MEMPHIS, Tenn., March 9, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Generous shoppers, corporate partners and celebrities helped transform the holiday season into a time of giving thanks by raising more than $103 million during the 12th annual St. Jude Thanks and Giving® campaign to support the St. Jude mission of finding cures and saving children battling cancer and other life-threatening diseases.
During the holiday season, shoppers made contributions through more than 70 corporate partners representing a cross-section in retail, restaurant, travel, hospitality, media and more. With its $16.1 million donation, Kmart emerged once again as the top fundraising partner, bringing its grand total to date to $92.8 million. In addition, Best Buy surpassed a benchmark by raising more than $10.2 million, up from $9.7 million the previous year.
The campaign got a boost of awareness from a star-studded roster of celebrities including newcomer Jimmy Kimmel and returning supporters Jennifer Aniston, Michael Strahan, Sofia Vergara, Luis Fonsi, Daisy Fuentes and many more who joined Marlo Thomas in lending their time and talents in support of the mission of St. Jude.
"The St. Jude Thanks and Giving campaign has raised more than $693 million since it began in 2004 because of the amazing support we receive from our incredible corporate partners, generous donors and celebrity friends. We are truly grateful for the care and compassion they have for the children," said Marlo Thomas, National Outreach Director for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. "This amazing support we receive enables our doctors and scientists to continue to pursue lifesaving research and treatments while allowing us to keep my father's founding promise that no family ever pays St. Jude for anything -- not for treatment, travel, housing or food."
During the campaign, leading companies and brands including Kmart, Best Buy, Kay® Jewelers, HomeGoods, Domino's, ANN INC. and many more, joined together in asking shoppers to support St. Jude through in-store and e-commerce initiatives, specialty merchandise and social media engagement. This year, Kmart collaborated with St. Jude to design The Giving Hat™ to raise awareness and funds in the fight against childhood cancer and other life-threatening diseases.
"Our donation to St. Jude would never be possible without the support from our Kmart members, customers and associates across the country," said Alasdair James, Kmart President and Chief Member Officer. "We also saw firsthand how the introduction of The Giving Hat™ warmed hearts and heads, and brought us together to help raise funds for St. Jude in the fight against childhood cancer."
In addition to Kmart and Best Buy, several partners celebrated stellar fundraising totals during this year's St. Jude Thanks and Giving campaign including:
Kay® Jewelers - $6.3 million
HomeGoods – $5.6 million
Domino's – $5.2 million
ANN INC. – $4.6 million
Williams-Sonoma, Inc. – $3.5 million
GameStop – $2.8 million
AutoZone – $2.7 million
New York & Company – $2.7 million
Dollar General – $2.3 million
Brooks Brothers – $2.0 million
"It is powerful to see our family of partners rally their employees and customers to help transform the holiday season into a time of giving back by giving to St. Jude and helping children everywhere," said Richard Shadyac Jr., President and CEO of ALSAC, the fundraising and awareness organization for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. "We are incredibly grateful for their generosity, along with the support of our celebrity friends, that enables St. Jude to continue pursuing visionary research and providing cutting-edge treatment to children battling some of the toughest forms of cancer and other life-threatening diseases."
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.
To learn more about St. Jude, please visit www.stjude.org.
About St. Jude Children's Research Hospital:
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital is leading the way the world understands, treats and defeats childhood cancer and other life-threatening diseases. It is the only National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center devoted solely to children. Treatments invented at St. Jude have helped push the overall childhood cancer survival rate from 20 percent to 80 percent since the hospital opened more than 50 years ago. St. Jude is working to drive the overall survival rate for childhood cancer to 90 percent, and we won't stop until no child dies from cancer. St. Jude freely shares the discoveries it makes, 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. Join the St. Jude mission by visiting stjude.org or following St. Jude on facebook.com/stjude and twitter.com/stjude.
SOURCE St. Jude Children's Research Hospital