T.J. Maxx helps to create lasting change in children's lives by supporting nutritional, health, developmental and educational programs for youngsters in need. T.J. Maxx supports many organizations across the U.S. However, one of our most expansive charitable relationships is with Save the Children.
Today, one in five American children lives in poverty1, having to go without simple, yet critical necessities like healthy food, books, and safe places to play and exercise. For over 30 years we have partnered with Save the Children U.S. to help these children find a future outside of poverty, and in 2014, we were proud to have received the Save the Children's Corporate Champion for Children Award in recognition of our longstanding efforts. Through in-store fundraising, Associate fundraising, corporate sponsorships and volunteer leadership efforts, we're proud to help children in need get a successful start to life.
In addition, T.J. Maxx stores nationwide sell merchandise featuring children's artwork, with a portion of the proceeds going directly to Save the Children. To further expand on merchandise initiatives, T.J. Maxx stores hosted the “Maxx Kids Art Contest,” where children across the country submitted artwork for the chance to have it featured on future fundraising products.
Historically, our partnership with Save the Children has included sponsorship of children living in some of the poorest rural communities in the U.S. Our program began with sponsorship of 113 children in 1985 and, in 2015, reached over 1,000 children in poor communities. As our partnership grows, we continue to consider ways to evolve our program to have the biggest impact and deliver measurable outcomes for children. T.J. Maxx also supports organizations committed to care and research for prevalent health disorders affecting children, including diabetes and autism.
At Marshalls, our primary goal is to support the communities in which we do business through our commitment to organizations that support the health of families and children. For more than 25 years, Marshalls has been particularly committed to our partnership with JDRF (formerly Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation) to improve the lives of children and adults living with type 1 diabetes and to support JDRF's search for a cure for diabetes. Through in-store fundraising and awareness campaigns, fundraising walk teams nationwide and support of JDRF events, we're helping to fund exciting new research and support programs. We are proud to have been named an Elite Corporate Partner for the past 6 years, helping to fund breakthroughs that may one day eliminate this devastating disease.
Marshalls has also raised funds and awareness through an in-store fundraising program to benefit the Alzheimer's Association and its efforts to advance Alzheimer's-related care, provide support to families and continue research to help end Alzheimer's disease. In addition, through an in-store fundraising program, Marshalls supports St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in its mission to help cure childhood cancer.
At HomeGoods, we focus our charitable efforts in an area that impacts the lives of so many of our Associates and customers – helping families fight cancer. HomeGoods Associates throughout our organization have championed this mission for many years, and we take immense pride in actively directing our fundraising efforts toward this common goal. HomeGoods has proudly partnered with St. Jude Children's Research Hospital since 2010 and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute since 2001, both leading cancer research and treatment centers. Each year, various HomeGoods field and home office Associates travel to both organizations to learn more about their lifesaving work and to bring some “HomeGoods Happy” cheer to patients and their families. We participate in St. Jude's annual Thanks and Giving campaign, raising funds and awareness that support St. Jude's mission to advance cures for pediatric cancer. For several years, we have sold exclusively designed, holiday water globes, with a portion of the retail price from the sale of the globes being donated to St. Jude. During 2015, we invited representatives from St. Jude to visit our HomeGoods distribution centers to help raise even more awareness about their important work. We were honored to receive the St. Jude 2015 Partner of the Year award.
Likewise, in support of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, HomeGoods also holds an annual in-store fundraising campaign and sells reusable bags featuring artwork designed by a Jimmy Fund Clinic patient. At our home office, HomeGoods Associates held a wrapping party this year, providing toys for Dana-Farber's holiday party. In appreciation of our many years of fundraising support, we are honored that Dana-Farber recognized HomeGoods with a commemorative plaque and framed installation in the newly renovated and expanded Jimmy Fund Clinic in Boston, Massachusetts.
At Sierra Trading Post, we want the outdoors to be accessible to everyone, particularly low income children, and therefore, we focus our charitable giving at the local level, aligning ourselves with organizations that support our goal. As part of our recent store grand openings, we have made contributions to organizations like Vermont Adaptive Ski and Sports, whose mission is to instill confidence and independence in youth and adults with disabilities by participating in adaptive sports programs and activities, and to Let the Kids Play, whose mission is to provide beginner youth sports equipment and access to youth sports programs to qualified needy children. Given the size of our small store base, our charitable giving is provided directly from the Company, rather than derived from in-store fundraising. Additionally, we have a structured in-kind donation program whereby we donate some returned items that are in excellent condition to local community shelters. Some of our merchandise donations are sold in thrift shops to support community programs and others are given to families in need through charities that we support.
1 United States Census Bureau, 2014 Current Population Survey (CPS) Annual Social and Economic Supplement (ASEC)