WAYNE, N.J., May 30, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Toys"R"Us, Inc. today announced the launch of its third consecutive fundraising campaign to benefit Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation (ALSF), a nonprofit organization dedicated to finding a cure for childhood cancer. Beginning this Saturday, June 1 through Wednesday, July 31, monetary donations will be collected at all Toys"R"Us® and Babies"R"Us® stores nationwide and online at Toysrus.com/AlexsLemonade. To kick off this year's program, the company has introduced its Lemon Smiles Challenge, a social media campaign designed to encourage Facebook and Twitter users to spread awareness for ALSF by sharing photos of themselves, family and friends smiling while biting into a lemon slice. Drawing inspiration from Alexandra "Alex" Scott, the founder of ALSF whose motto was "when life gives you lemons, make lemonade," participants can show support for kids fighting cancer, ALSF and all who continue to search for a cure.
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, supporting families affected by cancer and encouraging kids to help other kids in need by hosting lemonade stands, the organization hopes to aid these children and their families, and – ultimately – find a cure. To date, Alex's legacy has helped raise more than $60 million.
"As we embark on this year's campaign benefitting Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation, all of us at Toys"R"Us continue to be moved by Alex's courage and the unwavering support we have received from our customers, employees and communities to help advance her dream," said Sloane Lucas, Director, Corporate Philanthropy, Toys"R"Us, Inc. "We are proud to once again join the fight against pediatric cancer and are confident that Alex's legacy will encourage even more families and kids across the country to spread awareness and raise much-needed funds, one cup – and Lemon Smile – at a time."
Lemon Smiles Challenge Encourages a Social Media Movement
To further generate awareness for ALSF and pediatric cancer, Toys"R"Us is inviting its social media fans and followers to participate in the company's Lemon Smiles Challenge. Beginning today, Facebook and Twitter users can show support and spread Alex's message by sharing photos of themselves, friends and family smiling while biting into a lemon. Fans who would like to encourage others to do the same and grow the Lemon Smiles movement can share their smiles on the Toys"R"Us Facebook page at Facebook.com/Toysrus or tag @ToysRUs on Twitter using the #LemonSmiles hashtag.
Toys"R"Us Social Channels Become Alex's Lemonade Stand Information Hubs
Each week throughout the campaign, the Toys"R"Us Facebook page will feature a "Sunday Spotlight," a post which will highlight one child's inspirational story of hope, their personal connection to ALSF and their desire to follow Alex's example. The company's Facebook and Twitter pages will also provide ongoing fundraising updates, opportunities to get involved, fun activities, such as a coloring sheet and lemonade stand pledge, and more.
Pinterest users can also follow Toys"R"Us at Pinterest.com/Toysrus, where the company will showcase a dedicated Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation Pinboard featuring lemonade recipes, as well as photos from the Lemon Smiles Challenge and Alex's Lemonade Stands hosted at Toys"R"Us stores across the country.
Toys"R"Us Transforms Stores into Alex's Lemonade Stands
On Friday, June 21 select Toys"R"Us stores across the country will host in-store lemonade stands where kids and families will have the opportunity to meet ALSF volunteers, sample lemonade, donate to the cause and learn more about ALSF.
Additionally, all Toys"R"Us stores nationwide will host in-store events on Saturday, June 22 from 12 noon to 3pm, providing kids and families with the opportunity to donate and receive information about ALSF. Children who attend will enjoy a coloring activity and complimentary juice, plus a take-home pledge to review with their parents offering step-by-step instructions on how to set up their own official Alex's Lemonade Stand.
"In large part, thanks to the "R"Us family, its customers, and the company's dedication to ALSF, we have been able to make an enormous and lasting impact on the lives of children fighting a battle beyond their years," said Liz Scott, Alex's mom and Co-Executive Director for Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation. "We are so grateful to partner with Toys"R"Us once again and, through initiatives like in-store lemonade stands and the Lemon Smiles Challenge, give supporters the opportunity to play a meaningful role in the search for a cure for pediatric cancer."
To jumpstart the 2013 campaign, the Toys"R"Us Children's Fund, a public charity affiliated with Toys"R"Us, Inc., has 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 $3.9 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.
To download high-resolution images related to the campaign, please visit: https://toysrus.sharefile.com/d/s76cae6890cf4e2d8
Charitable Giving at Toys"R"Us
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.
About Toys"R"Us, Inc.
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 874 Toys"R"Us and Babies"R"Us stores in the United States and Puerto Rico, and in more than 660 international stores and over 160 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.
About Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation
Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation (ALSF) emerged from the front yard lemonade stand of cancer patient Alexandra "Alex" Scott (1996-2004). In 2000, 4-year-old Alex announced that she wanted to hold a lemonade stand to raise money to help find a cure for all children with cancer. Since Alex held that first stand, the Foundation bearing her name has evolved into a national fundraising movement, complete with thousands of supporters across the country carrying on her legacy of hope. To date, Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation, a registered 501(c)3 charity, has raised more than $60 million toward fulfilling Alex's dream of finding a cure, funding over 300 pediatric cancer research projects nationally. For more information on Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation, visit AlexsLemonade.org.
SOURCE Toys"R"Us, Inc.