Best Buy customers and employees who chipped in at the cash register this past holiday season raised $18.2 million for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital — propelling the electronics retailer to the top of St. Jude’s “Thanks and Giving” campaign donor list.
The money raised is enough to pay for 12,000 days of chemotherapy or 3,600 days of intensive care costs at the Memphis hospital and its affiliate clinics, which treat children with cancer and other catastrophic illnesses regardless of ability to pay. The hospital bills insurance companies when possible, but not families.
Best Buy has raised nearly $40 million since it began participating in St. Jude’s holiday campaign in 2013.
“Funds raised as a result of Best Buy’s commitment ... ensure no family ever receives a bill from St. Jude for anything — not for treatment, travel, housing or food, because all a family should worry about is helping their child live,” said Marlo Thomas, national outreach director for St. Jude, in a written statement.
Best Buy staffers visited St. Jude earlier this month, with the Geek Squad bringing some playful technology gadgets for the young patients.
St. Jude leaders on Wednesday will visit Best Buy’s Richfield headquarters, where the company theater is being renamed to honor the hospital.
Actor Danny Thomas started the hospital in 1962. Treatments developed at St. Jude have helped raise the overall childhood cancer survival rate from 20 to 80 percent since the hospital opened, according to a news release.