A litter of cuddly bears and a constellation of stars are travelling across Canada in search of new homes.
Sighted recently in Pickering, Ontario, at the residence of five-year-old Starlight Ambassador and 2019 Starlight Bear designer, Madison, the special cargo is part of the 21st annual Star campaign.
The bear was launched Friday, Oct. 18, in support of Starlight Children’s Foundation Canada and seriously ill children who, like Madison, courageously combat serious illness daily.
Customers can support seriously ill children and their families during the holiday season through donations of any dollar amount to their Star program or by purchasing a collectible 2019 Starlight bear. Collectively, through a variety of programs, Toys"R"Us Canada and its loyal customers have raised more than $20 million for Starlight Canada since 1998, with $1.5 million being raised in 2018 alone.
The cuddly “Super Bear” is the 11th limited edition collectible Starlight Bear. Super Bear dons a purple cape and holds a purple star to reflect Madison’s favourite colour and her desire to grant wishes to seriously ill children like herself. Read more about Madison’s journey and Super Bear by visiting Starlight Canada.
"Our collectible Starlight Bear program and the holiday Star campaign are crucial in funding programs and initiatives that support tens of thousands of seriously ill children and their families across Canada each month," says Brian Bringolf, executive director of Starlight Canada. "Wer'e so grateful for the generosity of Toys"R"Us and Babies"R"Us Canada and their employees and customers for helping to make both programs a monumental success each year."
The Star paper icon is available for a minimum donation of any amount at check out and will be collected in bins at the exit of each store until Dec. 29. Super Bear retails for $19.99 plus taxes and is available both in stores and online at toysrus.ca while quantities last.
“At Toys"R"Us Canada, we continue to focus our efforts on helping children in our communities and we are excited to launch this year’s collectible, Super Bear, designed by Madison,” says Mary Hewton, vice-president of human resources and customer relations, Toys"R"Us and Babies"R"Us Canada. “From Oct. 18 to Dec. 29, our team members across the country are proud to act as Starlight ambassadors, raising awareness and money for this incredible organization. Donations go toward supporting Starlight Canada’s in- and out-of-hospital programs and hospital grants, among other local community initiatives.”
Proceeds from the Starlight Canada Bear program and Star campaign are filtered to the communities in which they are donated.
These local initiatives include:
- 3-Minute Dash Series – A Starlight Canada child and their family gets a three-minute shopping spree at a Toys"R"Us Canada store in their city. In 2019, 10 dashes will be held across Canada.
- 85 Hospital Grants - Monetary funding is given to support distractive entertainment for hospitalized children.
- 7,000 Admit Kits - A variety of care products are given to children and parents during unexpected hospital stays.
- 10,000 Baby & Toddler Comfort Kits - Cuddly toys and games offer comfort, distraction and entertainment to bring a little bit of softness to a stressful situation in-hospital.
- Starlight Treasure Chests – Placed in hospitals and packed with a variety of small puzzles, games and toys that entertain kids of all age groups.
- Baby & Toddler Resources for Hospitals Program – Supplying easy-to-sanitize crib mobiles and activity centres along with special infant seats to cover 100 Neonatal Intensive Care Units (NICU) and Pediatric Intensive Care Units (PICU) across Canada.
- Great Escapes Wishes Program – Bringing families together to help make up for some lost time by creating fun-filled events for new memories and new friendships.