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(MEMPHIS, Tennessee, February 6, 2014) — The generous donors, corporate partners and celebrities who supported the 10th annual St. Jude Thanks and Giving® campaign last holiday season have something to celebrate this year. Their efforts raised more than $97 million to support St. Jude Children's Research Hospital and its mission of finding cures and saving children battling cancer and other deadly diseases.
The annual holiday campaign's results represent a projected increase of more than 31 percent over the previous year, boosted by fundraising efforts led by St. Jude corporate partners and celebrities, as well as the implementation of an integrated multicultural campaign and unprecedented levels of social media engagement. Since its inception in 2004, the campaign has raised nearly $485 million to help St. Jude continue to lead the way the world understands, treats and defeats childhood cancer and other deadly diseases.
“Since the beginning of the campaign, we have been blessed to have the extraordinary support from our wonderful donors, our loving celebrity friends and our dedicated corporate partners,” said Marlo Thomas, national outreach director for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. “Their participation in the St. Jude Thanks and Giving campaign means so much to the children and their moms and dads. I am truly inspired by our partners’ commitment and passion to do better each year. We could never have achieved this remarkable success without each and every one of them. And that success allows St. Jude to focus on what matters most, saving the lives of children around the world.”
For the fifth consecutive year, Kmart is the top corporate fundraising partner in the St. Jude Thanks and Giving campaign. During the 2013 holiday season, Kmart raised $21.9 million — setting a new record for fundraising by a single St. Jude partner and nearly tripling the $7.5 million the company raised last year. Since becoming a partner in 2006, Kmart has raised more than $59.2 million in support of the St. Jude mission.
“We’re so proud and thankful of the generosity from the millions of Shop Your Way members, customers and Kmart associates who contributed to this historic fundraising achievement,” said Edward S. Lampert, Sears Holdings Chairman and CEO. “Through its research and care, St. Jude helps young patients from the communities Kmart serves across the country and around the world. This year’s unprecedented results show how much the cause touches the hearts of Kmart shoppers and associates alike.”
More than 60 of America’s leading companies and brands, including ANN Inc., AutoZone, Brooks Brothers, Claire’s, CVS/pharmacy, DICK’S Sporting Goods, Dollar General, Domino’s, GNC, Gymboree, HomeGoods, HSN, Kay Jewelers, Kmart, Marshalls, New York & Company, Target and Williams-Sonoma, Inc., as well as new partners Best Buy, Christopher & Banks, GameStop, Justice & Brothers, Stage Stores, Tommy Hilfiger and many others joined together in asking shoppers to support St. Jude through in-store and e-commerce initiatives, specialty merchandise and social media engagement.
“The overwhelming support of our corporate partners and their customers has been critical to the success of our St. Jude Thanks and Giving campaign over the past decade and we couldn’t be more grateful for the impact they are having on our lifesaving mission,” said Richard Shadyac Jr., CEO of ALSAC/St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. “Our partners are constantly innovating to find new and more effective ways to reach their customers to raise funds and awareness for St. Jude. Their support helps ensure that no family ever receives a bill from St. Jude for treatment, travel, housing and food — allowing a family to worry solely about their child.”
Several corporate partners raised more than $1 million during the 2013 St. Jude Thanks and Giving campaign, including:
In its first year as a campaign partner, Best Buy raised more than $887,000 through its Best Buy and Best Buy Mobile stores in the U.S. and Puerto Rico.
Also helping boost awareness for the campaign was a star-studded roster of celebrities including Jennifer Aniston, Robin Williams, Michael Strahan, Sofia Vergara, Shaun White, Luis Fonsi, Brad Paisley, Darius Rucker, Sabrina Soto, Olivia Holt, Jennette McCurdy and many more who joined Marlo Thomas in lending their time and talents in support of the campaign. Once again, the St. Jude Thanks and Giving campaign benefitted from week-long exposure on NBC’s TODAY show, which featured several in-depth stories chronicling the journeys of St. Jude patients and the discoveries that made them possible.
In addition, various aspects of the campaign saw record-breaking numbers. The St. Jude Give thanks. Walk., a noncompetitive 5K held on the same day in 75 cities across the country that serves as the official kick-off event for St. Jude Thanks and Giving, raised $6.4 million this year to propel its grand total to more than $17 million. On a digital front, St. Jude rallied partners, celebrity friends and supporters for a social media takeover on Nov. 25 using #ThanksandGiving. The hashtag became the third trending topic in the U.S. that day with more than 8,500 mentions reaching more than 117 million users.
Created by Marlo, Terre, and Tony Thomas, the children of St. Jude founder Danny Thomas, the St. Jude Thanks and Giving campaign utilizes a multi-media approach to unite celebrities, media and corporate partners during the busy holiday season in support of the groundbreaking research and lifesaving treatment that takes place at St. Jude. It costs $1.9 million to operate the hospital each day, and unlike other hospitals, more than 75 percent of that funding comes from the public through campaigns like St. Jude Thanks and Giving.
St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is leading the way the world understands, treats and defeats childhood cancer and other deadly diseases. St. Jude has the world’s best survival rates for the most aggressive childhood cancers, and treatments invented at St. Jude have helped push the overall childhood cancer survival rate from 20 percent to 80 percent since it opened more than 50 years ago. St. Jude is working to drive the overall survival rate for childhood cancer to 90 percent in the next decade. St. Jude freely shares the breakthroughs we make, and every child saved at St. Jude means doctors and scientists worldwide can use that knowledge to save thousands more children. Families never receive a bill from St. Jude for treatment, travel, housing or food – because all a family should worry about is helping their child live.