Now through March 17, businesses across the nation will display their support for the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) through one of the organization’s largest and longest-running fundraising efforts, Shamrocks Against Dystrophy. Now in its 26th year, the Shamrocks program has raised $191 million to support MDA programs of worldwide research, life-enhancing services and public education for individuals with muscular dystrophy and related muscle wasting disorders.
Although a nationwide effort, all dollars from MDA’s Shamrocks initiative stay in the local communities in which they are raised. Funds are applied to various areas of focus, including research for treatments and cures, support group sessions, clinic fees, MDA summer camp, and mobility and communication devices. MDA seeks no fees from whom it serves, and 78.4 cents of every dollar are dedicated to the association’s programs.
Since its inception, the Shamrocks program has raised millions of dollars through the growing participation of more than 43,000 individual businesses nationwide. Companies of all sizes and industries collect one and five dollar donations from their patrons, in exchange for signed green and gold shamrocks. The shamrocks then adorn the ceilings, walls, and windows of supermarkets, convenience stores, restaurants and a variety of other businesses to demonstrate community support of MDA. Of the thousands of businesses, 1,600 chains participate in Shamrocks, including long-standing project partners, such as Burger King, Albertsons, Valero, and Lowe’s, while large restaurant chain Denny’s is new to the effort this year.