TORONTO, March 23, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Today, Toys"R"Us, Canada kicked off its sixth annual fundraising campaign to benefit its charitable partner Autism Speaks Canada. Now through Saturday, May 2, Toys"R"Us® and Babies"R"Us® stores across the country will raise funds through the sale and purchase of puzzle pieces. All contributions will go directly to Autism Speaks Canada to fund research, advocacy and community programs, as well as provide support for families across Canada affected by autism spectrum disorders.
Since the partnership started in 2010, Toys"R"Us employees and customers have helped to build awareness and raise more than $4.2 million for Autism Speaks Canada. In addition to the in-store and online fundraising campaign, Toys"R"Us, Canada also supports the organization's Walk Now for Autism Speaks events, and will take part in the global Light It Up Blue initiative to help bring attention to autism spectrum disorders throughout the world.
"Over the past five 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 bring a greater public awareness to this disorder, as well as fund research projects and support countless impacted families across the country."
"Just like puzzle pieces, our customers and employees come together during our campaign to support the autism community," said Kevin Macnab, President, Toys"R"Us, Canada and member of the Autism Speaks Canada Board of Directors. "At Toys"R"Us, we love kids! They are a key focus of our charity work and we are a proud, long-time national sponsor of Autism Speaks Canada."
Walk Now for Autism Speaks Canada
Toys"R"Us, Canada is the national presenting sponsor of Walk Now for Autism Speaks Canada, a series of walk events taking place across the country starting in May and running through September. Walks take place in eight Canadian cities, including Edmonton, AB; Vancouver, BC; London, Toronto, Ottawa and Waterloo, ON; Montreal, QC; and Saskatoon, SK. Toys"R"Us, Canada employees 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
Light It Up Blue is a unique global initiative to help raise awareness about autism. Launched by Autism Speaks in 2010, iconic landmarks around the world Light It Up Blue to show their support of World Autism Awareness Day (WAAD), which takes place on April 2.
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 repetitive behaviors. An estimated 1 in 68 children in the U.S. is on the autism spectrum – a 100 percent increase in the last decade.
About Autism Speaks Canada
Autism Speaks, along with Autism Speaks Canada, is the world's leading autism science and advocacy organization. Autism Speaks Canada is committed to building the capacity for research and services across the country; raising public awareness; and collaborating with other organizations to speak alongside the autism community. Since its inception, Autism Speaks and Autism Speaks Canada have invested over $200 million into scientific research, $6 million of which has been committed towards leading Canadian autism research. Since 2010, over $2.5 million has been granted to organizations across Canada to increase their capacity to support individuals and families impacted by Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Autism Speaks Canada is committed to raising the funds necessary to improve lives today and transform lives tomorrow across the autism spectrum and along the lifespan.
About Toys"R"Us, Canada:
Toys"R"Us (Canada) Ltd and Babies"R"Us (Canada) Ltd are part of Toys"R"Us, Inc., the world's leading dedicated toy and baby products retailer. Toys"R"Us, Canada operates 83 full-sized stores across the country. For store locations and convenient online shopping, visit www.toysrus.ca and www.babiesrus.ca.
Source: Autism Speaks Canada