The Muscular Dystrophy Association today announced that, with 92% of some 10,000 retail locations reporting, its 2010 Shamrocks Against Dystrophy fundraiser is the most successful in the event’s 27 year history.
As of today, the grass-roots initiative with a St. Patrick’s Day theme, has raised more than $20 million to advance MDA’s lifesaving mission. More Shamrocks contributions are expected by the end of the month.
“Record numbers of people are sharing the luck of the Irish by purchasing and signing Shamrocks at their favorite restaurants, grocery and convenience stores,” said Maureen McGovern, national chairperson for the Shamrocks Against Dystrophy campaign. “Despite the difficult economy, millions of Americans are helping families affected by muscle diseases by celebrating St. Patrick’s Day in a most meaningful way.”
Since mid-February, thousands of retail locations, including Valero and Safeway, have been making their walls and windows green and gold with festive paper Shamrock mobiles bearing the names of generous customers having contributed $1 or $5 to help MDA speed research seeking treatments and cures for neuromuscular diseases affecting more than 1 million Americans.
The mobiles have literally transformed the shopping experience at many retail locations, as employees and customers have been energized by seeing so much goodwill being prominently displayed in stores and restaurants.
The nation’s first and most popular mobile giving program, Shamrocks Against Dystrophy owes its success to tens of thousands of cashiers, store associates, waiters and waitresses, who daily ask hundreds of thousands of customers if they’d like to buy a Shamrock to help “Jerry’s kids.”
“It’s absolutely amazing to see how the gentle ask to buy a Shamrock helps nurture an even closer bond between the employee and customers,” said Gerald Weinberg, MDA president and CEO. “Shamrocks are about having fun while helping families in need. And, the amazing in-store Shamrocks displays, with the names of so many caring people present, quietly challenge every customer to make a difference. Shamrocks are infectious.”
The 2010 national Shamrocks campaign, which concludes at the end of March, is the nation’s first fundraising effort to recognize donors texting contributions by cell phone with an electronic badge of honor.
“There are more than 250 million cell phone subscribers in the U.S.,” added Weinberg. “So it’s really great that people can make a difference by simply texting ‘Irish’ to 20222. Wherever you are, whenever it’s convenient, you can text ‘IRISH’ to 20222 to make a $5 contribution to MDA. It’s an easy way to show your Irish spirit. Plus, you’ll immediately receive a link to special Shamrocks wallpaper to dress up your cell phone.”
MDA is the nonprofit health agency dedicated to curing muscular dystrophy, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and related diseases by funding worldwide research. The Association also provides comprehensive health care and support services, advocacy and education. MDA was the first nonprofit organization to be recognized with a Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Medical Association “for significant and lasting contributions to the health and welfare of humanity.”
SOURCE: Muscular Dystrophy Association