Best Buy customers and employees raise $18.2 million for St. Jude

Best Buy took donations to St. Jude during the holiday season once again.

Customers and employees at Best Buy helped raise more than $18 million for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in recent months – making the Minnesota company the largest campaign donor during the hospital's fundraising effort.

Through the holiday season, anyone could make a donation to St. Jude at the registers of every Best Buy store in the U.S. through the hospital's "Thanks and Giving" campaign. There's also a page on BestBuy,com to make donations.

At the end of it all, the campaign through Best Buy raised $18.2 million for St. Jude, finishing at the top of all campaign donors, they said in a news release. Every dollar donated went to fund St. Jude in its fight to treat childhood diseases such as cancer, while also ensuring patients' families don't have to pay for treatment or travel.

"We’re grateful for the generosity and passion of our customers and employees during the holiday season," Best Buy's chief human resources officer Paula Baker said.

Before the 2016-17 effort, Best Buy had raised a total of $21 million total over the three years prior. This campaign almost doubled that amount in one go, bringing the toward $40 million.

"We are deeply grateful to Best Buy, its dedicated employees and the customers who demonstrated a tremendous commitment to our lifesaving mission," said Richard Shadyac Jr., who is in charge of fundraising efforts for St. Jude.

The $18.2 million is enough to pay for 12,000 days of chemotherapy, or $3,600 days of intensive care, the news release says. It could also run the hospital for more than a week.

Best Buy employees actually traveled to Memphis recently to present the check to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, and held some tech activities for kids there.

That included VR "travel," making robots with Bristlebots, and using Makey-Makey to turn objects into a virtual keyboard or game controller.

St. Jude Children's Research Hospital was founded in 1962, and the organization says it has helped push the childhood cancer survival rate from under 20 percent, to up above 80 percent.

Best Buy also provides the iPads, computers, tablets, TVs and other tech that fills the St. Jude Teen Rooms, the hospital says.

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