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Cause Marketing from Kathy Ireland

Kathy Ireland is raising money for Jewelers For Children through the sales of her eponymous jewelry line at Fred Meyer Jewelers, and I want to help this ageless paramour from my youth.

If only I knew what Jewelers for Children was.

Ronald McDonald House Charities helps support Ronald McDonald Houses, which are homes away from homes for families who have children in hospitals. The Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption helps enable adoptions. Target does a lot of work with St. Jude, which is a children’s research hospital in Memphis. J.C. Penney supports after-school programs at 4-H and Boys and Girls Clubs of America. Home Depot and Lowes help Habitat for Humanity, which builds houses for people who need them.

But Jewelers for Children I had to look up.

It turns out to be a charity of the jewelry industry. Since its founding in 1999, it has donated more than $37 million to children’s charities, four of which… St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation, Make-A-Wish Foundation of America, and National CASA Association… have each received more than $6 million. By any reckoning, Jewelers for Children has raised and donated real money.

Definitionally, Jewelers for Children is a kind of federated fund not so different than United Way or the United Jewish Communities, only with an emphasis on children’s causes. That’s a smart approach. But by itself Jewelers for Children doesn’t say enough to really help Kathy Ireland move her jewelry.

Jewelers for Children has a tagline: ‘A Gift of Love for Children in Need.” That gives the charity’s board plenty of latitude when it comes to grant-making each year. But it doesn’t give you or I much reason to prefer Kathy Ireland’s line over that of another jeweler with similar offerings.

What Jewelers for Children needs is a tagline that helps narrow down what it means by ‘children.’ Are they ill children, distressed children, homeless children, children in the developing world, children who need to learn how to read, hungry children, etc.

Failing that, Fred Meyer and the lovely Miss Ireland need to include a whole sentence or two that describes the approach Jewelers for Children takes to helping our youngest citizens.

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