Toys”R”Us yesterday announced the launch of its nine-week in-store fundraising campaign to benefit Autism Speaks, North America’s largest autism science and advocacy organization.The company will collect donations in its stores and online through April 30 and provide a $400,000 grant to kick off its fifth annual campaign.
Since the partnership began in 2007, Toys”R”Us and customer contributions have combined to provide Autism Speaks with more than $8.4 million. Last year’s in-store and online fundraising campaign raised nearly $1.8 million for Autism Speaks in the U.S. and an additional $600,000 in Canada.
The online pages introduce us to “heroes” and the everyday tasks they have mastered, which are made difficult by the disorder — like Hunter, age 9, who learned how to complete a jigsaw puzzle in order to join his family’s favorite pastime; Justin, age 10, who practices his culinary skills as he bakes muffins; Madison, age 6, who learned to write her name, among others.
The site also features a video of Jodi, age 9, a young girl on the autism spectrum, performing a song she wrote about those she considers everyday heroes. Jodi dedicated the song to those who help children like her to learn, such as teachers and siblings. Other children diagnosed with autism are featured in the video performing tasks they’ve mastered, including baking, riding a bicycle, reading, writing, playing basketball and more.
Toysrus.com/AutismSpeaks serves as a year-round resource to parents, caregivers, families and friends of children with autism. Visitors can find a list of “Ten Toys That Speak To Autism,” which provides toy suggestions to help guide anyone purchasing toys for a child with autism, as well as Safe Play Tips designed to help ensure the well-being of children on the spectrum, while encouraging the benefits of play.
Walking To Benefit Autism Speaks
Toys”R”Us is also kicking off its national sponsorship of Walk Now for Autism Speaks, a year-long series of more than 80 walk events taking place throughout North America. Regional teams of Toys”R”Us employees will walk alongside the company’s iconic mascot Geoffrey the Giraffe and individuals with autism, their families and friends to raise money and awareness. All funds raised in Toys”R”Us and Babies”R”Us stores, online and through the Walk Now for Autism Speaks events will go directly to Autism Speaks to support research and advocacy efforts.