May 20, 2009 // Franchising.com // Wayne, NJ - Today, Toys"R"Us, Inc. announced that its nationwide in-store fundraising campaign to benefit Autism Speaks, the nation's largest autism advocacy organization, raised more than $1.9 million. This is the third year Toys"R"Us, Inc. has supported Autism Speaks and the fundraising results represent an increase of approximately $400,000 over last year's total.
Funds raised will support Autism Speaks' efforts to increase awareness of autism spectrum disorders; fund research into the causes, prevention and treatments for autism; and advocate for the needs of individuals with autism and their families. This year marked the first time in the partnership's three-year history that the company's Babies"R"Us stores participated in the fundraising campaign.
"The incredible response to this fundraising campaign, despite the challenging economic environment, demonstrates the passion of our employees and customers to help solve the autism puzzle," said Jerry Storch, Chairman and CEO, Toys"R"Us, Inc. "We are proud to continue to lend our support to Autism Speaks as it works urgently to help all children affected by autism."
In conjunction with the fundraising campaign, the company once again produced a special edition of the Toys"R"Us Toy Guide for Differently-Abled Kids, which 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 important language, creativity and social skills. The list is available year-round at www.Toysrus.com/AutismSpeaks.
"We are so grateful to the "R"Us family and their customers for the support they've provided Autism Speaks to find the cause and cure for autism," said Mark Roithmayr, President of Autism Speaks. "Our partnership with Toys"R"Us, Inc. has allowed Autism Speaks to reach millions of parents across the country to educate them about autism spectrum disorders and early warning signs."
Toys"R"Us, Inc. and the Toys"R"Us Children's Fund 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. Additionally, Toys"R"Us and Babies"R"Us employees across the country are forming teams in their local communities to participate in the walk events and raise funds for Autism Speaks.
In February, the Toys"R"Us Children's Fund launched this year's program by providing a $400,000 grant to Autism Speaks. Since the partnership began in 2007, Autism Speaks has received $5.6 million through money raised during the Toys"R"Us, Inc. in-store and online fundraising campaigns and through donations from the Toys"R"Us Children's Fund and 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.