WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. — For nearly 30 years, Kmart has been helping to improve the health of babies in partnership with the March of Dimes and, in 2012, the retailer raised $8 million to benefit the organization, bringing Kmart’s total contribution throughout the partnership to $106 million.
Kmart, which is a subsidiary of Sears Holdings, has made working on behalf of the health and wellness of children a company-wide effort involving management, associates and customers throughout all the company's in-store activities and events.
As the March of Dimes' longest-standing corporate supporter, Kmart has participated in programs that have helped the nation achieve a 6% decline in the premature birth rate from 2006 to 2010, helping to spare thousands of babies from prematurity and its consequences. However, it is estimated that about half a million babies are born prematurely each year, proving that there still is much work to be done.
Earlier this year, the March of Dimes recognized Kmart for its dedication and for reaching the $100 million fundraising milestone by creating a $1 million grant in the company's name to support transdisciplinary research into premature birth. The grant will fund studies by scientists from many different fields working together to investigate promising areas, including maternal genetic biomarkers, placental function and genetics, and the patterns of preterm births in the Unites States, among others.
For the 20th consecutive year, Kmart also was a national sponsor of the annual March for Babies, which took place in nearly 750 communities across the country this spring.