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This holiday season saw the successful launch of the sixth annual Thanks and Giving® campaign, with new partners joining the fight against catastrophic childhood diseases.
Marlo Thomas, St. Jude national outreach director, kicked off the campaign the week of Thanksgiving and the start of the country's busiest shopping season. For five days the lifesaving work of St. Jude was featured on NBC's TODAY show. That week, Thomas also appeared on ABC's The View and rang the closing NASDAQ bell.
St. Jude was also promoted nationwide through Thanks and Giving television spots featuring St. Jude patients with Marlo Thomas, Jennifer Aniston, Antonio Banderas, Robin Williams and NFL player Reggie Bush. Joining the St. Jude celebrity family this year was Latin GRAMMY®-Award winner Luis Fonsi, the popular Puerto Rican musician and actor who shared the St. Jude mission through the Spanish language media. GRAMMY-Award winners Carrie Underwood and Darius Rucker also recorded radio spots.
New to the campaign this year were interactive ways for people to individually tailor their support for St. Jude. Thousands of people across the country gave their voice and posted messages of support on Facebook and Twitter or gave their vision and energy by posting or sharing videos or becoming an online fundraiser for the hospital.
This year’s campaign also saw an expansion of the Give thanks. Walk.™ program, in which St. Jude supporters participated in 5K walks around the country for St. Jude. The program grew from 15 cities last year to 40 this year.
Thanks and Giving, created in 2004 by Thomas and her siblings, Terre and Tony Thomas, has become a holiday tradition. The campaign asks consumers to “Give thanks for the healthy kids in your life, and give to those who are not,” by encouraging shoppers shop and donate where they see the Thanks and Giving magnifying glass logo at participating retail partners.
Thanks and Giving has grown from 20 partners its first year to more than 50 in this year’s campaign. New partners this year included Ticketmaster, Harry & David, Anna’s Linens, Chico’s and Reebok and Rockport Outlets.
All of the campaign partners were moved by the passion shown by their employeess and and by the dedication demonstrated by their customers in supporting St. Jude:
“The children and staff at St. Jude are an inspiration to us all. I am so proud of the passion and commitment that our clients and associates displayed during this holiday season to raise significant funds to support the important work being done at St. Jude. It is heartwarming to see what we can accomplish when we all work together towards a common goal.”
Kay Krill, President & CEO, Ann Taylor Stores Corporation
“We are all touched by the passion and commitment of St. Jude and are humbled that we could take a part in helping such a great cause.”
Alan Gladstone, Founder, Chairman and CEO, Anna’s Linens
"All of us at AOL are inspired by the incredible live-saving work that goes on at St. Jude. We're proud to support the fight against catastrophic childhood illnesses and leverage our AOL network to raise awareness and funds for the Thanks and Giving campaign."
Tim Armstrong, Chairman and CEO, AOL
"Our customers have an amazing compassion and are very generous when it comes to the children of St. Jude. Thanks to those millions of AutoZone customers and AutoZoners in the stores who made the Thanks and Giving campaign such an overwhelming success again this year."
Lisa Kranc, Senior Vice President, Marketing, AutoZone
"This was the fifth year of our partnership with St. Jude and its Thanks and Giving campaign. In that time we've raised more than $3 million, an extraordinary contribution which stands as a testament to the passion for the children and the generosity of spirit reflected by our customers and our associates. This single initiative and its compelling nature epitomizes our values as an organization pushing us to do more each year to help in finding a cure."
Claudio Del Vecchio, Chairman & CEO, Brooks Brothers
Casual Male Retail Group
“For every year that we have been a part of the St. Jude Thanks and Giving campaign, I am continually impressed by the outpouring of generosity from our customers and employees alike. Even in these difficult economic times, the donations continue, assuring me that we all understand what truly is important. This is a direct reflection on St. Jude’s unending commitment to such a wonderful cause.”
David Levin, Founder, President & CEO, casual Male Retail Group, Inc.
“We are delighted that our partnership with St. Jude has made it possible for us to support some extraordinary children by raising more than $19 million since the Thanks and Giving campaign began. Now, through the CVS Caremark Rehabilitation Services Center we will be helping to bring world-class audiology, occupational therapy, physical therapy and speech-language pathology services to St. Jude patients.”
Eileen Howard Dunn, Senior Vice President, Corporate Communications and Community Relations, CVS Caremark
Dick’s Sporting Goods
“We are truly grateful for the generosity of our customers and our thousands of associates for their support in the Thanks and Giving campaign which made this year our most successful thus far. The ability to donate 3.4 million to children with life-threatening illness is an honor for our organization.”
