August 14, 2013 // Franchising.com // Wayne, NJ –Toys"R"Us® today announced that it raised nearly $1.8 million during its third consecutive nationwide fundraising and awareness campaign benefiting Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation (ALSF), a nonprofit organization dedicated to finding a cure for pediatric cancer. From June 1 through July 31, Toys"R"Us and Babies"R"Us® customers were encouraged to “Help Fight Childhood Cancer, One Cup at a Time” by making a donation in-store or online and by signing up to host an official Alex’s Lemonade Stand. To further show support for ALSF, the company launched its first-ever Lemon Smiles Challenge, a social media campaign designed to encourage Facebook, Twitter and Instagram users to spread awareness of ALSF and pediatric cancer by sharing photos of themselves, family and friends smiling while biting into a lemon slice.
“We are beyond grateful for the overwhelming generosity and support the "R"Us family – and their customers – have given to ALSF again this year,” said Liz Scott, Co-Executive Director of Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation and mother of Alex Scott, who inspired the charity that bears her name. “The incredible funds raised in just eight weeks will not only help ALSF find better treatments and – ultimately – a cure for pediatric cancer, but show us that Alex’s legacy and this partnership continue to motivate so many children and families throughout the country to join the fight against childhood cancer.”
Diagnosed before her first birthday, Alexandra “Alex” Scott hosted lemonade stands to raise money to help kids like her until she lost her life to cancer at the age of 8. In 2005, her parents, Liz and Jay Scott, established ALSF to continue her dream of finding a cure for the disease. According to the American Cancer Society, about 11,630 children in the United States under the age of 15 will be diagnosed with cancer this year alone. Through pediatric cancer research projects, encouraging kids to help other kids in need by hosting lemonade stands and more, the organization hopes to aid these children and their families. To date, Alex’s legacy has helped raise more than $65 million.
“This year’s campaign benefiting Alex’s Lemonade Stand further demonstrates the impact Alex’s dream continues to have on our customers and employees across the country,” said Kathleen Waugh, Chairman, Toys"R"Us Children’s Fund. “From Lemon Smiles covering our Facebook wall to supporters volunteering to host Alex’s Lemonade Stands in our stores, we’ve seen the strong connection people have to this inspiring organization. With so many families affected by pediatric cancer, we are truly thankful for the support we received this year and are proud that each dollar raised will be dedicated to helping find a cure.”
In addition to the hundreds of Facebook, Twitter and Instagram photos posted in support of the company’s Lemon Smiles Challenge, each week throughout the campaign, the Toys"R"Us Facebook page featured a “Sunday Spotlight” post highlighting one child’s inspirational story of hope, their personal association to ALSF and their desire to follow Alex’s example. To further support the organization, the company invited ALSF “Heroes,” kids and their families who have been affected by childhood cancer, as well as supporters to host official Alex’s Lemonade Stands in select stores nationwide, during which they encouraged customer donations.
To jumpstart the 2013 campaign, the Toys"R"Us Children’s Fund, a public charity affiliated with Toys"R"Us, Inc., provided a $100,000 grant to ALSF. Since the partnership began in 2011, donations from customers, Toys"R"Us and the Toys"R"Us Children’s Fund together have provided more than $5.8 million to the organization. Additionally, the Toys"R"Us and ALSF partnership has been honored with a 2012 Gold Halo Award for Best Event Marketing Campaign and a 2013 Corporate/Community Partnership CSR Award from PR News.
The philanthropic mission of Toys"R"Us, Inc. and the Toys"R"Us Children’s Fund is to keep children safe and help them in times of need. The Toys"R"Us Children’s Fund contributes millions of dollars annually to various children’s organizations, including those providing disaster relief to victims of large-scale crises, as well as those supporting America’s military families. The Fund also provides grants to leading special needs organizations and has donated $1 million as the first Founding Partner of the 2014 Special Olympics USA Games. In addition to financial and product donations, Toys"R"Us, Inc. hosts in-store and online fundraising campaigns annually that raise millions of dollars for the company’s signature philanthropic partners.
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 877 Toys"R"Us and Babies"R"Us stores in the United States and Puerto Rico, and in more than 660 international stores and over 165 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.
SOURCE: Toys"R"Us, Inc.