The annual St. Jude Thanks and Giving® campaign saw compassionate shoppers, corporate partners and celebrities come together to make the holiday season a time of giving thanks, donating more than $118 million and counting. Over the past 15 years, the campaign has raised more than $1 billion to support the St. Jude mission of finding cures and saving children battling cancer and other life-threatening diseases. These contributions are critical given that it will cost approximately $1 billion to operate St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital® this year alone and the majority of that must come from generous donors.
Throughout the holiday season, shoppers donated at more than 60 corporate partners representing a cross-section in retail, restaurant, travel, hospitality, media and more. In addition to the support of corporate partners, the 2018 campaign saw a boost of awareness from celebrities, including Jennifer Aniston, Sofia Vergara, Michael Strahan, Luis Fonsi, Jon Hamm and many more who joined Marlo Thomas in lending their time and talents to champion St. Jude during this critical fundraising period.
“For 15 years the St. Jude Thanks and Giving campaign has been a warm and meaningful way for people to come together and help contribute towards a common goal, to end childhood cancer,” said Marlo Thomas, National Outreach Director for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. “Each year our hearts are filled with gratitude for the support from shoppers, corporate partners and celebrities, and this year is no different. Every bit of it allows us to keep my father’s founding promise that no family ever pays St. Jude for anything — not for treatment, travel, housing or food because we believe that all a family should worry about is helping their child live.”
This year, corporate partners continued to expand their efforts to support the campaign in a variety of ways – from in-store fundraising to unique cross-promotions, events and online/mobile features. Best Buy once again led all partners in funds raised, totaling a record $20.8 million.
“What makes Best Buy so special is that we are a company with a great big heart. When we ask our people to help those in need, everyone shows up,” said Ray Sliva, Best Buy’s senior vice president of retail operations. “I’m proud of our customers and employees. Their generosity will make a big difference in the lives of so many families served by St. Jude.”
In addition to Best Buy, Pier 1 raised more than $2.4 million in its first year as a campaign partner, joining returning partners Domino’s, HomeGoods, LOFT, Chili’s Grill & Bar, KAY® Jewelers, AutoZone, Kmart and many more in asking shoppers to support St. Jude through in-store and e-commerce initiatives, specialty merchandise and social media engagement.
The St. Jude Thanks and Giving campaign benefitted from week-long exposure on NBC’s TODAY show, which featured several in-depth stories detailing the stories of St. Jude patients and how St. Jude is leading the way the world understands, treats and defeats childhood cancer and other life-threatening diseases. In addition, national theatre partners including AMC, Cinemark Holdings, Inc., Regal Entertainment Group and many others, showed a star-studded St. Jude Thanks and Giving movie trailer throughout the holiday season.
“Our amazing partners, along with their passionate and enthusiastic employees and customers, continue to exhibit a tremendous commitment to the lifesaving mission of St. Jude as the 2018 campaign produced a record result,” said Richard Shadyac Jr., President and CEO of ALSAC, the fundraising and awareness organization for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. “Over the past 15 years, St. Jude Thanks and Giving has inspired holiday shoppers to ‘give thanks’ by making contributions that enable St. Jude to continue working towards a day when no child dies from cancer.”