jcpenny-afterschool.jpgShoppers at J. C. Penney helped provide hometown children with access to life-enriching afterschool programs by donating more than $840,000 to the most recent Afterschool Fund Round-up campaign. The retailer contributed $500,000 in matching funds bringing the total to more than $1.3 million for grants to afterschool programs in JCPenney markets.

During the 10-day April campaign, JCPenney customers had the opportunity to “round up” their purchases to the nearest whole dollar and donate the difference to the non-profit JCPenney Afterschool Fund.

One hundred percent of the donations collected at each store will be used to support afterschool programs in the store’s local community, providing customers an opportunity to help children and families in their own hometowns.

“I am inspired by the collective generosity of JCPenney customers,” said Mike Theilmann, chief human resources and administration officer for JCPenney and chairman of the JCPenney Afterschool Fund. “By donating just a little with each purchase, our customers are dramatically impacting the lives of children in their own communities by sponsoring them in quality afterschool programs that keep them safe and foster their academic, physical and social development.”

Combined with previous Round-up campaigns during the 2007 back-to-school and holiday seasons, customers have contributed $4.1 million to the JCPenney Afterschool Fund. During the 2007-2008 school year, the Fund has provided more than $14 million in grants to sponsor children in afterschool activities.

“Supporting afterschool initiatives is a prime example of how we have focused our efforts and resources to become a positive force for change in the communities where we do business,” said Jim Thomas, vice president and director of corporate social responsibility for JCPenney. 

The JCPenney Afterschool Fund is committed to ensuring that every child has access to a world of opportunities because studies show that the 14.3 million American kids who are unsupervised after school between the hours of 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. are at greater risk of involvement in crime, drug abuse and other destructive behaviors. To address this issue, JCPenney created the JCPenney Afterschool Fund in 2001. To date, JCPenney and the fund have contributed more than $70 million to support afterschool initiatives. Because JCPenney covers administrative costs of the Fund, 100 percent of the contributions raised from outside sources are donated directly to afterschool programs and initiatives.

Continued support for afterschool programs reflects JCPenney’s philosophy that “Every Day Matters” and represents a key component of JCPenney’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) strategy as outlined in “JCPenney C.A.R.E.S.,” the Company’s first CSR report that was released this month.

The 32-page report now available online at, summarizes the Company’s CSR strategy, goals and initiatives and focuses on how the Company is positively impacting the areas of Community, Associates, Responsible Sourcing, Environment and Sustainable Products:

  • Community – As a leader in youth development and community involvement, JCPenney is providing children in need with access to life-enriching afterschool programs through contributions to the JCPenney Afterschool Fund. Additionally, the Company and its 155,000 associates help communities through volunteer efforts and an annual Giving Together campaign that supports the Afterschool Fund and local United Way agencies.
  • Associates – JCPenney’s WINNING TOGETHER principles guide efforts to build a culture that values, develops and rewards each Associate and promotes the principles of integrity, performance, recognition, teamwork, quality, innovation and community. Ongoing communication and recognition through a variety of channels help to keep Associates informed and empowered, while benefits and services support a holistic view of Associates’ well-being and work-life balance.
  • Responsible Sourcing – JCPenney’s commitment to legal compliance and ethical business practices is reflected in broad-based supplier compliance programs, which reinforce the Company’s requirement that all suppliers comply with JCPenney standards and applicable laws, including those related to working conditions in our suppliers’ factories. The Company also maintains extensive processes, including product testing in its own laboratories, to help ensure the safety and quality of merchandise it sells and is working to reduce environmental impacts across the supply chain.
  • Environment – Company efforts to reduce energy use and invest in more efficient systems supportEnergy Management in 2007 and 2008. Reducing and recycling materials also helps to minimize JCPenney’s environmental footprint. both business and environmental goals. The U.S. government’s Energy Star program has recognized JCPenney’s efforts with an Energy Star Partner of the Year award for Energy Management in 2007 and 2008. Reducing and recycling materials also helps to minimize JCPenney’s environmental footprint.
  • Sustainable Products – Working with renowned environmental lifestyle expert Danny Seo, JCPenney has launched Simply Green(TM), an exclusive-to-JCPenney designation that assists customers in making environmentally conscious purchases. A wide range of JCPenney private-brand merchandise now bears the Simply Green mark to denote items made with organic, renewable or recycled materials that lessen the impact on the environment. The Simply Green designation recently was extended to include selected national-brand and exclusive-brand products sold at JCPenney. In addition, the report highlights efforts to reduce product packaging and incorporate recycled materials into packaging.

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