Toys”R”Us® Commemorates Autism Awareness Month
April 1, 2014

Toys”R”Us Children’s Fund Provides $600,000 Grant to Autism Speaks as National Sponsor of Annual Walk Program; Renews Support to Raise Awareness for Autism Spectrum Disorders
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WAYNE, N.J., April 1, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — Toys”R”Us® today announced that, as part of its ongoing support of the special needs community and to commemorate Autism Awareness Month, the Toys”R”Us Children’s Fund has provided a $600,000 grant to Autism Speaks, the world’s leading autism science and advocacy organization. The grant will support the charity’s research and advocacy efforts in the United States as it strives to provide resources for families affected by autism spectrum disorders. Toys”R”Us will serve as the national sponsor of the organization’s Walk Now for Autism Speaks program, a year-long series of more than 100 walk events taking place in communities across North America that allows supporters to personally fundraise for Autism Speaks.

“The growing prevalence of autism spectrum disorders has deeply impacted the lives of Toys”R”Us customers, employees and the communities we serve,” said Kathleen Waugh, Chairman of the Toys”R”Us Children’s Fund. “Through the 2014 Walk Now for Autism Speaks events nationwide, we hope to raise further awareness for the disorder and ultimately help find the missing pieces of the autism puzzle.”

As part of the company’s national sponsorship of Walk Now for Autism Speaks, Toys”R”Us and Babies”R”Us® employees will walk alongside individuals with autism, their families and friends to generate donations and bring attention to the cause. The complete schedule of Walk Now for Autism Speaks events can be found at WalkNowforAutismSpeaks.org.

In addition, Toys”R”Us and the Toys”R”Us Children’s Fund have collaborated with Autism Speaks and the National Lekotek Center, a nonprofit organization dedicated to making play accessible for children with disabilities, to identify toys that can help kids with autism develop language, creativity and social skills, while playing alongside siblings and friends. The list of “Ten Toys That Speak To Autism” is a special subset of the company’s annually published, complimentary resource called the Toys”R”Us Toy Guide for Differently-Abled Kids, which can be found in stores nationwide and online at Toysrus.com/DifferentlyAbled.

Since 2007, Toys”R”Us, Inc., the Toys”R”Us Children’s Fund and customer contributions together have provided Autism Speaks with nearly $19 million.

About Autism
Autism is a general term used to describe a group of complex developmental brain disorders – autism spectrum disorders – caused by a combination of genes and environmental influences. These disorders are characterized, in varying degrees, by communication difficulties, social and behavioral challenges, as well as repetitive behaviors. An estimated one in 88 children in the U.S. is on the autism spectrum – a 78 percent increase in six years that is only partly explained by improved diagnosis.

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 Autism Speaks
Autism Speaks is the world’s leading autism science and advocacy organization. It is dedicated to funding research into the causes, prevention, treatments and a cure for autism; increasing awareness of autism spectrum disorders; and advocating for the needs of individuals with autism and their families. Autism Speaks was founded in February 2005 by Suzanne and Bob Wright, the grandparents of a child with autism. Mr. Wright is the former vice chairman of General Electric and chief executive officer of NBC and NBC Universal. Since its inception, Autism Speaks has committed more than $195 million to research and developing innovative resources for families. Each year Walk Now for Autism Speaks events are held in more than 100 cities across North America. On the global front, Autism Speaks has established partnerships and related activities in more than 40 countries on five continents to foster international research, services and awareness. To learn more about Autism Speaks, please visit AutismSpeaks.org.

 

Daniel Pickett
Daniel “Julius Marx” Pickett has been around toys his whole life. The first line he ever collected was Mego’s World’s Greatest Super Heroes line back in the 70s. He has been surrounded by collectables ever since. In 1999 he was confounded by a lack of information and news about some of his favorite toy lines he was collecting. Since he couldn’t find the information he decided to pursue it himself thinking other people might also be interested in the same news. He started writing a weekly column on the toy industry and action figure for a toy news site and in a years time he tripled the sites daily traffic with his updates, reviews and product features. He built relationships with every major toy manufacturer and many sculptors, painters and mold makers. He grew his hobby into a world wide expertise that the industry has embraced. In 2004 he teamed up with his toy buddy Jason “ToyOtter” Geyer and they created their own website www.ActionFigureInsider.com. Daniel has been quoted in both industry and mass media press outlets. Over the years Daniel and AFi have been sought out as experts in the field. Daniel was regularly featured on “Attack of the Show” on the G4 network as the primary contributor to their “Mint On Card” segment, and our front page has been linked to from USA Today’s “Pop Candy” Blog twice. Daniel’s content has also been featured on MSNBC.com, Wired.com, Fark.com, Boing-Boing, Gizmodo.com, Ain’t It Cool News, the Official Star Wars blog, Geekologie, G4, CNet and Toy Fare magazine, among many others. He has consulted on toy lines, books, documentaries and TV shows. But all of that really just sounds snooty and “tootin’ his own horn” – the long and short of it is that Daniel loves toys and he LOVES talking about them.
Read other articles by Daniel Pickett.

 

 

 

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