Every once in awhile I come across an e-mail that makes my jaw drop and my heart swell. Such is the case with the one I am copying below. Hurrah for Toys R Us and Give Kids the World Village. If you're only going to read one story today, this is the one to read.
Toys“R”Us Children’s Fund Donates $1M to Give Kids The World,
Company Gifts Its Iconic Ferris Wheel Cars to Charity’s Resort Village
Specialty Toy Retailer to Help Bring Smiles and Joy to Children with Life-Threatening Illnesses
Give Kids The World Village (GKTW), a nonprofit resort based in Kissimmee, Florida that welcomes children with life-threatening illnesses and their families, announced today a partnership with Toys“R”Us®. In addition to a $1 million pledge provided by the Toys“R”Us Children’s Fund (TRUCF), a public charity affiliated with the specialty toy retailer, the company is providing monthly in-kind product donations and has donated a vibrant cast of cars that once graced the famous Ferris wheel in the retailer’s former Times Square, New York City store.
Iconic characters such as Buzz Lightyear, Woody, Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head and the beloved Toys“R”Us brand ambassador, Geoffrey the Giraffe, now stand tall on newly refurbished parade floats that are a whimsical addition to the Florida nonprofit resort’s Winter Wonderland parade, a weekly celebration of the holiday season, the first of which will take place on Friday, September 23.
Thesedonations help continue GKTW’s mission of offering free dream vacations to children whose wish is to visit Central Florida’s world famous theme parks and other attractions.
“Our partnership with Give Kids the World is a representation of the positive impact Toys“R”Us has on children across the world, especially those who need it the most,” said Mike Short, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, Toys“R”Us, Inc. and a GKTW board member. “With our refurbished Ferris wheel cars, monthly product donationsand a $1 million grant, we look forward to bringing the fun and excitement our customers experience in our stores to the children and families who spend time at the village.”
Pamela Landwirth, President & CEO of Give Kids The World Village, said the specialty toy retailer’s support of the Village’s mission is appreciated and is an extension of the joy the brand evokes to children around the world.
“Toys“R”Us has brought happiness to children for 65years during the most meaningful milestones in kids’ lives from birthdays and holidays toother special occasions,” Landwirth said. “With this $1 million donation and the gift of these fanciful floats, they are helping us continue to provide the joy that inspires hope for the wonderful children and families we serve.”
Give Kids The World Village welcomes nearly 8,000 families each year, giving them the opportunity to reconnect and relax away from doctor visits and hospital stays. Founded 30 years ago, the nonprofit has hosted more than 148,000 families from all 50 states and 76 countries.
During their weeklong visit, families receive donated theme park tickets, delicious meals and nightly themed entertainment. Parties include Winter Wonderland festivities when the Village celebrates the holidays with a visit from Santa and a parade of favorite Village friends and winter characters.
Give Kids The World Village relies on charitable organizations such as the Toys“R”Us Children’s Fund, as well as a host of individual donors to sustain its mission. For more information on ways to help, visit GKTW.org.
About Give Kids The World Village
Give Kids The World Village is a 79-acre, nonprofit “storybook” resort, located near Central Florida’s most beloved attractions, where children with life-threatening illnesses and their families are treated to weeklong, cost-free vacations. Celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2016, GKTW has welcomed more than 148,000 families from all 50 states and 76 countries. Working with more than 240 wish granting organizations, this one-of-a-kind resort is the destination for a child’s wish to visit Florida’s world famous theme parks. The Village has 144 whimsical accommodations and will open 24 more in fall 2016. The resort is made for children, featuring a magical castle, fully-accessible playgrounds, pools and rides, as well as all donated theme park tickets, meals and entertainment free to all members of the family.
About Toys“R”Us, Inc.
Toys“R”Us, Inc. is the world’s leading dedicated toy and baby products retailer, offering a differentiated shopping experience through its family of brands. Merchandise is sold in 875 Toys“R”Us and Babies“R”Us stores in the United States, Puerto Rico and Guam, and in more than 765 international stores and over 245 licensed stores in 37 countries and jurisdictions. With its strong portfolio of e-commerce sites including Toysrus.com and Babiesrus.com, the company provides shoppers with a broad online selection of distinctive toy and baby products. Toys“R”Us, Inc. is headquartered in Wayne, NJ, and has an annual workforce of approximately 62,000 employees 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. For more information, visit Toysrusinc.com or follow @ToysRUsNews on Twitter. Follow Toys“R”Us and Babies“R”Us on Facebook at Facebook.com/Toysrus and Facebook.com/Babiesrus and on Twitter at Twitter.com/Toysrus and Twitter.com/Babiesrus.
About Toys“R”Us Children’s Fund