Stewart's and customers helping local children

SARATOGA SPRINGS - Stewart's Shoppes throughout the region are teaming up with their customers to benefit a variety of children's charities.

From now until Jan. 31, Stewart's Shoppes will match all donations from customers, effectively doubling the benefit to children in need. During this time, Stewart's Shoppes will match individual donations made in the Stewart's 326 stores.

Since 1986, Stewart's customers, along with matching contributions from Stewart's, have raised $11 million benefiting thousands of local children's organizations.

All funds raised go to charity; no administrative costs are deducted. Last holiday season the Holiday Match total was $1.2 million, Stewart's Foundation President Susan Dake said.

"Our customers have a long history of remarkable generosity," Dake said. "because of the tight economy, there will be more requests than ever, and I believe our customers will try to raise a record amount to meet the need."

The purpose of Holiday Match is to encourage individual giving and broaden the base of support for local charities, she said.

Stewart's Holiday Match is a charitable foundation; all donations are tax-deductible. Stewart's welcomes accepts donations from groups or businesses, but only matches individual donations.

The Foundation is now seeking applications from local children's charities, and representatives of such groups can pick up an application throughout the holidays at any Stewart's store. the deadline for submission is January 31, 2009. All groups applying must be locally based, benefit children under 18, and be a qualified, charitable 501c3 organization. A brochure will be available throughout the holidays at Stewart's Shops which lists all 1,154 children's organizations in their 30 county area that received funds last season.

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