The 14th annual St. Jude Thanks and Giving campaign saw generous shoppers, corporate partners and celebrities once again helping transform the holiday season into a time of giving thanks by raising more than $108 million to support the St. Jude mission of finding cures and saving children battling cancer and other life-threatening diseases.
Throughout the holiday season, shoppers donated at more than 70 corporate partners representing a cross-section in retail, restaurant, travel, hospitality, media and more. Best Buy once again led all partners, raising $20 million.
Thanks to campaigns such as this one, 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.
The 2017 campaign got a boost of awareness from a star-studded roster of celebrities including returning supporters Jennifer Aniston, Sofia Vergara, Michael Strahan, Jimmy Kimmel, Luis Fonsi, and many more who joined Marlo Thomas in lending their time and talents in support of the mission of St. Jude.
“Each year the St. Jude Thanks and Giving campaign unites people from across the country around a common cause, to help end childhood cancer,” said Marlo Thomas, National Outreach Director for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. “We are incredibly grateful for this support, which 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, leading companies and brands expanded their efforts to support the campaign in a variety of ways – from in-store fundraising to unique cross-promotions, events and online/mobile features. New partners, including JOANN, Peeks and HomeSense, joined returning campaign partners Best Buy; Kay Jewelers; Domino’s; Kmart: HomeGoods; ANN INC.; Chili’s Grill & Bar; AutoZone; New York and Company; Williams-Sonoma, Inc.; and many more in asking shoppers to support St. Jude through in-store and e-commerce initiatives, specialty merchandise and social media engagement.
“It’s clear that Best Buy’s customers and employees have big hearts. In just five years their generosity has helped us raise more than $57 million to help St. Jude families,” said Laura Bishop, Best Buy’s chief corporate responsibility and sustainability officer. “We are incredibly honored to help support this vital mission to end childhood cancer.”
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. 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.
“Year after year our world-class partners, their dedicated employees and customers demonstrate a tremendous commitment to the mission of St. Jude,” said Richard Shadyac Jr., president and CEO of ALSAC, the fundraising and awareness organization for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. “Because of this generosity, St. Jude has the freedom to focus on lifesaving research and treatment, helping to take the overall survival rate from 20 percent when we opened more than 50 years ago to 80 percent today and we won’t stop until no child dies from cancer.”