Starlight Children’s Foundation® Canada and Toys”R”Us, Canada will gift shopping sprees to over 10 seriously ill Canadian children to help them create much-needed positive memories away from the hospital.
OTTAWA, ON (October 22, 2018) - On October 29, 2018, Toys”R”Us, Canada in partnership with Starlight Children’s Foundation Canada will provide nine-year-old Sam, who was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia in 2017, with a 3-Minute Dash shopping spree at an Ottawa Toys”R”Us (St. Laurent Shopping Centre, 1200 St. Laurent, Ottawa, Ontario, K1K 3B8). Starting at 7:00 a.m., Sam will have the chance to race through the store with his family and fill shopping carts with as many free toys as possible within a three-minute timeframe. The annual 3-Minute Dash program was designed to provide seriously ill children with much-needed positive memories away from the hospital.
More about Sam
Little Sam first became ill right before his eighth birthday last year. He’s had months of difficult treatment to endure, including tough medications and dreaded needles; but can still be found with a big smile on his face. A big fan of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Star Wars, Sam sets his eyes on not only toys for himself, but plans to pick up a few extra toys to share with children in need. With his ninth birthday having just passed, Sam is poised to have a very memorable birthday this year, this time outside of the hospital.
The 3-Minute Dash program is donated by Toys”R”Us, Canada as part of their long-standing partnership with Starlight Canada and has been expanded to gift 10 Canadian families with shopping sprees in Barrie and Toronto in Ontario; Langley and Kamloops in British Columbia; Edmonton, Alberta; Pembina, Manitoba; Regina, Saskatchewan; Laval and Lasalle in Montreal and St. John’s, Newfoundland. For the past five years, dash recipients have been randomly selected as part of an internal Starlight Canada contest, in which families are asked to share the details of their child’s care journey and submit them to their local Starlight programs coordinator for entry.
“On a day-to-day basis, we witness the bravery, strength and struggles that seriously ill children and their families face,” says Starlight executive director, Brian Bringolf. “Throughout the course of the calendar year, Starlight aims to provide distractive programming to make children smile and help families cope. We are beyond thrilled to have generous partners in Toys”R”Us and Babies”R”Us, who have helped us create initiatives like the 3-Minute Dash for our very deserving Starlight families.”
Over the past 20 years, Toys”R”Us and Babies”R”Us Canada have been and continue to be one of Starlight’s most involved and valued partners. Through in-store and online campaigns, 3-Minute Dashes, Presenting Sponsor of the Starlight Gala and donations to in and out-of-hospital programs, they have donated an incredible $19 million to Starlight and are extraordinary advocates of Starlight’s cause.
“We are proud to partner with Starlight and are delighted to bring 10 Starlight Dashes to communities across Canada this year,” says Melanie Teed-Murch, President, Toys”R”Us Canada. “At Toys”R”Us Canada, we believe that play is a right and we will champion the power of play for children across the country. Play inspires endless possibilities of fun, imagination and wonder and for the families who take part in the shopping sprees, the Dashes offer their children much needed moments of playful escape on their journey.”
This year, in addition to the 3-Minute Dash, Toys”R”Us has made a commitment to sponsor several Starlight Canada initiatives including:
- 85 Hospital Grants - Monetary funding to support distractive entertainment for hospitalized children.
- 10,500 ER Admit Kits - A variety of care products for children and parents during unexpected hospital stays.
- 7,000 Baby & Toddler Fun Kits - Cuddly toys and games to distract very young children during unpleasant hospital stays.
- Baby Resources for Hospitals Program – Supplying easy to sanitize crib mobiles and activity centers along with special infant seats to cover 100 Neonatal Intensive Care Units (NICU) and Pediatric Intensive Care Units (PICU) across Canada.
For more information, media accreditation to attend dashes, photos or interview requests, please contact:
Cory Stewart, Embrace Disruption PR | firstname.lastname@example.org, 647.638.1586
About Starlight Children’s Foundation Canada:
Starlight Children’s Foundation® Canada brightens the lives of seriously ill Canadian children and their families by bringing them joy, laughter and relief. For close to 30 years, Starlight Canada has spread millions of smiles to sick kids through a unique blend of family-centered programs and services from hospital to home. With your help, more kids and families will benefit from receiving a Starlight Comfort Kit in-hospital or relaxing at a Starlight Day Brightener out-of-hospital.
About Toys”R”Us, Canada:
Since 1984, Toys“R”Us Canada has been Canada’s leading dedicated specialty retailer of toys and baby products. As Canada’s trend authority in toys and baby products, the company brings national brands, exclusive products, innovative loyalty programs and unique partnerships to Canadians at its 82 stores across Canada and through its e-commerce sites Toysrus.ca and Babiesrus.ca. Committed to giving back to our communities, we focus our charity efforts on supporting children and their families whether enhancing resources and services, helping development through play or offering distraction and encouragement to seriously ill children. Toys”R”Us Canada is a subsidiary of Fairfax Financial Holdings Limited. For store locations and convenient online shopping, visit www.toysrus.ca and www.babiesrus.ca.