MINNEAPOLIS, Feb. 15 /PRNewswire/ -- In just two weeks, online supporters of St. Jude Children's Research Hospital® spread the love by helping the organization come in first with more than 49 percent of the total votes and a $490,000 donation through the Super Love Sender giving campaign on the Target Facebook® page. The campaign, which kicked-off on January 31 and concluded on February 14, 2010, invited the online community and Facebook users to visit facebook.com/Target and help choose how five national charities would receive a portion of $1 million from Target to fund educational programming. With more than 169,000 new fans on Facebook and more than 26,000 Valentine's Day, football-inspired video cards sent to friends and family, the campaign also produced a place for the online community to share their personal stories and encouraged receivers to spread the love by sending additional cards to others.
With more than 26,000 total votes tallied, Target will donate a portion of the $1 million to each of the below charities based on their percentage of votes throughout the campaign, which included*:
As the charity that received the most votes, St. Jude will use the funds from Target to support the hospital's groundbreaking research and lifesaving care, including The St. Jude School Program Presented by Target. Patients that are enrolled in the accredited, special purpose school – which has six teachers and provides instruction for patients in grades K-12 – attend class regularly and have homework. Books and assignments from the home community are emphasized, to keep patients in step with their local school. The school also provides re-entry support to ease the transition back into the community school when patients leave St. Jude.
"We are so thankful for our loyal online supporters who demonstrated their commitment to education and the kids of St. Jude Children's Research Hospital by participating in the Super Love Sender campaign," said Richard C. Shadyac Jr., CEO of ALSAC, the fundraising organization of St. Jude. "School can offer a familiar and reassuring routine for our precious patients as they undergo treatment here, and our generous friends at Target recognize the important role that The St. Jude School Program Presented by Target plays in providing life balance and educational development to our patients."
Funds raised through the Super Love Sender giving campaign will also be used to support education programs within the other four charities. Kids In Need Foundation will use the funds to build capacity within its network of 25 Teacher Resource Centers, providing free school supplies to the growing number of children and teachers unable to purchase what they need for the classroom. The Salvation Army will use the funds to support the educational enrichment of children and families during the back-to-school timeframe. The United Through Reading Military Program will use the funds to help deployed military men and women stay connected to their families by sending DVD's of themselves reading books to their children and families back home. And United Way will use the funds to help children enter school ready to learn, read proficiently by 4th grade and graduate on time.
"We are grateful to the online community for their response and active participation in Super Love Sender. The voice of the online community not only helped five charities receive a generous donation, but it reinforced the importance of education," said Laysha Ward, president, community relations, Target. "We encourage all who participated to continue to spread the love and support these organizations and other worthy causes."
Minneapolis-based Target Corporation (NYSE: TGT) serves guests at 1,740 stores in 49 states nationwide and at Target.com. Target is committed to providing a fun and convenient shopping experience with access to unique and highly differentiated products at affordable prices. Since 1946, the corporation has given 5 percent of its income through community grants and programs like Take Charge of Education. Today, that giving equals more than $3 million a week.
*Total percentage of votes and dollar amounts subject to verification.
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