Toys “R” Us Inc. launched its third consecutive fundraising campaign to benefit Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation (ALSF), a nonprofit organization dedicated to finding a cure for childhood cancer. From June 1 to July 31, monetary donations will be collected at all Toys “R” Us and Babies “R” Us stores nationwide and online at Toysrus.com/AlexsLemonade. To kick off this year’s program, the company has introduced its Lemon Smiles Challenge, a social media campaign designed to encourage Facebook and Twitter users to spread awareness for ALSF by sharing photos of themselves, family, and friends smiling while biting into a lemon slice. Fans who would like to encourage others to do the same and grow the Lemon Smiles movement can share their smiles on the Toys“R”Us Facebook page at Facebook.com/Toysrus or tag @ToysRUs on Twitter using the #LemonSmiles hashtag.
Drawing inspiration from Alexandra “Alex” Scott, the founder of ALSF whose motto was “when life gives you lemons, make lemonade,” participants can show support for kids fighting cancer, ALSF, and all who continue to search for a cure. Diagnosed before her first birthday, Alexandra “Alex” Scott hosted lemonade stands to raise money to help kids like her until she lost her life to cancer at the age of 8. In 2005, her parents, Liz and Jay Scott, established ALSF to continue her dream of finding a cure for the disease. According to the American Cancer Society, about 11,630 children in the U.S. under the age of 15 will be diagnosed with cancer this year alone. Through pediatric cancer research projects, supporting families affected by cancer, and encouraging kids to help other kids in need by hosting lemonade stands, the organization hopes to aid these children and their families, and–ultimately–find a cure. To date, Alex’s legacy has helped raise more than $60 million.
Each week throughout the campaign, the Toys “R” Us Facebook page will feature a Sunday Spotlight, a post which will highlight one child’s inspirational story of hope, their personal connection to ALSF and their desire to follow Alex’s example. The company’s Facebook and Twitter pages will also provide ongoing fundraising updates, opportunities to get involved and fun activities, such as a coloring sheet and lemonade stand pledge. On June 21, select Toys “R” Us stores will host in-store lemonade stands where kids and families will have the opportunity to meet ALSF volunteers, sample lemonade, donate to the cause, and learn more about ALSF. Toys “R” Us’ Pinterest page will showcase a dedicated Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation Pinboard featuring lemonade recipes, as well as photos from the Lemon Smiles Challenge and Alex’s Lemonade Stands hosted at Toys “R” Us stores across the country.
Additionally, all Toys“R”Us stores nationwide will host in-store events on June 22 from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m., providing kids and families with the opportunity to donate and receive information about ALSF. Children who attend will enjoy a coloring activity and complimentary juice, plus a take-home pledge to review with their parents offering step-by-step instructions on how to set up their own official Alex’s Lemonade Stand.
To jumpstart the 2013 campaign, the Toys “R” Us Children’s Fund, a public charity, has provided a $100,000 grant to ALSF.