Wayne, N.J. — Toys“R”Us raised $4 million and collected nearly 350,000 toys during its 2012 charitable holiday campaign to benefit the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation.
The toy retailer teamed up with retired NBA basketball player Shaquille O’Neal, and encouraged customers to “Give Back with Shaq” by making new, unwrapped toy donations in Toys“R”Us and Babies“R”Us stores nationwide, as well as monetary contributions in-store and online.
The company introduced the first-ever official Toys for Tots Wish List, named “Shaq’s Santa Sack,” through which online shoppers donated toys to children in need in the United States.
The Toys“R”Us Children’s Fund, a public charity affiliated with Toys“R”Us, provided a $250,000 grant to the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation. Toys“R”Us also donated nearly $250,000 worth of toys to Toys for Tots.
“There’s no greater joy than watching a child tear the wrapping paper off of a present on Christmas morning with a smile that stretches from ear to ear. With more than 16 million children living in poverty in the United States, we approached our 2012 fundraising campaign determined to help Toys for Tots create that experience for the little ones who need it most,” said Sloane Lucas, director, corporate philanthropy, Toys“R”Us. “The success of our holiday campaign exemplifies the true commitment of our employees and the generosity of our customers across the country to this program, which enabled us to provide toys to millions of children who might have otherwise gone without.”
This is O’Neal’s fourth consecutive year with the Toys“R”Us charitable holiday campaign. He used the toy retailer’s social media outlets to reach a broader audience and encourage them to make donations.
“I’ve always loved stepping into the role of my favorite alter-ego to help kids in need during the holiday season. That’s why I’m thrilled to have partnered once again with Toys“R”Us – and so many others across the country – to put smiles on the faces of millions of children,” said O’Neal. “I owe a Shaq-mongous thank you to all who donated. Shaq-A-Claus couldn’t have done it without you!”
Toys“R”Us also leveraged its Toys for Tots campaign to help victims of Hurricane Sandy. The company provided its customers across the country the ability to donate toys through Shaq’s Santa Sack online that were specifically allocated for children displaced by the storm in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.