Anybody who has been around a child with special needs would know how easy it is to distract them. Being in an environment with too much noise and activity can easily overwhelm and tire these kids. Retail giant Toys R Us knows about this, too. This is the reason they decided to open up all their stores across United Kingdom an hour early on Sunday.
Not only did the stores open early, but they also had dim lighting. There was no music or announcements during this hour. The designated ‘quiet hour’ aimed to enable kids with autism shop for everything on their Christmas wish list. The stores even added some special signage to help the kids with this task.
The quiet hour started as a one-off tradition at TRU’s store at Leeds in 2014. This year, they decided to extend the initiative to all stores in UK. A post on the retailer’s Facebook page said this was done “to offer families affected by autism and additional needs a calm environment to fully enjoy browsing and discovering Christmas gift ideas”.
“Making slight adjustments to stores and creating a ‘quiet’ shopping period allows children and young adults to experience the fun in a toy shop regardless of their disability,” said Mike Coogan, the chain’s marketing director.
Parents and activists are grateful for this wonderful gesture. In fact, the social media pages of TRU were full of requests about replicating the initiative in United States of America as well. On Tuesday, they announced that they will try out the move in a Louisiana store soon.
That right there is a great example of a corporate entity with a heart. Jumping on to the Corporate Social Responsibility train is not a very difficult task though. At Crowdera, we are looking for some driven enterprises and individuals who want to explore social giving in a whole new way.