Town Talk Features

Retail Therapy

The holiday gift rush may look a bit different this fall, but the popular Glennon Card discount shopping program is back as always to help St. Louisans show some love for children in need. Proceeds from card sales support key health initiatives for patients at SSM Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital, and guidelines are in place to ensure safe and enjoyable buying and dining experiences for everyone.

This year’s Glennon Card shopping period runs until Oct. 25. With the purchase of a $60 paper or digital card, shoppers get 20% savings at more than 250 stores, restaurants and service providers. All sales of the card support important care for kids, and participating businesses enjoy a boost to their bottom lines, says Brigette McMillin, president of the Glennon Guild women’s auxiliary that presents the program.

She says staff and volunteers have been hard at work adapting this year’s initiative to meet COVID-19 guidelines. “Fortunately, we rolled out our new digital card last year, so we had a chance to refine the system before the pandemic began,” she notes. “The digital version works well in this situation because it is contact-free, and all of the benefits you get from buying a paper card are available through your smartphone. It’s also very easy to locate participating businesses and plan your shopping.”

McMillin says many participating stores and restaurants have reopened for business, and they are observing safe practices. But if you’re not ready for in-person visits, don’t worry; you also can use your card for online purchases. “We’ve been doing this program for 10 years, and we have developed great relationships with our local retailers and service providers,” McMillin says. “It’s heartbreaking to see businesses struggle in difficult times, so we are more committed than ever to partnering with them. We have been encouraged by the fact that despite the challenges 2020 has presented, we still have more than 250 participating companies, and about 30 of them are new to the program this year.”

According to McMillin, the Glennon Card initiative is always looking to expand the types of businesses that can participate. Plastic surgery practices and executive coaching firms recently joined the fold, and the entertainment facilities at St. Louis Union Station are new as well. “We wanted people to be able to use the card for discounts on a fun date night or relaxing spa visit,” McMillin says. “My hope is that everyone will make the best of the situation and support our local businesses. If you’re in need of some positive interaction this week, grab your face mask, visit our participating store owners and look for the renewed spark in their eyes. They are very excited about serving Glennon Card shoppers this month.”

She adds that many stores come up with creative ideas to bring in even more funds for the program. Clothing shops have arranged special trunk shows, some jewelry and accessory retailers have given an extra percentage of their profits, and others have held Facebook events or pre-sale celebrations that allow card users to shop a day early. At Plaza Frontenac and the Saint Louis Galleria, shoppers registered for gift card drawings at special kiosks, and a young Cardinal Glennon patient got the chance to design a jewelry set and have the proceeds benefit the fundraising effort.

“We refer to the Glennon Card program as a win-win-win situation,” McMillin says. “Kids, businesses and the local economy all benefit. The Glennon Guild is so grateful to all those who take part—sponsors, participating businesses, volunteers and everyone who purchases a card. Their generosity allows every penny of card sales to go toward patient needs, and their efforts are even more meaningful this year.”

glennon card facts

  • 83%of surveyed card users spend $250 or more at participating stores and restaurants.53% report buying from businesses they’ve never patronized before.
  • The program has provided funding for important initiatives like telemedicine, palliative care, transport team equipment and ultrasound technology.
  • To purchase a paper or digital Glennon Card and search for participating businesses, visit Cards also are available at some participating stores.

Pictured at top: Glennon Guild members
Photo courtesy of SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital