ARLINGTON, Va., May 27, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- The United Service Organizations (USO) and Crown Media have been named winners of the prestigious 2021 Gold Halo Award for Best Consumer Activated Corporate Donation by Engage for Good.
The win recognizes the USO and Crown Media's strategic partnership around the USO Holidays year-end giving campaign and the premiere of Hallmark Movies & Mysteries' original holiday movie USS Christmas. The collaboration achieved fundraising and viewership goals and created meaningful programming for military members and their families.
The Halo Awards are North America's premier recognition of corporate social responsibility, cause marketing and corporate social impact campaigns. Awarded annually by Engage for Good, they focus on highlighting initiatives in which brand purpose and social impact intersect to help build a better world. As COVID-19 rippled across the globe, the awards took on a new meaning and garnered more entrants than ever before.
"Since the onset of the pandemic, our Armed Forces have served on the front lines of relief efforts, facilitating virus testing, working in field hospitals and providing other essential services," said Lisa Anastasi, chief development and marketing officer at the USO. "Our collaboration with Crown Media allowed us to reach new supporters and provide consumers with an easy way to give more than thanks to military members who continue to sacrifice so much to protect us."
Shared values and passions led the USO and Crown Media to launch a multimedia campaign focused on providing moments of connection around home and family during the holidays. Initiatives included integrating a USO storyline into USS Christmas, which offered the military community the opportunity to connect with the film's cast during a USO Military Virtual Programming (MVP) session. Crown Media's podcast, Bubbly Sesh, was also incorporated into USO's Coffee Connection Live military spouse virtual program.
"Our military-themed movies always strike a chord and resonate strongly with our viewers on Hallmark Channel and sister network, Hallmark Movies & Mysteries," said Annie Howell, chief communications officer at Crown Media Family Networks. "Collaborating with the USO around the premiere of USS Christmas was a natural fit. It was a true honor to work with this incredible organization that does such important work to support our military families, to make a positive impact and be a force for good."
As a result of the partnership, the USO raised nearly $3 million from around 70,000 consumer donations. More than 1,000 people sent virtual messages of support to service members through the USO. Additionally, the USS Christmas premiere attracted more than 2.6 million viewers, and repeat airings through the end of the year attracted more than 8.6 million viewers.
"Examples of positive corporate social impact were among the meaningful silver linings to be found during the COVID-19 pandemic," said Engage for Good President David Hessekiel. "It's a pleasure to shine a light on outstanding efforts like this that helped society weather such a difficult time."
Although the holidays are still many months away, there are plenty of actions people can take to demonstrate appreciation for service members today. To discover ways to give more than thanks to the military community, visit USO.org/MoreThanThanks.
About the USO: The USO strengthens America's military service members by keeping them connected to family, home and country, throughout their service to the nation. At hundreds of locations worldwide, we are united in our commitment to connect our service members and their families through countless acts of caring, comfort and support. The USO is a private nonprofit organization, not a government agency. Our programs, services and entertainment tours are made possible by the American people, support of our corporate partners and the dedication of our volunteers and staff. To join us in this important mission and learn more about the USO, please visit USO.org or follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
About Crown Media: Owned and operated by Hallmark Cards, Inc., Crown Media Family Networks is home to cable's leading family friendly networks, Hallmark Channel, Hallmark Movies & Mysteries, and Hallmark Drama. Hallmark Channel features an ambitious slate of new, original content, including movies, scripted series, annual specials, and a lifestyle program. Hallmark Channel is also home to the popular annual holiday franchise Countdown to Christmas featuring a 24/7 lineup of holiday programming. Hallmark Movies & Mysteries is a 24-hour cable network featuring a unique mix of new, original movies and acquired series focused on the lighter side of the suspense and mystery genres. The network also features its own annual holiday programming franchise, Miracles of Christmas. Hallmark Drama showcases the rich legacy of the Hallmark Hall of Fame library and spotlights movies and series from Crown Media's collection of original dramatic content. Crown Media Family Networks is also home to Hallmark Movies Now, the company's subscription streaming service, which offers wholly distinct content from the company's linear channels. Crown Media Family Networks' publishing extension, Hallmark Publishing, offers original novels, as well as books adapted from Hallmark Channel and Hallmark Movies & Mysteries original movies.
About Engage for Good: Engage for Good, producer of the Engage for Good conference and Halo Awards, helps business and nonprofit executives succeed together by providing practical information and inspiration, opportunities to build valuable relationships and recognition for outstanding work engaging employees and consumers around social good and cause-related marketing efforts.