Newbury Comics Promotes Philanthropy in Lieu of Holiday Profit

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In this era of holiday commercialization and corporate gluttony, it's refreshing to see that some companies embrace the true holiday spirit. One example is Newbury Comics who -- during it busiest season -- is helping local charity, Labels Are For Jars raise money to feed the hungry.

While most retail corporations focus on profits during the holiday season, local pop-culture beacon Newbury Comics will sell some products for zero profit. The chain will give up prime retail space in an effort to help Labels Are For Jars (LAFJ) raise funds to build the Cor Unum Meal Center in Lawrence, MA. Labels’ thought-provoking T-shirts are available exclusively throughout Newbury Comics retail locations as part of the LAFJ Holiday Gift Campaign -- which encourages thoughtful giving. The shirts retail for $20 and 100% of the proceeds help feed the hungry.

"Labels Are for Jars has re-introduced to my kids the value of giving," explains Newbury Comics CEO Mike Dreese. "My 9 year old daughter and I -- rather than overindulging each other with an extra package under the tree -- are putting that money in a jar to help feed the hungry kids in Lawrence. Her jar is almost full!"

The shirts -- which feature labels like “addict”, “geek”, and “slacker” -- are designed by a team that includes comedian Conan O’Brien, Pittsburg Pirates first baseman Sean Casey, and Mike Toth, founder of the agency that made famous the Tommy Hilfiger and Keds brands. The shirts are sold in plastic mason jars, in which buyers collect money to help build the Cor Unum Meal Center in Lawrence. In just over a year, LAFJ has raised over $500,000 to help build Cor Unum.

“The amazing generosity of Newbury Comics will help us reach the people who have a unique power to affect change in our society -- teenagers, college students, and young adults,” explains Father Paul B. O’Brien, LAFJ chair. “We’ve found that young people, when given the opportunity, jump at the chance to help the neediest people in this country.”

When you buy a Labels shirt, you directly change the world for hungry people. When you give a Labels shirt as a gift, you offer the person you love the opportunity and challenge to change the world.

Cor Unum will have the capacity to feed 250 people, three hot meals a day, seven days a week in Lawrence, where one out of five families lives below the poverty line and three out of four children are at risk of hunger. Without having enough to eat, children are unable to learn in school. Families are unable to break cycles of tension and violence. Funds raised through the Labels Are For Jars Holiday Gift Campaign will help open the doors of the meal center, which is scheduled for completion of construction in July 2006.

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About Labels Are For Jars

The shirt is packaged in a clear plastic jar with a coin slot cut into the screw top. Buyers are encouraged to use the jar at home, school, or work to collect as much money as they can, and send those donations to LAFJ. The average jar return is over $100 and every cent goes toward the Cor Unum Meal Center. The shirts are sold on the web ( and through direct sales groups in local communities called street teams. Street teams are primarily groups of high school and college students.

About Newbury Comics

Newbury Comics is an independently-owned retailer specializing in music, movies and pop culture goods. With more than 25 years of alternative retailing experience the chain includes twenty-four New England based store locations. Owned and operated by its original founders, Newbury Comics is run with a consistent guiding force that has always championed new ideas, experimentation, and alternative vision over monolithic corporate structure.


Tracy E. Murphy    

(617) 501.3431

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