness, donating $200 worth of toys – the approximate average value of a layaway order created at Toys“R”Us – to the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation.
The Give Back program was met with overwhelming enthusiasm in Toys“R”Us stores across the country, with 794 layaway orders anonymously paid for in true holiday spirit by good Samaritans as an act of generosity and kindness. And, as a result of this program, the company provided Toys for Tots with an additional $158,800 worth of toys to help provide children in need across the country with gifts to open on Christmas morning.
As the largest retail partner in the history of the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation, Toys“R”Us has raised over $31.6 million and collected more than 3.75 million toys since the partnership began in 2004.
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 875 Toys“R”Us and Babies“R”Us stores in the United States and Puerto Rico, and in more than 645 international stores and over 150 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 $100 million since its inception in 1985 and is one of the largest single-night fundraising events held in New York City.<
# # #