FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Lindsey Pritzlaff, Director of Communications
609-371-9474 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Monroe Township, New Jersey – With help from Toys“R”Us®, Make-A-Wish® New Jersey granted 5-year-old Joshua’s wish to have a shopping spree at Toys“R”Us Union (701 Morris Ave., Union, NJ) on March 24, 2012.
Joshua, from Elizabeth, New Jersey was referred to Make-A-Wish by a social worker at the Children’s Hospital of New Jersey at Newark Beth Israel, where he is treated for acute lymphoblastic leukemia.
“I have never been to a toy store before,” shared Joshua during his conversation with the Make-A-Wish team assigned to coordinate Joshua’s fondest wish. “I wish to have a shopping spree.”
As Joshua approached the Toys“R”Us store, the automatic glass doors slid open, as if to personally welcome Joshua into a toy store for his first time. Joshua’s eyes grew wide and he squealed, “Ay Yay Yay!” at the sight of the seemingly endless rows of shelves filled with toys.
Surrounded by endless possibilities, the Make-A-Wish volunteer asked Joshua what he was looking to buy. Joshua paused, smiled, and dug his hand down into his jean pocket to fetch the folded piece of paper he had placed there for safe keeping. Colored on the loose leaf paper were the items Joshua wished to buy, including pictures of a soccer ball, action heroes, a video gaming system, and a lunch box.
With his mom, little sister, and two Make-A-Wish volunteers, Joshua purposefully ventured into a land of toys. Joshua’s shopping entourage was completed by a surprise visit from Geoffrey® the Giraffe and a Toys“R”Us personal shopper, who came to help Joshua cross the items off his hand drawn shopping list.
“At Toys“R”Us, we love kids and are proud to support organizations like Make-A-Wish that help give back to the local communities we serve,” said Kathleen Waugh, Vice President, Corporate Communications, Toys“R”Us, Inc. “Across the country, all year round, Toys“R”Us store employees are excited to create memorable shopping experiences that help kids fulfill their fondest wishes.”
Over the past 15 years, the Toys“R”US Children’s Fund and Toys“R”Us, Inc. have provided Make-A-Wish with more than $1.8 million to help make wishes come true for children facing life-threatening medical conditions. Throughout the year, shopping sprees are held at Toys“R”Us stores across the country, creating celebratory events for wish children as they are cheered on by Toys“R”Us employees and Geoffrey® the Giraffe.
“We are excited to be able to fulfill more wishes with Toys“R”Us as a partner,” said Tom Weatherall, president and CEO, Make-A-Wish New Jersey. “Kids say wishes give them renewed strength to fight their illnesses.”
“For many of them, it marks a turning point,” explained Mr. Weatherall. “We know from these children’s doctors, nurses, and other health professionals, the wish experience works in concert with medicine to make these wish children feel better, emotionally, psychologically, and physically.”
The shopping spree was more than just a Saturday afternoon filled with lots of toys; it was Joshua’s fondest wish come true and an experience that Joshua and his family will remember and share as he continues to fight his illness.
About Make-A-Wish® New Jersey
Make-A-Wish grants the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy. According to a 2011 study of wish impact, most health professionals surveyed say a wish come true can affect their health outcomes. Kids say wishes give them renewed strength to fight their illness, and their parents say these experiences strengthen the entire family. Based in Phoenix, Make-A-Wish is one of the world’s leading children’s charities, serving children in every community in the United States, its territories and in 47 countries on five continents. Make-A-Wish New Jersey was founded in 1983. Serving children in every municipality in the Garden State, Make-A-Wish New Jersey has granted more than 7,100 wishes since its inception. For more information about Make-A-Wish New Jersey, call 800-252-WISH or visit www.nj.wish.org and discover how you can share the power of a wish®.