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SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. -- Stewart's Shops celebrated this holiday season in record fashion. The company’s 25th annual Stewart's Shops' Holiday Match program concluded with a record dollar amount raised -- a total $1.4 million will be contributed to local children's charities.
According to a message on the company's website, Stewart's customers contributed $700,000 and Stewart's Shops is matching that amount. The money will be distributed to charitable organizations in the spring.
"It is impressive that people, in these difficult economic times, have been so generous over the past month," said Susan Dake, Stewart's Foundation president. "One of the regions with dramatic growth was the Schoharie/Middleburgh area. We believe that because of the many hardships brought on by Hurricane Irene, those residents know more than most the value of helping each other."
Customers had the opportunity to contribute to the Holiday Match program at the 328 Stewart's Shops in upstate New York and western Vermont from Thanksgiving Day through Christmas Day. The money raised benefits children's organizations directly within the communities where the stores are located. There are no administrative costs and 100 percent of the funds collected and matched benefit the communities, the company noted.
After this year's funds are distributed, more than $16 million will have been allocated since the program's inception in 1986.
The $700,000 that Stewart's is matching is 31 percent of the $2.25-million donations budget for Stewart's Shops in 2012.
"With the need growing each year and fewer companies able to supply funding for organizations, our $2.25 million will assist thousands of local organizations in 2012. It is the right thing to do and fits our company theme that “We Are Closer To You," Dake added.