HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill., Nov. 1, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, Kmart launches its sixth consecutive year of supporting the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital Thanks and Giving campaign. Now through the rest of the holiday season, Kmart customers can help children live longer and healthier lives by making a donation in store or online via a link at Kmart.com/StJude. Kmart is the nation's leading Thanks and Giving fundraiser for St. Jude, with all funds raised supporting the hospital's mission to save the lives of children battling cancer and other deadly diseases.
"Kmart is a committed partner to our holidayThanks and Giving campaign, helping us increase awareness and raise funds for the lifesaving mission of St. Jude," said Marlo Thomas, national outreach director for St. Jude. "It is because of partners like Kmart and their customers that we can keep our promise that no child will ever be turned away if a family can't pay."
To kick off this year's donation campaign, Kmart will host a "Kids Take Over Kmart" event at its Astor Place store in New York from noon to 2 p.m. ET on Nov. 1. Bringing to life the support that customer donations provide St. Jude year after year, young patients and their families will "take over" the role of Kmart store associates to help greet customers and share their gratitude. Later this month, Kmart will be the presenting sponsor of the Give thanks. Walk.™ in Chicago on Nov. 19. Plus, closer to Christmas, Kmart will give back even more by donating to St. Jude for select toy purchases made in-store on two designated days in December.
"We want to remind our customers that the holiday season is about more than getting the hottest gifts— it's a time when we should give thanks for our family and friends and most importantly, our health," said Clay Wahl, senior vice president of Kmart Retail Services. "Kmart has always been committed to children and their health, which is why the St. Jude Thanks and Giving campaign remains an important part of our holiday season. Each year, the support from our customers and associates continues to grow, and we hope to raise even more money this year so more families can have a healthy and happier holiday."
Over the past five years, Kmart — with the help of its associates and customers — has raised more than $23 million for St. Jude, making the retailer the leading fundraiser for the Thanks and Giving campaign. In 2010, St. Jude recognized Kmart as its "Corporate Partner of the Year" for Kmart's commitment to "give thanks for the healthy kids in your life, and give to those who are not."
St. Jude is the nation's leading pediatric research and treatment center devoted solely to children with cancer and other deadly diseases and the only hospital that covers all of the costs for treatment, travel, food and lodging for each patient and a family member.
Since it opened its doors nearly 50 years ago, St. Jude has developed protocols that have helped push survival rates for childhood cancers from less than 20 percent to 80 percent overall. In fact, the survival rate for the most common form of childhood cancer, acute lymphoblastic leukemia, has risen from just four percent in 1962 to 94 percent today.
Kmart, a wholly owned subsidiary of Sears Holdings Corporation (NASDAQ: SHLD), is a mass merchandising company that offers customers quality products through a portfolio of exclusive brands that includes Jaclyn Smith, Joe Boxer, County Living, Route 66 and Smart Sense. For more information visit the company's website at www.kmart.com or the Sears Holdings Corporation website at www.searsholdings.com.
About St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital is internationally recognized for its pioneering research and treatment of children with cancer and other life-threatening diseases. The hospital's research has helped push overall survival rates for childhood cancer from less than 20 percent when the institution opened to almost 80 percent today. It is the first and only National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center devoted solely to children, and no family ever pays St. Jude for care. For more information, go to www.stjude.org and follow St. Jude on www.facebook.com/stjude and www.twitter.com/stjude.
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SOURCE Sears Holdings Corporation