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VOL. 129 | NO. 216 | Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Major Retailers Step Up to Support St. Jude

By Andy Meek

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Several national businesses including major retailers have begun lining up to again raise money during the holiday season for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

For St. Jude, the holiday shopping season doubles as a time when the hospital works to raise awareness – and funds – for its battles to end childhood cancer and other life-threatening diseases. Along those lines, its annual “Thanks and Giving” campaign that runs through the end of December gives the public a way to support the hospital and its mission while also shopping at a variety of businesses.

Retailers have begun the annual Thanks and Giving campaign to raise money for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

(St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital)

Campaign partners include Kay Jewelers, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Domino’s, Williams-Sonoma, The Limited, AutoZone, New York & Co., Dollar General and Brooks Brothers, to name a few. The St. Jude fundraising effort, with help from participating businesses, has raised more than $487 million over the past decade.

And Marlo Thomas, St. Jude’s national outreach director as well as the co-creator of the “Thanks and Giving” campaign, said what makes the effort so successful is how “deeply embedded” it’s become in the public consciousness during the holidays.

Last year alone, Kmart raised $21.9 million as part of the campaign. Another retailer participating in the effort is GameStop, the Texas-based video game retail chain, which for the second year in a row is giving its customers a way to donate to the hospital while they shop for new titles for their Xbox and PS4 systems.

The chain raised more than $1 million for St. Jude last year, and customers who shop at GameStop through Dec. 24 will be able to donate in-store or online to help support the hospital’s mission. And after making that donation at any GameStop location, customers will get a coupon for 10 percent off the future purchase of a pre-owned game.

“GameStop is a proud supporter of St. Jude,” Sarah Trigg, GameStop’s coordinator of community relations and corporate giving, told The Daily News. “Customers have the option to make in-store and online donations. We’ve chosen these outlets to best reach out to customers and are hoping to build upon the $1 million we raised last year.”

This year, GameStop is also going even bigger than last year. Some of the chain’s technology brands, like Game Informer and the AT&T authorized retailer Spring Mobile, are joining the fight against childhood cancers and other deadly diseases. GameStop’s expansion of the St. Jude campaign to its sister brands is a result of what the company said was “enthusiastic support” at its more than 4,200 U.S. GameStop stores in 2013.

GameStop is a Fortune 500 company that operates more than 6,600 stores across 15 countries. It’s a combination video game, consumer electronics and wireless service retailer.

Among other such efforts by participating retailers and businesses, Brooks Brothers will host its annual holiday celebration in its flagship store in New York City as well as in Los Angeles. Businesses like Ann Taylor, Kmart, New York & Co. and Williams-Sonoma will offer products during the holidays to benefit St. Jude, and customers can now donate at the cash register pin pad at Best Buy and Christopher & Banks locations around the country.

Starting Nov. 24, guests at Chili’s Grill & Bar can add a donation to their check to support St. Jude. Chili’s also is expanding its efforts to now support St. Jude year-round.

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