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Mall of America raises $1.5 million for charity during the holidays

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MOA Community Foundations "Festival of Trees" took in $52,000.

World-famous shopping center Mall of America is touting the results of its charitable events from the past holiday season.

Throughout the season, the Bloomington, Minn. shopping center worked with numerous community organizations to host a variety of events and activations for guests, resulting in more than $1.5 million raised for local charities and more than 200,000 holiday toys collected.

“Giving back to the community we love is at the heart of what we do at Mall of America,” said Sara Durhman, director of community relations at Mall of America. “This holds especially true during the holiday season when we host numerous uplifting and touching events that raise funds to lend a helping hand to those who need it most. This is truly what the magic of the holiday season is all about.”

Mall of America’s 2023 holiday season charitable initiatives included the following:

KS95 for Kids “Clouds” Choir for a Cause + Radiothon

On Dec. 8, more than $1.1 million was raised for cancer research by radio station KS95, which hosted their 25th annual on-air fundraiser, the KS95 for Kids Radiothon. Later that same evening, thousands of guests filled the Huntington Bank Rotunda to celebrate the life and legacy of Zach Sobiech and 2023’s Clouds Choir Ambassador, Megan, for the 11th annual KS95 for Kids “Clouds” Choir for a Cause. The funds benefited Gillette Children’s and M Health Fairview Masonic Children’s Hospital, and the Zach Sobiech Osteosarcoma Fund through the Children’s Cancer Research Fund.

Festival of Trees

Nearly 41,000 visitors stopped by Mall of America’s Festival of Trees this season, which resulted in more than $52,000 raised for the MOA Community Foundation. This was a free walk-through “winter wonderland” experience showcasing more than 80 decorated trees. 

Various businesses and organizations throughout the Twin Cities and within Mall of America decorated their trees with décor, gifts and prizes. Guests were able to purchase raffle tickets for a chance to win items from their favorite trees, with each having a prize value ranging from $75 up to nearly $2,000. All proceeds from the raffle tickets benefited the MOA Community Foundation to support education for all throughout the state of Minnesota. 

Union Gospel Mission + Every Meal

The Union Gospel Mission Twin Cities and WCCO Radio held the 21st annual Hunger Mission radiothon with an all-day live broadcast from Mall of America. During this event, more than $370,000 was raised to help provide food, shelter, programs and services for people experiencing hunger, homelessness and addiction in the Twin Cities. Local non-profit organization Every Meal had an activation set up at Mall of America during the holiday season to collect donations while raising awareness about families facing food insecurities. Both events raised more than 140,000 meals.

Toys for Tots

This year, Mall of America was the Toys for Tots Twin Cities official headquarters and primary donation site. The U.S. Marine Toys for Tots program collected new and unwrapped toys, books, and educational materials for children across the metro area. During the 2023 holiday season, Toys for Tots collected more than 200,000 toys at Mall of America, and worked with various community partners to distribute these toys to more than 200 local organizations for kids to receive on Christmas Day.

Salvation Army Red Kettle Bell Ringers

Every year, Mall of America shoppers are greeted by the Salvation Army’s red kettles and volunteer bell ringers. This season, volunteers collected more than $21,000 at Mall of America entrances throughout the months of November and December, which helped provide food, shelter and care to local individuals and families in need.

Catholic Charities Giving Tree

Catholic Charities was back at Mall of America for another year of the Giving Tree with a weekend-long event. Guests selected from a variety of essential items on the Giving Tree wish list to shop for while doing the rest of their holiday shopping. The gifts could be dropped off at the Giving Tree event space in Macy’s Court. The event raised more than $11,000 worth in cash and in-kind donations for local families in need.

Community Events in Nickelodeon Universe

As part of Mall of America’s ongoing Beyond the Yellow Ribbon commitment, the shopping center brought back the beloved event Holiday for Heroes. Approximately 3,500 military family members were invited to enjoy a festive day at Nickelodeon Universe as a thank you for their service. Additionally, Nickelodeon Universe was a first-time host site for Winter Wonderland, an event organized by Be The Change MN. This holiday experience attracted more than 3,000 guests, including over 800 underserved children from three North Minneapolis schools, along with their families, teachers and school administrators. 

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