HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill., March 1, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- For the 28th year, Kmart is collaborating with the March of Dimes® to raise funds to help improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth and infant mortality. These combined efforts and more have lead to a three percent decline in the premature birth rate, yet more than 1,400 babies are born prematurely every day(i), proving that there is still much work to be done. In its continued support, Kmart encourages its customers and associates to once again join March of Dimes in its efforts to lower premature births and provide one better start at a time.
"Kmart's ongoing dedication and support of March of Dimes has not only increased awareness of the rate of infant fatality, but it has also directly helped to improve infant survival in the U.S.," said Dr. Jennifer L. Howse, president of the March of Dimes. "It is because of Kmart customers' and associates' commitment and enthusiasm that we have been able to improve health and wellness initiatives for mothers and babies around the nation."
As the longest-standing corporate supporter of and largest contributor to the March of Dimes, Kmart is proud to have raised $90 million over the last 27 years on behalf of the organization. In 2010, Kmart associates raised over $10.5 million through donations from customers, family and friends to benefit the lives of millions of babies that are born in the U.S. each year.
"Our commitment to the March of Dimes has become increasingly special to us as the years pass," said Deidra Merriwether, SVP Retail Services. "Premature births are far too common in the U.S. and affect countless lives, including many Kmart customers and associates. Giving back to our customers is one of our greatest obligations at Kmart, and knowing that, in turn, we are helping to give a baby a better start is a tremendous feeling."
This year, Kmart looks forward to setting a new fundraising record and helping more families than ever. Kmart customers can contribute to the annual March of Dimes campaign by making a donation at any Kmart store from now until May 28, 2011.
This year also marks the retailer's 19th year as a national sponsor for the March for Babies®, one of the nation's oldest, most successful and most imitated charitable walking event. The annual March for Babies walk will take place this spring in more than 900 communities across the nation. Support for March for Babies is part of Kmart for Kids(SM), the umbrella program for Kmart's philanthropic initiatives, which focuses on improving children's health and wellness.
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 include Jaclyn Smith, Joe Boxer, County Living and Route 66. For more information, visit the company's website at www.kmart.com or the Sears Holdings Corporation website at www.searsholdings.com.
About March of Dimes
The March of Dimes is the leading nonprofit organization for pregnancy and baby health. With chapters nationwide and its premier event, March for Babies, the March of Dimes works to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth and infant mortality. The walk starts here at marchforbabies.org. For the latest resources and information, visit marchofdimes.com or nacersano.org.
(i) According to March of Dimes