Hy-Vee, Inc., in partnership with Pinky Swear Foundation, a national charitable organization that supports children with cancer and their families, announced Tuesday that its register roundup event raised more than $219,000 across Hy-Vee’s more than 285 stores.
The annual Hy-Vee Pinky Swear Register Roundup took place from Nov. 29-Dec. 12 to give customers the opportunity to donate at checkout by rounding up their purchase to the nearest dollar or donate another amount. The money raised ($219,497.45) will provide assistance for basic needs and experiences that create emotional support to impacted families. This assistance includes non-medical expenses like mortgage and rent, transportation, utilities, gas cards and food.
“Our annual round-up campaign for Pinky Swear Foundation this year was a true success, raising more money for the organization than ever before,” Tina Potthoff, Hy-Vee senior vice president of communications, said in a Tuesday release. “We know the holiday season can be especially difficult for children facing cancer and their loved ones. Because of our amazing customers and their willingness to give, this donation amount will make an incredible impact and financially assist countless families who are affected by cancer.”
“We are so humbled by and grateful for the generosity of Hy-Vee and their customers,” said Erica Campbell, Pinky Swear Foundation executive director. “This crucial work – to help kids with cancer and their families with financial and emotional support – is only possible because of passionate partners like Hy-Vee. On behalf of the Pinky Swear Foundation team and the thousands of ‘All-Star’ families supported, we want to thank Hy-Vee and its customers!”
During its six-year partnership with Pinky Swear Foundation, Hy-Vee has helped host and sponsor a variety of store and community fundraising events, which have raised more than $3.3 million to benefit children with cancer and their families.
In December 2002, nine-year-old Mitch Chepokas, terminally ill with bone cancer, withdrew the entire $6,000 from his savings account and put it in envelopes for the kids on the pediatric oncology floor at the hospital, according to pinkyswear.org.
After giving away all of his money, Mitch made a pinky swear promise with his dad to always help children with cancer and their families after he was gone. Mitch passed away on April 11, 2003, and shortly afterwards, the Pinky Swear Foundation (based in Minnesota) was established by Mitch’s parents, to honor the Pinky Swear Mitch made with his dad.
To date, over $17 million has been raised to support brave kids battling cancer.