Stewart’s holiday match program generates $1.3 million for charities

— The 26th annual Stewart’s Shops Holiday Match program has once again topped the $ 1 million mark in contributions for local children’s charities.

The company announced that Stewart’s customers donated $672,000. Stewart’s Shops is matching that amount, with a total of $1,344,000 to be distributed in March.

“These are difficult times for many families and despite the economic challenges we are always impressed with the generosity of our customers,” said Susan Dake, Stewart’s Foundation president.

The Holiday Match program is based on customers making contributions in the 324 Stewart’s Shops, located in upstate New York and western Vermont, from Thanksgiving Day through Christmas Day. Stewart’s then matches all individual customer donations. The money raised benefits children's organizations directly within the communities where Stewart’s Shops are located.

There are no administrative costs and 100 percent of the funds collected and matched benefit the communities. After this year’s funds are distributed, over $17 million will have been allocated since the program’s inception in 1986.

The $672,000 that Stewart's is matching is about 30 percent of the $2,250,000 donations budget for Stewart’s Shops in 2013.

Children’s charities can still apply for funding from the Holiday Match Program. Applications are available in all Stewart’s Shops or online at www.stewartsshops.com. Applications must be submitted or postmarked by Jan. 31 to be considered for funding. Visit www.stewartsshops.com for further information on the program.

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