JFC Pledges $3 Million to Charities

Jewelers for Children announced that $ 3.07 million was committed to the organization’s charity partners in the year ahead. The announcement came at the organization’s 10th annual Facets of Hope celebration held on June 1 in Las Vegas during JCK Las Vegas 2008.

JFC recognized Allen Brill, president and chief executive officer of Rolex Watch USA, Inc. and Peter Engel, president and chief executive officer of Fred Meyer Jewelers as honorees for the year.

The distributions will include $1 million to the National CASA association to continue funding the Champions for Abused Children program. JFC began a partnership with National CASA in 2002 and since that time has donated more than $ 5.3 million, which has helped to provide a CASA volunteer for 3,667 children in the foster care system in 336 communities across the country. JFC support has also been used to develop public service announcements for CASA that have resulted in more than 15,000 new volunteers being recruited.

Kiaya Combs with Michael Piraino, president and CEO of National CASA.

The National CASA Association, together with its state and local members, supports and promotes court-appointed volunteer advocacy for abused and neglected children so that they can thrive in safe, permanent homes.

In addition, $1 million was pledged to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital towards a $5 million, multi-year commitment to fund research into the immune system. During treatment for cancer, many children have compromised immune systems that can lead to further complications. The focus of this research is to find ways that a child’s immune system can be maintained during treatment to help in their fight against the deadly disease.

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is dedicated to finding cures and saving children. The commitment of the Jewelers for Children to St. Jude has helped the hospital continue its effort to provide state-of-the-art treatments for children with cancer and other catastrophic illnesses and to research life-saving breakthroughs that are freely shared with the medical community worldwide. Thus, one child saved at St. Jude means many more saved worldwide. JFC helps ensure this research will continue and that no child will ever be turned away from St. Jude because of a family’s inability to pay.

St. Jude patient Samantha Wallace at the 2008 Facets of Hope event.

JFC endowed the Bone Marrow Transplant Clinic at St. Jude in 1999, and since then almost 900 children have received bone marrow transplants. Also, JFC has funded the Stem Cell Transplantation Laboratory and a chair in the Genetics and Gene Therapy departments. JFC is currently working to fulfill a $5 million pledge to fund immune system research.

Since 1999, JFC has provided $ 6.5 million in support to St. Jude.

JFC also pledged $ 500,000 to the Make-A-Wish Foundation of America. The Make-A-Wish Foundation grants the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength, and joy. Born in 1980 when a group of caring volunteers helped a young boy fulfill his dream of becoming a police officer, the Foundation is now the largest wish-granting charity in the world, with 67 chapters in the United States and its territories. With the help of donors and more than 25,000 volunteers, the Make-A-Wish Foundation grants a wish every 41 minutes and has granted more than 153,000 wishes in the U.S. since inception. Since 1999, JFC and the jewelry industry have impacted the lives of over 1,000 children and their families in the United States by funding wishes through the Wish A State program. JFC’s support to the Foundation now totals $ 6.5 million.

Wish child Vava Cole and her father Marty in Paris fulfilling her wish.

The Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation will receive $335,000 to fund an International Leadership Award on the continent of Africa. The Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation seeks to prevent pediatric HIV infection and to eradicate pediatric AIDS through research, advocacy, and prevention and treatment programs. The Foundation is the worldwide leader in the fight against pediatric AIDS. Its innovative research programs, advocacy efforts, and rapidly expanding international prevention and treatment programs are bringing dramatic changes to the lives of children worldwide.

JFC’s support of the Elizabeth Glaser Scientist Award and the International Leadership Award program has allowed leaders in the field of pediatric HIV/AIDS research to bring hope to children and families worldwide. Since 1999, JFC has provided more than $ 6.7 million to the Foundation. In addition to the Scientist and International Leadership Awards, JFC has funded prevention of mother-to-child transmission programs the Democratic Republic of Congo and Angola, where combined, more than 200,000 HIV positive women have received pre-natal counseling and treatment to allow them to give birth to HIV negative babies.  JFC also funded 23 Elizabeth Glaser Research Fellowships for deserving clinicians and scientists.

Autism Speaks, the largest autism related non-profit healthcare agency in the U.S. for research, awareness, advocacy and family services will receive $100,000. JFC began supporting Autism Speaks in 2006 and this year’s contribution will bring total support to $150,000.

The Santa-America Fund will receive $ 35,000 for the second year in a row. Santa-America, founded in 2003, brings the highest quality Santas together across America to focus on their special mission: an unhurried visit by a loving, committed, trained, back-grounded Santa to families facing physical and emotional crisis. 

JFC also announced that $50,000 will be given to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, a new charity partner. The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation International is the world’s largest charitable funder and advocate of type 1 diabetes research. The mission of JDRF is to find a cure for diabetes and its complications through the support of research.

The total committed for 2008 is $ 3.07 million, which brings the total donated by JFC on behalf of the industry to more than $ 30.5 million since 1999.