Toys 'R' Us announced a significant expansion of its ongoing support of the Special Olympics with a sponsorship of the 2015 Special Olympics World Games, a grant and in-store fundraising efforts.
With a $1.25 million commitment from the Toys 'R' Us Children’s Fund, the company will serve as a sponsor of the 2015 Special Olympics World Games, which will welcome 7,000 athletes and 3,000 coaches from 177 countries to Los Angeles, Calif. from July 25 to Aug. 2.
Held every two years, the World Games is the flagship event of the Special Olympics organization and, for the first time in 16 years, the Summer World Games will be held in the U.S.
The Toys 'R' Us Children’s Fund has also awarded a $500,000 grant to Special Olympics to advance the organization’s five-year plan to expand its Young Athletes Program in the U.S. and worldwide. The play program for children with and without intellectual disabilities helps kids ages 2-and-a-half to 7 develop early cognitive, social and motor skills and introduces them to the world of sports.
Finally, Toys 'R' Us has also introduced a new initiative designed to ensure children of all abilities can experience their #MyFirstSportsMoment. The company will kick off an in-store and online fundraising campaign beginning Saturday, during which monetary donations will be collected at all Toys 'R' Us and Babies 'R' Us stores across the U.S. and online through March 31. One hundred percent of customer donations received as part of the fundraising campaign will be directed to Special Olympics, and will be used to support the 2015 World Games as well as the expansion of the Young Athletes Program.
“As a company with stores in 37 countries, it is our honor to be part of the 2015 Special Olympics World Games, as well as to provide our enthusiastic support in bringing the Young Athletes Program to more children across the globe,” says Antonio Urcelay, chairman of the board and chief executive officer, Toys 'R' Us. “The Toys 'R' Us family has long been a champion of children with special needs, and we have great respect for the work being done by Special Olympics to create an inclusive world for all.”