As Joshua approached the Toys“R”Us® for the first time, the automatic doors slid wide open to enticingly invite him into the store. Joshua’s eyes grew wide and he squealed at the sight of the endless shelves filled with toys.
With help from Toys“R”Us (701 Morris Ave., Union, NJ), Make-A-Wish® New Jersey granted 5-year-old Joshua’s wish to have a shopping spree. Joshua 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 currently being 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. When asked the magical question, “If you could have one wish, what would it be?” Joshua’s response was, “I wish to have a shopping spree!”
At Toys“R”Us and surrounded by endless possibilities, a Make-A-Wish volunteer asked Joshua what he was looking to buy. Joshua smiled and dug his hand into his pocket to fetch a folded piece of paper he had placed there for safe keeping. Drawn on the paper were the items Joshua wished to buy, including pictures of a soccer ball, action heroes, and a lunch box.
With his mom, little sister, and two Make-A-Wish volunteers, Joshua purposefully ventured into a land of toys. To his surprise and joy, his shopping entourage was joined by Geoffrey® the Giraffe and a Toys“R”Us personal shopper.
“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 dollars to help make wishes come true for children facing life-threatening medical conditions. Each year, wish kids across the country wish for shopping sprees at Toys“R”Us stores, where they are always cheered on by the 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 at 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. We know from these children’s doctors, nurses, and other health professionals that the wish experience works in concert with medicine to make these wish children feel better, emotionally, psychologically, and physically.”