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The 2008 Thanks and Giving campaign demonstrated that even in tough economic times, the compassion and caring of the American public is still without bounds.
During the 2008 holidays, more than 50 corporate partners and retail outlets offered ways for customers to support or donate to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital as part of the fifth annual Thanks and Giving campaign. And, despite gloomy economic forecasts, millions of consumers helped continue the lifesaving work of St. Jude.
While encouraging customers to give to St. Jude through add-ons at the register or by purchasing specialty merchandise, partner employees also demonstrated their support by giving to St. Jude through employee-giving programs and other fundraisers. The combined efforts of partners, employees and consumers helped make the 2008 Thanks and Giving campaign a tremendous success.
"What a great gift you've given to the children and the moms and dads of St. Jude, even in this tough economy. We were so inspired by the outpouring of support from our retail partners and their customers this holiday season, "said Marlo Thomas, daughter of Danny Thomas and national outreach director of St. Jude. “We are so grateful to everyone who gave during the Thanks and Giving campaign. Your donations have given the greatest gift of all ... the gift of hope."
With science and patient care under one roof, St. Jude is at the epicenter of pediatric cancer research. Its scientists and doctors are also researching new treatments for sickle cell disease, infectious diseases and genetic disorders. In 2007 alone, St. Jude researchers published more than 600 articles in academic journals, more than any other pediatric cancer research center in the United States.
“Every donation generated by Thanks and Giving helps support our mission,” says Joseph Laver, MD, St. Jude clinical director and executive vice president. “And the awareness created by Thanks and Giving about the work of St. Jude is a blessing for families in search of hope.”
Created by Marlo, Terre and Tony Thomas—the children of hospital founder Danny Thomas—Thanks and Giving is an annual campaign for St. Jude that seeks to emphasize the spirit of the holiday season. Through appearances on the Today show, Larry King Live, The View and various other shows, Marlo asked consumers to “Give thanks for the healthy kids in your life, and give to those who are not,” by shopping where the Thanks and Giving magnifying glass was displayed during the holiday season or by visiting www.stjude.org to make a donation.
Also helping spread the word of the lifesaving mission of St. Jude were celebrity friends Robin Williams, Jennifer Aniston, Antonio Banderas and NFL player Jason Taylor, who appeared with St. Jude patients in TV spots and movie trailers, and Brad Paisley and Keith Urban who recorded radio spots for the campaign.
Representatives from some of the St. Jude family of partners shared their experiences during the 2008 campaign as they witnessed their employees’ dedication and their customers’ support for St. Jude.
“Ann Taylor Stores Corporation was delighted to support the St. Jude Thanks and Giving campaign for a second year. Through our ANN Cares program, we offered our associates and clients the opportunity to help support the children of St. Jude, and we were thrilled and inspired by the result. The Thanks and Giving campaign provides such a heartwarming message at the holiday season, and despite a difficult economy, the opportunity to give to this worthwhile cause resonated with our clients and associates in a very meaningful way.”
—Kay Krill, President & CEO, Ann Taylor Stores Corporation
“AOL is proud to support St. Jude and we're delighted with the continuing support of our employees and customers who have given so generously.”
—Randy Falco, 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 our AutoZoners in the stores who made the Thanks and Giving campaign such an overwhelming success again this year."
—Lisa Kranc, Senior Vice President, Marketing, Customer Satisfaction, AutoZone
"In spite of the current economic conditions we are pleased to see our customers continuing to respond so positively. Our donations this season are actually up against last year. More than ever, our associates and customers have embraced Thanks and Giving and approach this initiative with dedication, commitment and passion for the cause."
—Claudio Del Vecchio, CEO, Brooks Brothers
"We are thrilled to help the children and families served by St. Jude. Through play, exercise and education, children participating in the CVS Caremark All Kids CanTM Rehabilitation Services Center at St. Jude will benefit from new and expanded services as they set out on a healthy, happy life after treatment."
