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Toys “R” Us inspires charitable support through social media campaign

Toys “R” Us is supporting Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation  through a new campaign which encourages families active on social media to spread awareness for the charity by sharing who or what they “stir” for.

To celebrate its fourth consecutive year of partnership with ALSF, Toys “R” US is inviting children and families to show their support through the company’s #Stir4ACure initiative. Throughout the campaign, the retailer’s official social media channels will  provide ongoing fundraising updates, opportunities to get involved, fun activities and more.

“Social media is a wonderful opportunity for us as a company to interact and engage with our customers,” said Nicole Hayes, assistant manager of public relations for Toys “R” Us, Wayne, NJ.

“It allows us to provide our social community with current information quickly and easily, whether it’s regarding a new product or one of our many charitable campaigns.”

“And, we’ve found that our followers share in our mission to help children in need through their participation in and support of our charitable campaigns,” she said.

Gifting commemoration
Companies are increasingly activating real people and charitable organizations whose passions and interests intersect with their brands and help bring them to life.  ALSF funds research projects and provides resources to assist families affected by pediatric cancer, and its cooperation with Toys “R” Us furthers its mission to evolve into a national movement.

Beginning this Sunday, June 1 through Thursday, July 31, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram users can access, where they will find a downloadable, print-out pledge, on which they are encouraged to write down who or what they stir for.

To further spread the word about the cause, participants are then asked to share photos of their signs on their social media channels, using #Stir4ACure.

Throughout the campaign, all Toys “R” Us social network pages will feature posts highlighting an ALSF hero and their own inspirational story and personal connection to the cause.

Lemon smile challenge
Can you smile while biting into a lemon? Well, a lot of people did just that in the Lemon Smiles Challenge Toys “R” Us introduced last June in support of ALSF.

The social media campaign encouraged supporters to spread the word about the cause by sharing photos of themselves, family and friends biting into lemons and smiling anyway. Smiles could then be shared on Toys “R” Us’ Facebook page.

Social campaigning
Toys “R” Us is an annual supporter of the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation, and introduced a new social media initiative this past Christmas called #NoWishTooBig.

Children drew pictures of toys they’d like to give to needy children, and for every picture Toys “R” Us received on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram using the hashtag, Toys “R” Us donated a toy to the nonprofit. The effort received about 700 submissions.

Many nonprofits have effectively leveraged corporate sponsorships to increase revenue and develop relationships with well-heeled prospects.

One of the most important results of a partnership is that both parties reach new audiences. Businesses like Toys “R” Us want people to know about their philanthropy, and greater visibility can lead to new market reach.

“At Toys“R”Us, it is our philanthropic mission to keep children safe and help them in times of need,” Ms. Hayes said.

“We hope that when social media users see #Stir4ACure signs  they are encouraged to do the same, understanding that even something small – like sharing their sign or hosting a lemonade stand – can help make a big difference.”

Final Take:
Michelle is editorial assistant on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York