Tim Mcgraw, Martin Short Lend Support To Help Raise Nearly $4 Million For Toys"R"Us Children'S Fund At Annual Fundraising Gala
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Attendees Pledge Additional $60,000 to Robin Hood to Help Children Living in Poverty in New York City
May 01, 2009 // Franchising.com // Wayne, NJ - Last night, country music superstar and GRAMMY® Award-winner Tim McGraw and Emmy® and Tony Award®-winning comedian Martin Short joined executives from the toy and baby products industries to raise nearly $4 million to support the Toys"R"Us Children's Fund, a public charity affiliated with Toys"R"Us, Inc.
Gala attendees pledged more than $60,000 to support Robin Hood, an organization dedicated to assisting the more than 500,000 New York City children who live in poverty. In keeping with the Toys"R"Us Children's Fund's mission to keep kids safe and help them in times of need, donations made to Robin Hood from last night's event will be directed to programs that support and assist impoverished children in the five boroughs of New York City.
"These are difficult times for many families across the country, and we know there is a growing need for financial and other assistance. Through the Toys"R"Us Children's Fund, we will continue to seek new ways to make a difference in the lives of children and families who most need our help," said Jerry Storch, Chairman and CEO, Toys"R"Us, Inc. "We are grateful to our business partners for their generous support of the Toys"R"Us Children's Fund Gala, and of the many organizations the Fund assists each year."
Since its inception more than 20 years ago, the Toys"R"Us Children's Fund Gala has raised more than $86 million to help children in need. In 2008, the Fund donated millions of dollars to its philanthropic partners including Autism Speaks, the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation, Save the Children, Safe Kids Worldwide, and Children Affected by AIDS Foundation, among others.
Highlights of the philanthropic partnerships of the Toys"R"Us Children's Fund and Toys"R"Us, Inc. during the past year include:
In 2008, the Toys"R"Us Children's Fund and Toys"R"Us, Inc. established a new relationship with Safe Kids Worldwide, the nation's leading childhood injury prevention organization, to develop educational safety campaigns during key times of the year when children are most prone to injury. In keeping with the Toys"R"Us Children's Fund's mission to keep kids safe and help them in times of need, tips on preventing childhood injury developed with Safe Kids Worldwide appear on the company's dedicated Safety microsite, Toysrus.com/Safety. As part of this program, special Halloween safety tips, developed with Safe Kids Worldwide, were incorporated into "Geoffrey's Safety Pledge" so kids could take the "oath" to have a safe and fun Halloween.
2008 marked the fifth anniversary of the partnership between the Toys"R"Us Children's Fund, Toys"R"Us, Inc. and the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation. The Toys"R"Us Children's Fund kicked off the fundraising campaign with a $100,000 donation to Toys for Tots, and more than $2.7 million and 200,000 toys were collected in Toys"R"Us and Babies"R"Us stores nationwide. Recognizing that 2008 was especially difficult for many families, Toys"R"Us, Inc. donated an additional $2 million worth of toys to Toys for Tots when the organization was faced with a greater need than in previous years.
In its second year of partnership with Autism Speaks, the Toys"R"Us Children's Fund provided the organization with a $250,000 grant in 2008 to help fund autism research and advocacy efforts. The Fund also served as the national sponsor of the Autism Speaks Walk Now for Autism program, a series of 75 fundraising events in cities nationwide, which raised $29.3 million. A nine-week in-store fundraising campaign in Toys"R"Us stores coincided with Autism Awareness Month in April and collected more than $1.5 million for Autism Speaks.
The Toys"R"Us Children's Fund partners with Save the Children, a global humanitarian organization, to respond to the unique needs of the world's youngest victims in the wake of natural disasters. In 2008, the Fund donated $500,000 to Save the Children to support its work on behalf of children and infants impacted by Hurricanes Gustav and Ike. Immediately following these disasters, Toys"R"Us, Inc. also donated $100,000 worth of portable cribs, diapers and other necessities to evacuated families to provide safe, comfortable environments for infants and toddlers in need.
In 2008, Toys"R"Us, Inc. was again the number one retail partner for in-kind donations for Kids in Distressed Situations (K.I.D.S.), a global charity that distributes new, unused children's merchandise to more than 1,000 nonprofit agencies that help children in need. The company provided more than $6 million in merchandise through store and distribution center donations. Additionally, the Toys"R"Us Children's Fund supplemented these product donations with monetary support totaling $150,000.
The Toys"R"Us Children's Fund continued its support of the Children Affected by AIDS Foundation's (CAAF) signature fundraising event, Dream Halloween. CAAF is the only organization devoted solely to providing social, educational, recreational and other support programs to children impacted by HIV/AIDS in the U.S. and around the world. In addition, the company partnered with Disney Consumer Products to produce a line of exclusive Halloween costumes with a marketing overlay designed to raise even more awareness and support for CAAF. Together Toys"R"Us, Inc. and Disney also donated $50,000 to CAAF.
As part of the company's ongoing focus on children with special needs, Toys"R"Us again released its annual Toys"R"Us Toy Guide for Differently-Abled Kids to help parents and friends of children with disabilities find everyday toys that spark both imagination and build critical skills. The cover of the Guide featured Meredith Vieira, anchor of NBC's TODAY and mother of three. The complimentary Guide is available in all Toys"R"Us and Babies"R"Us stores and online at Toysrus.com/DifferentlyAbled year-round, and is developed with the National Lekotek Center, a nonprofit organization dedicated to making the world accessible to children of all ages and abilities. The Toys"R"Us Children's Fund increased its support of leading special needs organizations by providing grants to National Lekotek Center, Muscular Dystrophy Association, the National Down Syndrome Society and Special Olympics, among others.
About Toys"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 1,500 stores, including 847 Toys"R"Us and Babies"R"Us stores in the U.S., more than 700 international stores in 32 countries, which includes licensed and franchise stores, and through its Internet sites, Toysrus.com, Babiesrus.com, eToys.com and babyuniverse.com. The company also operates the parenting resource website, ePregnancy.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 $86 million since its inception in 1985 and is one of the largest single-night fundraising events held in New York City.
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