PLANO, Texas. Jan. 13, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- JCPenney customers are helping to provide children in their communities with access to life-enriching afterschool programs after donating nearly $6.7 million through four JCPenney Afterschool "Round-Up" campaigns held in 2010. During each two-week fundraising event, shoppers were invited to round up their JCPenney purchases to the nearest whole dollar and donate the difference to JCPenney Afterschool with proceeds benefitting local afterschool programs in over 1,100 communities where JCPenney has a store.
"Due to its popularity, JCPenney expanded the Round-Up program last year and customers responded with their generosity and commitment to our nation's youth by increasing donations 40 percent over 2009," said Mike Theilmann, group executive vice president for JCPenney and chairman of the JCPenney Afterschool Fund. "This overwhelming support shows that when we all come together and donate a small amount in change, it can add up to make a big difference for local communities."
As the corporate leader in the afterschool cause, JCPenney works with the Boys & Girls Clubs, The Y, 4-H, United Way Worldwide and FIRST ® (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) to create positive learning environments during the afterschool hours by enhancing the resources available in every JCPenney community. Through its philanthropic mission in afterschool, JCPenney increases availability, improves affordability and promotes innovative afterschool programming so that every child has the opportunity to be smart, strong and socially responsible.
According to America After 3PM, a national survey commissioned by JCPenney and the Afterschool Alliance to explore how America's youth are spending their afternoons, reveals that one in four students in the U.S. is unsupervised between the hours of 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. each day. According to the study, each geographic locale presents its own unique barriers to accessing afterschool services. The data indicates that more than half of parents in rural communities struggle with availability of afterschool options, while parents in urban and suburban areas cite affordability as their major obstacle.
In addition to program support raised through Round-Up, JCPenney provides access grants that make it possible for thousands of children to participate in life-enriching afterschool services each year. By underwriting the cost of afterschool enrollment, JCPenney access grants offer assistance to families who are experiencing financial hardship and are unable to afford an afterschool program.
Through fundraising events such as Round-Up, JCPenney is helping communities meet the needs of working parents through support and resources that make participation in afterschool programs possible in big cities and small towns across America. JCPenney's commitment to the afterschool cause is a reflection of the Company's support of youth development and community involvement based on a social responsibility platform known as JCPcares.
JCPenney will host its next Round-Up fundraising event Apr. 13-26.
About JCPenney's Commitment to Afterschool
As a leading corporate advocate for the afterschool issue, JCPenney works with afterschool organizations to increase the accessibility and affordability of afterschool programs across the country. Through its legacy of supporting youth and charitable organizations such as the Boys & Girls Clubs of America, The Y, National 4-H, United Way and FIRST, JCPenney formalized its commitment to the afterschool issue by establishing the JCPenney Afterschool Fund, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Since its inception, more than $100 million has been distributed to afterschool programs across every JCPenney community thereby making it possible for more children to participate in life-enriching programs that inspire them to be smart, strong and socially responsible. For more information, visit www.jcpenneyafterschool.org. The full America After 3PM report is available at www.afterschoolalliance.org.