Joe Schmidt, President & COO, Dick’s Sporting Goods
“Thanks and Giving provides our customers and employees an opportunity to support the amazing lifesaving treatment and research of St. Jude—giving children the chance for a better tomorrow.”
Rick Dreiling, CEO and Chairman, Dollar General
“It makes me proud and hopeful that both our team members and our customers continue to rally around this important cause and that despite a difficult economic climate, we were still able to double our 2008 fundraising amount.”
David Brandon, Chairman and CEO, Domino’s Pizza
Jones Retail Corporation
“In joining St Jude in the fight against childhood cancer, we decided to give our Nine West holiday decorations "the boot" this year and donate the funds, a decision that was well received by both our associates and customers. Their combined support helped us to significantly outperform this year’s fundraising goal.”
Jay Friedman, CEO, Jones Retail Corporation
GNC (General Nutrition Centers)
“I am truly touched that even in this tough economy that our customers have been so generous and our store teams have been so committed to raising $1 million to beat last year’s donation by a considerable amount. It is an honor for GNC to be affiliated with St. Jude; our entire organization has made a heartfelt connection with St. Jude as we continue to be thankful for the opportunity to help the children and their families that turn to St. Jude in their moment of despair. Living Well and Giving Back has been our battle cry at our stores as we ask for donations from our customers and I am so excited that we achieved the $1M mark this year.”
Tom Dowd, EVP, Store Operations & Development, GNC
“We feel that partnering with St Jude to save children’s lives around the world is one of the more meaningful things we do as a company.”
Matthew McCauley, CEO, The Gymboree Corporation
"HSN was pleased to continue its tradition of partnering with St. Jude and its Thanks and Giving campaign. Supporting St. Jude's critical work in helping children with life-threatening illnesses has become one of the highlights of the holiday season at HSN—for our customers, our partners and our employees. In 2009, we were excited to include DKNY JEANS in the campaign, which helped even more children get the care they need."
Mindy Grossman, CEO, HSN, Inc.
"St. Jude's commitment to helping children with serious health conditions have a happy and healthy future is an inspiration to us all. We are humbled to be part of this year's Thanks and Giving campaign and are proud to have generated nearly $6.9 million, for this extremely worthwhile cause."
Don Germano, SVP/GM, Kmart Retail
The Melting Pot
“Each year The Melting Pot’s relationship with St. Jude grows. In 2009 our average weekly donations were double that of the prior year. Even in these challenging economic times, our restaurant operators and their guests understand just how important St. Jude’s mission is.”
Bob Johnston, President and COO of The Melting Pot Restaurants, Inc.
New York & Company
“Knowing the amazing work being accomplished at St. Jude makes our partnership a source of pride for the entire brand. The affiliation gives the entire New York & Company family a purpose that has motivated all of us to over achieve the goal that has been set for this year. The courage of the young children receiving treatment and their families is a true source of inspiration and drives our dedication to make a difference. We are very appreciative to have this opportunity to participate in the Thanks and Giving campaign. We look forward to continuing our relationship so St. Jude can do everything possible to eradicate these catastrophic illnesses.”
Kevin Finnegan, EVP, Global Sales & Operations, New York & Company
“Year after year, we see the remarkable lifesaving work performed at St. Jude, and we are very proud of our partnership. Our participation in the Thanks and Giving campaign gives us an additional opportunity to help generate incremental awareness and funds to help the kids of St. Jude. In our opinion, there is no other organization in the world like St. Jude.”
Terry Burman, Executive Chairman, Sterling Jewelers Inc
“As part of our ongoing commitment to community giving, Target is proud to be a partner of the Thanks and Giving campaign for a fifth year. This partnership is another important way we support the wonderful work being conducted at St. Jude. Through the program, our guests help us give back by directly supporting St. Jude, which we hope will make their holiday shopping more meaningful.”
Laysha Ward, President, Community Relations, Target
“This was a significant year for Williams-Sonoma, Inc. as we were honored to celebrate our fifth anniversary as a St. Jude partner and surpassed the $10 million donation mark. Each year we have remained focused on the cause, the children of St. Jude, and used their inspiring stories to mobilize as a company to do as much as possible—whether in our stores, online, at our call centers or at our corporate headquarters. Our associates and loyal customers demonstrate such enthusiasm for this cause, it’s truly an honor to be a part of the St. Jude Thanks and Giving program.”
Pat Connolly, EVP and Chief Marketing Officer, Williams-Sonoma, Inc.