St. Jude is one of my favorite charities to support. When I was a kid, one of my good friends was diagnosed with cancer when she was 13 years old. I’ll never forget everything that she and her family endured. While she wasn’t treated at St. Jude, like so many of you, I have a soft spot for the children’s research hospital that miraculously treats kids with cancer and other diseases on a daily basis.
Did you know that it costs over $2.4 million to run St. Jude daily? Nobody has to pay a dime for treatment, which is absolutely amazing. This morning Richard C. Shadyac Jr., the president and chief executive officer of ALSAC, the fundraising and awareness organization for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital; an inspiring St. Jude patient by the name of Courtney; and Kelly Cook, Chief Marketing Officer of Kmart Corporation joined me for an interview. They discussed how we can bring more awareness to St. Jude and help raise money for the hospital by using the hashtag #uglysweaterforbetter.
Please be sure to watch the video below for more information on St. Jude, and how you can give back to this amazing hospital. I’ve also transcribed the interview for you. For more information please visit: Stjude.org, and Kmart.com/Stjude.
How To Contribute To St. Jude On Giving Tuesday with Hashtag #Uglysweaterforbetter!
Candace Rose Anderson: What is Giving Tuesday?
Richard C. Shadyac Jr.: “Giving Tuesday is a global day designated to give back. To me, it’s an opportunity for all of us who have been blessed with many things in life to give back to those who are less fortunate. One of the ways that you can do that is by supporting St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, which is what we’re going to talk a little bit about here today. And the incredible campaign that our friends at Kmart are putting on to benefit the kids and the researches done at St. Jude.”
CRA: Can you tell us about the Ugly Sweater For Better (#uglysweaterforbetter)campaign and how it will help St. Jude?
Kelly Cook: “Absolutely, Candace. I will tell you that the Ugly Sweater For Better campaign is probably the most fun you will ever have donating to St. Jude. It’s very quick, very easy and a ton of fun. Here are a quick three steps:
The first thing you do is you go to your closet and you find the whackiest, craziest sweater you have in there. If you don’t have one, we sell some at Kmart that are fun. You post a selfie in your favorite sweater and you post that to any of your social networks.
The second thing you do is you challenge your friends because it’s all about having a little fun with your friends. Whose sweater is going to be uglier? We want to make sure that it goes viral because every post is going to generate a dollar to St. Jude.
The third thing you do is you include a tag @Kmart, and a tag @StJude, but you include the hashtag #uglysweaterforbetter. Again, anytime anybody does that we’re going to donate a dollar to St. Jude to help amazing people like Courtney! She is our superstar for today and a patient at St. Jude.”
CRA: Can you tell us about St. Jude and how it makes a difference in the lives of children and families?
RCS: “St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital leads the way the world understands and defeats childhood cancer and other deadly diseases. It’s that special place located in Memphis, Tennessee where doctors literally across the United States (and increasingly the world) send some of their sickest patients because we offer the highest survival rates for childhood cancer and some of the more challenging deadly diseases that afflict kids today.
The really special thing about St. Jude is that no family will ever receive a bill from St. Jude – not for the cost of treatment, travel, housing or food because all we want are moms and dads to worry about is helping their child survive childhood cancer or another catastrophic disease.
Really what it comes down to is no mom or dad should ever have to make a healthcare decision based on how good their health insurance is, how much money is in their bank account. We want to do whatever it is going to take to get kids better regardless of their circumstances, that’s what this campaign is all about.
St. Jude relies upon public donations to be able to do that. 75% of the money necessary to operate St. Jude comes from the support of the public, our amazing partners like Kmart, and people participating in this hashtag #uglysweaterforbetter campaign. You are literally benefiting kids like Courtney who is one of our patients at St. Jude.”
CRA: Doesn’t it cost over a million dollars a day to run St. Jude?
RCS: “Oh, it’s more than that. It’s over $2.4 million per day to operate St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Again, 75% of the money necessary to operate St. Jude has to come from the general public.”
CRA: Courtney, you are such an inspiration. Can you tell us how St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital has effected your life?
Courtney: “I was diagnosed with SS sickle cell disease in utero. I immediately, after I was born became a patient of St. Jude, and I’ve been a patient my whole life. At first, I was so very ill…in and out of the hospital. But when I turned the age of three I went on a trial study that completely changed my way of life. I received such amazing care at St. Jude, so I’m able to be in a grade with people that are my own age. I’m able to go to school and hang out with friends. The best part about St. Jude is that it’s also very special! Where else in the world can you get ice cream at any hour? It’s such an amazing place. It’s able to operate and be the way it is because of amazing supporters and the great research done.”
CRA: How can those who don’t have social media give to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital on Giving Tuesday or any day of the year?
RCS: “Well, you can certainly go to our website: StJude.org. You can make a donation there. You can find out how you can participate in one of our events that take place across the country. Also, you can support our friends at Kmart.”
KC: There are three other ways that you can participate in our campaign this year for St. Jude. One of those is you can go to Kmart.com or go to any of our stores and buy the St. Jude bear ornament which is so awesome. It’s $5 and the proceeds go to St. Jude.
The second thing is you can buy one of these (please see video above for details or image below). This is a tote designed by a patient, D’Manuel at St. Jude. They’re $1.99 and the proceeds go to St. Jude as well. We’ve never done this before!
The third thing is you can simply go to the site or any of our stores and donate. One thing that’s really special to note, Candace is the most popular item purchase during the holiday season (the entire holiday season) at Kmart is a donation to St. Jude. It’s not just one person donating a million dollars, it’s millions and millions and millions of people donating one to two to five dollars. Their local communities are very important and they want to support and they have a servants heart mentality when it comes to helping others. That’s what it’s all about at the end of the day, helping somebody else.”
CRA: Do you have any additional information you’d like to share?
KC: “You can go to Kmart.com/StJude to hear more.”
RCS: Give back. You have healthy kids in your life? Give back to those that aren’t. That’s what this is all about.”
About Richard Shadyac Jr., President and CEO, ALSAC
ALSAC is the fundraising and awareness organization for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Richard’s father was one of the first members on the Board when the late entertainer Danny Thomas opened St. Jude in 1962. It will cost more than $1 billion to operate St. Jude this year and ALSAC is responsible for raising more than 75 percent of those funds. Today, St. Jude is the No. 1 health not-for-profit in the U.S. and one of the preferred companies in the U.S. where Millennials want to work.
Kelly Cook, Chief Marketing Officer at Kmart Corp.
As the Chief Marketing Officer for Kmart, Kelly is responsible for a variety of brand innovation, strategy and digital transformation initiatives including: revitalization, omni-channel member led transformation and experiences, integrated precision and digital media, creative, research, VOC, content, loyalty and Shop Your Way.
Interview Source: St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, a not-for-profit, section 501(c)(3). Candace Rose Anderson was not compensated by the sponsor for this interview.