The Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) has launched its 38th annual #MDAShamrocks campaign — the largest St. Patrick’s fundraiser in the U.S. — aiming to raise money and awareness about muscular dystrophy and related neuromuscular disorders.
During February and March, more than 20,000 retailers nationwide will invite their customers to purchase an MDA Shamrock pinup for $1, $5, or a larger contribution of their choice.
The MDA’s main priority is to help improve the lives of people affected by muscular dystrophy (MD), amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), and other neuromuscular disorders. To achieve this, the nonprofit has already invested more than $1 billion into research to accelerate the discovery of therapies and cures.
At present, the MDA is the largest source of funding for neuromuscular disease research outside of the federal government.
To continue this important work, funds raised through the MDA Shamrocks campaign will be invested in research and in the association’s network of over 150 care centers at leading medical institutions spread across the country.
“This is an unprecedented time of breakthroughs in neuromuscular disease research,” Lynn O’Connor Vos, president and CEO of the MDA, said in a press release. “Over the past five years, nine new treatments have been approved by the FDA and are available to help our community live longer and grow stronger.”
The monies raised in the annual fundraiser also will make it possible for more than 3,000 children, ages 8-17, to attend one of more than 50 MDA summer camps in the U.S. at no cost to their families. Summer camps are key to helping children and young adults with neuromuscular diseases to learn vital skills and gain independence, according to the MDA.
This year’s retail partners of the Shamrocks campaign include Albertsons Companies, Bojangles’, Burger King, CITGO and its marketers, Price Chopper, Shaw’s Supermarket and Star Market, KFC, CN Brown Energy, Applebee’s, and Fareway Stores.
To show support for the more than 250,000 people in the U.S. who have neuromuscular diseases, all MDA Shamrocks purchased by customers from these partners will be displayed in each location.
For those institutions without retail locations, like hospitals or corporate offices, a Green Day for MDA will be held on Friday, March 13. This way, companies and institutions can host fundraising events and wear green to show support and help raise awareness with a long-lasting impact.
The 2019 MDA Shamrocks campaign raised $7.8 million. This year, the MDA and its retail partners are hoping to increase this amount to $8 million.
“We are extremely grateful for the generosity of our retail partners and their loyal customers who go the extra mile for families in their communities to bring this all-important campaign to life,” O’Connor Vos said.
“Every MDA Shamrock that is purchased leads us one step closer to finding a cure for neuromuscular diseases,” she added.
To learn more about the campaign, find participating retail locations, or register for Green Day for MDA, visit mda.org/shamrocks. Individuals also can help raise funds by creating an MDA Shamrocks Facebook fundraiser.
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