January 16, 2015 // Franchising.com // Wayne, NJ – Toys"R"Us® announced that its annual nationwide fundraising campaign to benefit the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation was its most successful to date, raising $6.4 million and collecting more than 220,000 toys, helping bring holiday joy to kids in need across the U.S. During the 2014 campaign, customers helped make Christmas a little merrier by donating new, unwrapped toys at Toys"R"Us® and Babies"R"Us® stores nationwide through monetary contributions made in stores and online at Toysrus.com/ToysforTots.
"The record-breaking success of this year's campaign illustrates the true generosity of our customers and the passion our employees have for making kids' holiday dreams a reality through our partnership with Toys for Tots," said Kathleen Waugh, Chairman, Toys"R"Us Children's Fund. "We are once again honored to assist the organization in creating a magical experience for some of the 14.7 million children living in poverty in the U.S who may have otherwise gone without a toy to open on Christmas morning."
As part of this year's campaign, NBA Legend Shaquille O'Neal (a.k.a Shaq-A-Claus) and Toys"R"Us encouraged customers to participate in the #PlayItForward Challenge by taking and sharing the ultimate "un-selfie" – a photo of themselves donating a toy to Toys for Tots at Toys"R"Us stores. For each selfie shared using the dedicated hashtag, Toys"R"Us donated a toy (or the equivalent cash value) to the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation. As a result, hundreds of big-hearted kids and families participated by posting their #PlayItForward selfies across social media, helping provide even more children with toys on Christmas.
And, on #GivingTuesday, a global event and social media movement dedicated to giving back that took place on Tuesday, December 2, Toys"R"Us donated two toys to Toys for Tots for every donation selfie posted on social media using #PlayItForward.
"For the past six years, I have been proud to partner with Toys"R"Us and inspired by the millions of helpers who have joined us in our efforts to bring joy to families in need during the holidays through Toys for Tots," said Shaquille O'Neal. "This year, I came with a mission to #PlayItForward and raise even more funds and toys for kids in need, and I am thrilled to officially declare, mission accomplished! I want to send a Shaq-mongous thank you to everyone who participated in the Challenge – with your help, we were able to make the holidays a little brighter for so many."
Additionally, hundreds of online shoppers purchased and donated toys from The Great Big Shaq-A-Claus Wish List, which were shipped directly to the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation to be distributed to children this holiday season.
As the largest retail partner in the history of the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation, Toys"R"Us has now raised over $41.9 million and collected more than 4 million toys since the partnership began in 2004. To kick off this year's campaign, the Toys"R"Us Children's Fund, a public charity affiliated with Toys"R"Us, Inc., provided a $225,000 grant to the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation. The Shaq-A-Claus #PlayItForward Challenge was also supported by the Toys"R"Us Children's Fund.
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, furthering the company's commitment to children of all abilities. 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.
SOURCE Toys"R"Us, Inc.