Smiles. Laughter. Optimism. Hope.
That’s what we took away from a recent visit to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis. Kmart hosted a “Christmas in July” event, at which about 75 children undergoing cancer treatment were joined by their siblings and parents to draw artwork for wrapping paper which will be sold this fall with proceeds benefitting St. Jude. Wearing surgical masks to prevent infection didn’t stop the children from drawing their inspirational holiday designs – and we drew inspiration from them.
We also toured the hospital to hear about the amazing progress that has been made in battling childhood cancer. Thanks to their dedication, St. Jude has increased the survival rates for acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) from four percent before opening in 1962 to 94 percent today. That research is made possible because of support from customers of companies like Kmart:
Kmart is the top St. Jude fundraiser for seven years running and the first partner to break the $10 million and $20 million marks. We are also the only partner to reach the $100 million milestone.
That’s why we’re so pleased to introduce “Care to Dream,” a movement that aims to build a community of Kmart members and associates, as well as St. Jude doctors and parents. Care to Dream is intended to empower and inspire them—and others—to help make St. Jude patient dreams become a reality and to continue to raise funds for ongoing research and care for all families.
No matter the challenge, all kids should dream big and become who they want to be—and Kmart and St. Jude help them to do that, regardless of their age, race, religion or family socioeconomic standing.
By expanding our partnership with St. Jude, our goal is to create opportunities for even more members, associates, local community members and groups to become involved to have a positive influence in these children’s lives.
Throughout the year, Care to Dream will launch multiple campaigns that include in-store activations, digital and social support and more, leveraging children’s passions in fun and engaging ways to help St. Jude patients’ dreams come to life. The movement kicks off with Kmart and St. Jude’s holiday campaign, Draw to Dream, which celebrates artistic expression. St. Jude patients, specifically, rely on art to share their feelings and visualize their dreams. Through Draw to Dream, Kmart and St. Jude will use patients’ works of art to bring their dreams to life. St. Jude patients will create personalized wrapping paper sold only at Kmart and on Kmart.com, with $2 from each sale being donated* to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Draw to Dream will be followed by other campaigns: Love to Dream (Valentine’s Day); Laugh to Dream (World Laughter Day); Discover to Dream (Back to School) and Jam to Dream (National Music Day).
We talked to Rick Shadyac, Jr., during our visit and wanted to share Rick’s comments with you here. Rick is the president and chief executive officer for the American Lebanese Syrian Associated Charities (ALSAC), the fundraising and awareness organization for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. “Let me say thank you to everyone at Kmart for everything you do to support our life saving mission,” said Rick. “Since 2006, you and your amazing customers have raised more than $112 million to support the life-saving work of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. That’s more than any company in our over 56 year history. You are incredible, Kmart team! We are so grateful to have Kmart by our side as we work to reach the day that our founder Danny Thomas dreamed of – a day when no child would die in the dawn of life.”
Kmart customers and Shop Your Way members can support Care to Dream and Draw to Dream by:
- Helping make a St. Jude patient’s dream come true and sharing the story on social media and by word-of-mouth
- Creating opportunities for others to become involved and empowered
- Contributing in-store at any Kmart and online via a link at www.kmart.com/stjude, with a portion of funds raised directly benefitting St. Jude
- Purchasing gifts that give back this holiday season. Kmart will offer several items, including customized gift wrap designed by St. Jude patients and the collectible St. Jude holiday bear ornament, in-store or online for purchase. Purchase the wrapping paper and $2 from each sale will be donated to St. Jude. Purchase the bear ornament and $1 from each sale will be donated to St. Jude.
Leena Munjal is the chief digital officer for Sears Holdings. Peter Boutros is the chief brand officer for Sears and Kmart.
*$2 from the sale of this item will benefit St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital® from 11/1/2018 – 12/31/2018 with a collective guaranteed minimum donation of $10,000.