- All Funds Raised Support Family Support Services, Community Grants and Awareness -
TORONTO, April 1, 2016 /CNW/ - Every puzzle piece can make a difference during Toys"R"Us, Canada's seventh annual fundraising campaign benefiting Autism Speaks Canada. Now through May 1, Canadians can purchase puzzle pieces for a donation amount of their choosing at all Toys"R"Us® and Babies"R"Us® stores across the country. Virtual puzzle pieces can also be purchased online under the Charitable Giving section at toysrus.ca. All contributions will go directly to Autism Speaks Canada to fund family support services, community grants and awareness initiatives, which help families across Canada affected by autism.
Autism and autism spectrum disorder are general terms used to describe a complex neurodevelopmental disorder characterized, in varying degrees, by social and behavioral challenges, as well as restrictive and repetitive behaviours. An estimated one in 68 children is on the autism spectrum, including one in 54 boys – a 100 per cent increase in the last decade that is only partly explained by improved diagnosis, making it the fastest-growing serious developmental disorder in the world.
"Over the past six years, Toys"R"Us has truly embraced the autism community through its generous support of Autism Speaks," said Marc Murnaghan, chair of the board of directors, Autism Speaks Canada. "Through the company's many campaigns and fundraising efforts, we've been able to fund our organization's Family Services Community Grants and support building services for individuals and families across Canada."
Since 2010, Toys"R"Us, Canada team members and customers have helped build awareness and have raised more than $5 million for Autism Speaks Canada. Every dollar raised has and will continue to support the Family Services Community Grants program in provinces and territories across Canada, including funding classes for sports, drama, swimming, social skills and early identification, intervention and training for parents and caregivers. In total, more than 160 organizations across Canada have received grants to grow their services and reach more families. Click here to learn more about the community grants program.
"Toys"R"Us, Canada is a longstanding national sponsor of Autism Speaks Canada, and we hope that this year's puzzle piece campaign is our best yet," said Mary Hewton, vice president human resources and customer relations, Toys"R"Us, Canada. "The programs provided by Autism Speaks Canada are vital to Canadian children living with autism and their families, and it is with the generosity of our customers and team members that we can continue to make a difference."
Autism Speaks Canada WALK
In addition to the annual fundraising campaign, Toys"R"Us, Canada is also the national presenting sponsor of the Autism Speaks Canada WALK, a series of events taking place across the country starting in May and running through September. The Walk events are the single most important fundraising initiative for Autism Speaks Canada and money raised provides aid to family and support services across Canada. The Walk includes eight signature events in cities, including Edmonton, AB; Vancouver, BC; London, Toronto, Ottawa and Waterloo, ON; Montréal, QC; and Saskatoon, SK. Toys"R"Us, Canada team members raise awareness and money for the walks through employee fundraising events, as well as by participating in and volunteering at the walks.
Light It Up Blue Campaign
Launched by Autism Speaks in 2007, Light It Up Blue is a unique worldwide initiative to help raise awareness about autism as a growing global health priority. On World Autism Awareness Day (WAAD), which takes place Saturday, April 2, thousands of iconic landmarks, skyscrapers, schools, businesses and homes across the globe unite by shining bright blue lights in honour of the millions of individuals and families living with autism. Individuals everywhere are also encouraged to wear blue to show their support. To further raise awareness, Toys"R"Us store team members across Canada will wear blue on April 2.
Skylanders® SuperChargers Power Blue Crew
Through a global partnership between Activision Publishing, Inc. and Autism Speaks, limited edition Power Blue Skylanders SuperChargers, available exclusively at Toys"R"Us, have been created to increase awareness for autism. This new series of toys are blue and white to reflect Autism Speaks' official colours. The Power Blue Skylanders SuperChargers feature Splat and Trigger Happy, as well as their SuperCharged vehicles Splatter Splasher and Gold Rusher -- all of which appear in-game as their special colours. The toys hit shelves exclusively at Toys"R"Us, Canada today, as well as online at toysrus.ca, to coincide with Autism Awareness Month.
About Autism Speaks Canada
Autism Speaks, along with Autism Speaks Canada, is the world's leading autism science organization. Together with Autism Speaks, we have invested over $200 million to scientific research, $9 million in Canada. Since 2010, Autism Speaks Canada has granted over $4 million to service organizations across Canada promoting collaboration, best practices and building capacity to support individuals and families living with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Autism Speaks Canada is committed to supporting research and services across the country; raising public awareness to encourage inclusion; and collaborating with other organizations to speak alongside the autism community. Please visit www.autismspeaks.ca
About Toys"R"Us, Canada:
Toys"R"Us (Canada) Ltd and Babies"R"Us, are part of Toys"R"Us, Inc., the world's leading dedicated toy and baby products retailer. Toys"R"Us, Canada operates 82 full-sized stores across the country. For store locations and convenient online shopping visit www.toysrus.ca and www.babiesrus.ca.
SOURCE Toys "R" Us (Canada) Ltd.
For further information: Sheri Papps / Kay West, Paradigm Public Relations, 416-413-5207 / 416-413-5209, firstname.lastname@example.org / email@example.com