#PLAYITFORWARD INITIATIVE TO HELP CHILDREN IN NEED DURING
TOYS FOR TOTS FUNDRAISING CAMPAIGN
Shaquille O'Neal Re-enlists as Shaq-A-Claus to Encourage
Customers to Support Toys for Tots, Challenges Social Media
Users to #PlayItForward by Sharing 'Un-Selfie' Photos While
help bring holiday joy to some of the 14.7 million U.S.
children living in poverty, Toys'R'Us'
today announced the launch of its
annual nationwide fundraising campaign to benefit the Marine
Toys for Tots Foundation. Now through Sunday, December 7,
consumers can donate new, unwrapped toys at any Toys'R'Us or
across the country and online at Toysrus.com/ToysforTots.
The company will also collect monetary donations in-store
and online through Christmas Eve.
Again this year, NBA Legend, philanthropist and entrepreneur
Shaquille O'Neal is reporting back to Toys for Tots duty as
his alter ego Shaq-A-Claus to encourage customers to donate
to the cause, along with a new mission that will help double
the giving: the #PlayItForward Challenge. Throughout the
campaign, Shaq-A-Claus is asking supporters to take the
ultimate 'un-selfie' a photo of themselves donating a
toy in any Toys'R'Us store across the country. For every
selfie shared using #PlayItForward, Toys'R'Us will donate an
additional toy to Toys for Tots, ensuring even more children
in need have a toy to open on Christmas morning.
personally know that play can positively impact the life of
a child. When I was young, it was a basketball I received on
Christmas morning that empowered me to dream that I could
someday become a basketball star," said Shaquille O'Neal.
"Growing up, my parents always impressed upon me the
importance of giving back to those in need, and that even
the small gift of a toy could make a big difference in
someone's life, like it did in mine. My partnership with
Toys?R?Us to collect toys and raise funds for Toys for Tots
puts a smile on my face and gives me a sense of great pride,
and this season, I'm calling on all my little elves to help
#PlayItForward to make a Shaq-sized difference in kids'
to Help #PlayItForward
kids and kids-at-heart eager to find ways to give back to
those less fortunate, throughout the nine-week campaign
Shaq-A-Claus and Toys'R'Us will encourage customers to
participate in the #PlayItForward Challenge. Shoppers can
help #PlayItForward by taking and sharing a selfie when
donating a toy to Toys for Tots at Toys?R?Us stores.
Participants are also asked to share their selfies on the
Toys'R'Us Facebook page at Facebook.com/Toysrus and
to tag @Toysrus when posting on Twitter and Instagram.
For every photo shared using the dedicated hashtag,
Toys'R'Us will donate an additional toy (or the equivalent
cash value) to the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation, up to
$150,000, demonstrating that giving a little has the
potential to make a big impact on the lives of others.
And, Toys'R'Us will triple its charitable gifting on
Tuesday, December 2, now known as #GivingTuesday, a social
media movement designed to kick off the season of giving. On
this day, the company will donate two toys to Toys for Tots
for every donation selfie posted on social media using #PlayItForward.
Throughout the 2014 campaign, fans of the Toys'R'Us
as well as its followers on Twitter and Instagram,
will enjoy exclusive content, including special messages
from Shaq-A-Claus, fundraising updates and more. To help
spread awareness and further engage the online community,
the company has created a viral video series in which
Shaq-A-Claus demonstrates how to #PlayItForward and
encourages others to do the same. To motivate his own
followers to #PlayItForward, Shaq-A-Claus will also Tweet and Instagram (@SHAQ),
as well as post on Facebook at Facebook.com/ShaqVerified.
more than a decade, Toys'R'Us has been instrumental in
helping Toys for Tots deliver happiness on Christmas morning
to the millions of kids living in poverty throughout the
U.S.," said LtGen Pete Osman, USMC (Ret), President and CEO,
Marine Toys for Tots Foundation. "And this year, Toys'R'Us
will do one better and donate even more toys to the
Foundation through the #PlayItForward challenge. This is why
we urge all Toys'R'Us and Babies'R'Us customers to donate
and participate in the social media initiative, helping
ensure this year is a record-breaking success in reaching
even more kids in need."
Shaq Simplifies Gifting to Toys for Tots with The Great
Big Shaq-A-Claus Wish List
make it even easier to #PlayItForward while shopping with
Toys'R'Us, the company is once again offering customers The
Great Big Shaq-A-Claus Wish List,
the official Toys for Tots wish list filled with toy
suggestions, including crafts, play sets, electronics, plush
and more, that are sure to excite and delight children.
Parents and gift-givers can view The Great Big Shaq-A-Claus
Wish List on the company's dedicated Toys for Tots hub atToysrus.com/ToysforTots,
where visitors can buy toys online and ship them directly to
Toys for Tots. Additionally, supporters can view a special
message from Shaq-A-Claus, find out more about the
organization and make a monetary donation.
The Great Big Shaq-A-Claus Wish List can also be printed
in-store at designated Wish List kiosks or at the Customer
Service Desk, allowing shoppers to reference the list as
they search for a toy to donate. All toys donated in-store
are distributed within that particular community, making
this a truly local program.
"Play is a powerful tool that inspires young imaginations
and creates memories that remain with children forever.
That's why, in our 11th year
of partnership with the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation, we
are more dedicated than ever to providing toys to those who
might go without one on Christmas morning," said Kathleen
Waugh, Chairman, Toys'R'Us Children's Fund. "This year, with
the help of the biggest and most kind-hearted 'kid' we know,
Shaquille O'Neal, it is our mission to #PlayItForward and
double the gift of play for kids in need."
the largest retail partner in the history of the Marine Toys
for Tots Foundation, Toys'R'Us has raised over $35.5 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
program is also supported by the Toys'R'Us Children's Fund.
Charitable Giving at Toys'R'Us
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