The must-have tween accessory of 2010—the collectible rubber bracelet helped Chili's® Grill & Bar raise $5.6 million for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital® this year. $1 from each $3, five-pack of chili pepper-shaped wrist bands sold benefited Chili's annual fundraiser to St. Jude, the nation's top ranked children's cancer hospital. The wrist bands proved so popular that they sold out in restaurants nationwide in less than 30 days.
The wrist bands were just one of four new ways Chili's engaged guests during the brand's seventh annual Create-A-Pepper to Fight Childhood Cancer campaign. Several new digital components also played a large role in fundraising efforts this year. Between the inaugural mobile donation initiative (text HOPE to 90999), $1 donations made for each new Chili's e-club members sign up and digital peppers created online, guests were offered a variety of interactive ways to support St. Jude and the care the hospital provides to children with cancer and other catastrophic diseases. The campaign culminated on Sept. 27 when participating Chili's restaurants nationwide donated 100 percent of the day's profits to the campaign.
"Through the Create-A-Pepper campaign, Chili's continues to come up with new and innovative ideas for their team members and guests to support the lifesaving research and treatment being done at St. Jude," said Richard C. Shadyac Jr., chief executive officer of ALSAC, the fundraising organization of St. Jude. "The chili pepper-shaped wrist bands provide a way for children to help other children, which is truly an inspiring concept. On behalf of the entire St. Jude family, I'd like to say thank you to Chili's, their team members and guests."
Key highlights of the 2010 Create-A-Pepper campaign include:
- 489,285 chili pepper wrist bands sold
- 149,000 new E-mail club sign up members
- 11,636 peppers created and shared online
"Engaging guests in the ways most meaningful to them and simplifying their ability to contribute and spread the word about St. Jude proved to be key drivers in this year's success," said Wyman Roberts, president of Chili's Grill & Bar. "I credit our team members across the country for serving as ambassadors of this campaign by fostering that engagement with our guests."