—Eileen Howard Dunn, Senior Vice President, Corporate Communications and Community Relations, CVS Caremark
Dick’s Sporting Goods
"Every season begins at DICK'S Sporting Goods, including the season of giving. We are so proud of our associates—and grateful to our customers—for helping us collect more than $2.4 million for the lifesaving work of St. Jude Children's Research Hospital over the holiday season. It is a testament to the spirit of compassion and generosity that thrives during the holidays that we achieved this in the midst of challenging economic times. We are warmed by thoughts of all the good that these funds will do for ill children and their caring families in 2009 and beyond."
—Joe Schmidt, President & COO, Dick’s Sporting Goods
“The Thanks and Giving campaign gives Dollar General, our employees and our customers the opportunity to be a part of the hope and healing that St Jude provides families who have children with life-threatening illnesses. Each year our stores embrace the campaign wholeheartedly. As a result of their compassion and the generosity of our customers, we have raised more than $3 million for St. Jude. We are proud to have played a part in the remarkable mission of St. Jude.”
—Rick Dreiling, CEO and Chairman, Dollar General
GNC (General Nutrition Centers)
It is truly an honor for me personally and for GNC to be a part of the Thanks and Giving campaign. Having toured the St. Jude facility and seeing firsthand just exactly what St. Jude does and means to so many families I am even more dedicated to supporting this organization. We, as a company, strive to help everyone ‘Live Their Best Life’; our hope and goal by being a part of this wonderful campaign is to help those children of St. Jude do just that!
—Tom Dowd, EVP, Store Operations & Development, GNC
“At Gymboree, we believe that true success is making a difference in people’s lives. Our customers and employees have truly been able to achieve this with the partnership of St. Jude.”
—Matthew McCauley, CEO and Chairman of the Board, The Gymboree Corporation
“HSN’s partnership with St. Jude in its Thanks and Giving campaign has become a truly meaningful part of the holidays for both HSN’s customers and employees. Even in these challenging times, St. Jude’s commitment to children with life-threatening illnesses touches us all, a message made loud and clear by donations so generous that we more than doubled our fundraising goal and raised in excess of $1 million. HSN is honored to be part of the St. Jude family and proud to play a role in supporting the St. Jude mission.”
—Mindy Grossman, CEO, HSN, Inc.
“We were inspired throughout the campaign as associates and customers shared their own stories of how St. Jude had touched their lives or the lives of someone they knew.”
—Don Germano, SVP/GM, Kmart Retail
The Melting Pot
“The Melting Pot’s principle of Family & Belonging means we care for those around us. Our relationship with St. Jude has united our nearly 5,000 team members across the country as we rally around this cause. Perhaps more than ever before, our young and energetic workforce wants to be a part of an organization that has a sense of purpose. As we go to work every day it has become about more than making a living. Helping St. Jude and the many families they serve has helped clarify this for us. We feel we receive more than we give.”
—Bob Johnston, President and COO of The Melting Pot Restaurants, Inc.
New York & Company
“The Thanks and Giving campaign is an inspiring opportunity for the entire New York & Company family. During this challenging holiday season, we have felt honored and privileged to participate in this campaign. Our commitment will remain strong for future involvement because we have gained personally in our inaugural year.”
—Kevin Finnegan, EVP, National Sales & Global Business Leader, 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 a 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
“At Williams-Sonoma, Inc. we were inspired by the winning model of this year’s presidential campaign in which individual actions and small donations made such a difference in the end. With this in mind, our associates were motivated to ask EVERY customer who came through our doors for a donation to St. Jude. Our associates knew that, especially in these tough economic times, every donation we received—whether it was $1 or $100—would truly make a difference in a child’s life. The St. Jude Thanks and Giving campaign continues to be an inspiring cause for our associates. It has helped to remind us, and reflect with our customers upon, the true spirit of the holiday season.”
—Pat Connolly, EVP and Chief Marketing Officer, Williams-Sonoma, Inc.