NEW YORK, March 3, 2009 — AOL announced today that its customers helped save the lives of children by generously donating to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital(R) through its fifth-annual Thanks and Giving(R) campaign. AOL, whose users doubled the amount of money they donated year over year, mounted an extensive promotional campaign across its network of sites, generating more than 467 million media, editorial and promotional impressions during the Thanks and Giving campaign, a national awareness and fundraising initiative for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital that runs throughout the holiday season. AOL contributed a total of $1.5 million to St. Jude in donations from AOL users, AOL employees, company matching grants, as well as in-kind promotions and ads on the AOL network.
Among AOL's efforts:
-- A new website, Nice One! Stories of Thanks and Giving, that provided a platform for heartwarming stories about human kindness, stories about St. Jude patients, and ways to support the hospital. In its first month, the site generated more than 1.6 million page views.
-- Cross-promotions on a variety of popular AOL MediaGlow sites, including: Moviefone, AOL Music, AOL Television, AOL Games, AOL Sports, AOL Holiday, AOL Living, and WalletPop.
-- A St. Jude rich media takeover of the AOL homepage on Dec. 25.
-- St. Jude banner ads across the AOL network and on AOL Mail.
-- A special St. Jude AIM Buddy icon.
-- An interactive profile for St. Jude on AOL's social media network Bebo.
"Although we are in a recession, St. Jude could still count on AOL and its users to support the Thanks and Giving campaign," said Marlo Thomas, National Outreach Director, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. "Since no child is ever turned away for a family's inability to pay at St. Jude, AOL's support was needed this year more than ever and contributed to the success of Thanks and Giving."
"We are delighted to support this amazing hospital. I'm proud of the many contributions from AOL employees across the company, whose creativity and energy brought our Thanks and Giving campaign to life. I'm proud, too, of the visitors to our sites, who doubled the amount donated to St. Jude compared with last year," said Randy Falco, Chairman and CEO of AOL.
"These results are a testament to how much we can do to support a worthy cause by leveraging both our network of popular websites and the generosity of our community of users."
In addition, AOL mounted a comprehensive internal campaign to encourage donations from its employees, including a special movie screening night, a Halloween "Scare Away Cancer" promotion, automatic payroll deductions, and more. The effort resulted in a 40% increase in employee donations to St. Jude, compared with the previous year. This is the second year that AOL has participated in the Thanks and Giving campaign. Support of St. Jude Children's Research Hospital is a key part of AOL's ongoing commitment to serving the community and enhancing children's safety and health.
The St. Jude Thanks and Giving national campaign is an unprecedented union of celebrities, media, retail and corporate partners that asks consumers to "Give thanks for the healthy kids in your life, and give to those who are not." The Thanks and Giving initiative was created in 2004 by Marlo Thomas and her siblings Terre and Tony Thomas, children of St. Jude founder Danny Thomas. Funds raised by the campaign support the lifesaving work of St. Jude - to find cures for children with cancer and other catastrophic diseases through research and treatment. St. Jude impacts the lives of children in communities across the country.
AOL is a global Web services company that operates some of the most popular Web destinations, offers a comprehensive suite of free software and services, runs one of the largest Internet access businesses in the U.S., and provides a full set of advertising solutions. A majority-owned subsidiary of Time Warner Inc., AOL LLC and its subsidiaries have operations in the U.S., Europe, Canada and Asia. Learn more at AOL.com.
About St. Jude Children's Research Hospital:
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital is internationally recognized for its pioneering work in finding cures and saving children with cancer and other catastrophic diseases. St. Jude is the first and only pediatric cancer center to be designated as a Comprehensive Cancer Center by the National Cancer Institute. Founded by late entertainer Danny Thomas and based in Memphis, Tenn., St. Jude freely shares its discoveries with scientific and medical communities around the world. St. Jude is the only pediatric cancer research center where families never pay for treatment not covered by insurance. No child is ever denied treatment because of the family's inability to pay. St. Jude is financially supported by ALSAC, its fundraising organization. For more information, please visit www.stjude.org.