WHITE PLAINS, N.Y., July 20, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Kmart's Shop Your Way® members, customers and associates -- with the help of celebrity fitness icon and Kmart ambassador Jillian Michaels – continued its status as the #1 corporate contributor to the March of Dimes by raising more than $9 million in 2015. The money supports research and community programs to help prevent premature birth – the number one killer of babies.
Jillian Michaels, whose activewear line IMPACT is sold at Kmart stores, led 20,000 walkers in the Los Angeles March for Babies event at Exposition Park on April 26. Hundreds of Kmart associates participated in March for Babies events coast-to-coast, including Alasdair James, President & Chief Member Officer at Kmart, who walked with 12-year-old Elijah Jackson, the 2015 National Ambassador for the March of Dimes at Grant Park in Chicago.
"Those of us within the Kmart family have great admiration for Elijah and all families coping with the early birth of their child," said Alasdair. "Helping babies and families like the Jackson's clearly resonates with our members and associates, and personally, I'm touched to be part of the March for Babies fundraiser. For more than 32 years, Kmart has proudly supported the March of Dimes ongoing efforts to fund education programs and research initiatives that can help more babies receive the healthy start in life they deserve."
Elijah and his parents, Elise and Todd Jackson, are traveling the country this year telling their story to raise awareness of the problem of premature birth. Elijah shared this inspiring video message with Team Kmart after visiting with President Obama earlier this year.
Kmart's annual fundraising campaigns have raised more than $134 million in support of the March of Dimes work over the past three decades - more than any other corporation. Kmart raised funds at checkout at every Kmart location, online via a link at www.kmart.com/marchofdimes, and through the sales of an exclusive collectible puppy figurine, which contributed $1 to the March of Dimes with every purchase through June 20.
"Kmart continues to be the standard of success for philanthropy," said Dr. Jennifer L. Howse, president of the March of Dimes. "With Kmart's support, premature birth has been decreasing for seven consecutive years and we have helped give more than 231,000 babies a healthy, full-term start in life. Kmart's partnership supports the March of Dimes nationwide network of five Prematurity Research Centers where hundreds of scientists who now are working together to discover the unknown causes of premature birth. We are truly grateful to everyone at Kmart for their remarkable contributions to this effort."
Kmart, a wholly owned subsidiary of Sears Holdings Corporation (NASDAQ: SHLD), is a mass merchandising company and part of Shop Your Way, a social shopping experience where members have the ability to earn points and receive benefits across a wide variety of physical and digital formats through ShopYourWay.com. Kmart offers customers quality products through a portfolio of exclusive brands that include Jaclyn Smith, Joe Boxer, Route 66 and Smart Sense. For more information visit the company's website at www.kmart.com | Sears Holdings Corporation website at www.searsholdings.com | Facebook: www.facebook.com/kmart.
About the March of Dimes
The March of Dimes works to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth and infant mortality. The March of Dimes is the leading nonprofit organization for pregnancy and baby health. For more than 75 years, moms and babies have benefited from March of Dimes research, education, vaccines, and breakthroughs. For the latest resources and information, visit marchofdimes.org or nacersano.org. Find us on Facebook and Twitter.
SOURCE March of Dimes