January 11, 2012 // Franchising.com // Wayne, NJ – Toys"R"Us, Inc. today announced that its eighth annual fundraising campaign to benefit the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation was its most successful to date, raising $4 million and collecting more than 400,000 toys to help make the holidays brighter for kids in need across the United States. During the nine-week campaign, Toys"R"Us® and Babies“R”Us® stores nationwide served as THE holiday giving headquarters as they collected new, unwrapped toy donations. Customers also made monetary contributions in stores and online at Toysrus.com/ToysforTots through Christmas Eve.
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 neediest children, Toys"R"Us donated more than $250,000 worth of toys to Toys for Tots.
“At Toys"R"Us, it’s our mission to help kids in times of need, and with more than 16 million children now living in poverty in the United States, raising money and collecting toys was more important than ever before in helping to put smiles on the faces of less fortunate children during this holiday season," said Jerry Storch, Chairman and CEO, Toys"R"Us, Inc. “We are incredibly proud that this year’s Toys"R"Us Toys for Tots campaign was the most successful in company history due in large part to the overwhelming support of our customers and our employees across the country. This collective commitment to helping children in need ensured millions of kids – who otherwise might have gone without – had a toy to open on Christmas morning.”
For a third consecutive year, NBA legend, philanthropist and entrepreneur Shaquille O’Neal readied himself as his holiday alter-ego, Shaq-A-Claus, to build on his decades-long history of spreading Christmas cheer. Shaq-A-Claus encouraged Toys"R"Us customers, as well as fans, to give back to children in need.
“It’s very important to me that every child experience the magic of receiving a present under the Christmas tree, and that’s why I decided Toys"R"Us needed a Shaq-sized hand to help raise donations for Toys for Tots,” said Shaquille O’Neal. “I am truly grateful to everyone who joined me in giving back this holiday season – a Shaq-tastic job by all!”
To broaden this campaign’s digital reach, the company teamed up with LivingSocial to spread awareness and encourage monetary donations. LivingSocial U.S. members were asked to contribute $5 to Toys for Tots, with each individual donation then matched by Toys"R"Us with $5 worth of toys, up to $250,000. Also, Shaq-A-Claus made an appearance on the company’s official Facebook fan pages, Facebook.com/Toysrus and Facebook.com/Babiesrus, where he challenged his fans to join him in making a difference.
As the largest retail partner in the history of the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation, Toys"R"Us has raised over $27.6 million and collected more than 3.4 million toys since the partnership began in 2004.
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 870 Toys"R"Us and Babies“R”Us stores in the United States and Puerto Rico, and in more than 600 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.