For Every Pack of Kids’ Underwear and Socks Sold, Retailer will Donate a Pack to the YMCA
PLANO, Texas – (July 27, 2017) – This back-to-school season, JCPenney is inviting customers to “pair up” by participating in a special buy one, give one promotion that will provide kids in-need with basic undergarments. From Aug. 1-15, for every pack of kids’ socks and underwear sold at JCPenney, the retailer will donate a pack to the Y, up to 750,000 pairs. The retailer’s Pair Up with JCPenney campaign is in response to findings from a national study commissioned by JCPenney, America’s Youth: The Need for Basic Necessities, which sheds a light on an invisible need: many underserved kids across the country are going without basic clothing essentials, which can impact their academic achievement.
“Today, many children go to school without basic clothing needs like socks and underwear. When kids don’t have these items, they often feel insecure, embarrassed and don’t want to fully engage in school activities,” said Marci Grebstein, chief marketing officer for JCPenney. “As one of the largest apparel companies in the country, we knew we could begin to make a difference by addressing this pressing need. When our customers purchase a pack of kids’ socks or underwear this back-to-school season, they will be joining us in making a difference to ensure more kids have what they need to succeed this school year.”
Earlier this year, JCPenney commissioned a study that included a survey of parents of school-aged children, along with one-on-one interviews with key organizations and thought leaders to obtain in-depth, anecdotal knowledge and key insights about the need for basic clothing items. Key findings from the America’s Youth: The Need for Basic Necessities national study* found:
- 40 percent of low income parents worry about their child having enough socks and underwear.
- Of the parents that reported sending their children to school without socks or underwear, 51 percent shared they did so because they could not afford to provide their child with enough pairs of socks or underwear to make it through the week.
- 55 percent of parents whose children did not have underwear and socks to wear said their children wanted to skip school or refused to go to school because they were embarrassed by not having any.
- Nearly half of parents living in poverty say socks (48 percent) and underwear (46 percent) are among the hardest items to find at second hand stores and garage sales, and are not usually an item handed down from friends and family.
- Around half of parents shared that their children need new socks (55 percent) and underwear (48 percent) every couple of months.
- The Pair Up with JCPenney initiative builds on the retailer’s signature charity partnership with the Y. Through its collaboration with the Y, JCPenney intends to strengthen the communities where its customers and associates live, work and shop by supporting the Y’s work in helping kids, families and communities reach their full potential. To help ensure kids have what they need to succeed, The
- JCPenney Foundation made a $1 million contribution to the Y earlier this year in support of the organization’s national early childhood, afterschool and preschool programs.
“As a leading nonprofit, the Y is dedicated to nurturing the growth of every child and teen, including the nine million who participate in Y programs. We’ve seen first-hand how the lack of basic essentials—from healthy foods and school supplies to socks and underwear— can affect their ability to focus and learn, making it harder for them to reach their full potential,” said Bela Moté, national director of character development for Y-USA. “We’re thrilled to see our partner JCPenney bring national awareness and support to this important issue, and we look forward to being able to provide much-needed basics that help kids’ confidence and self esteem.
JCPenney customers shopping for kid’s underwear and socks this season can choose from an array of leading national and private brands, including Total Girl®, Arizona, GoldToe,® Maidenform® and more. To raise further awareness of the need for basic clothing items among school-aged children, the retailer has launched jcpenneypairup.com, along with a public service announcement, which JCPenney will amplify across YouTube and its social media channels.
In addition to supporting the Y through the Pair Up program, the retailer plans to organize several JCPenney volunteer events at local Y’s across the country. These events would give JCPenney associates an opportunity to mentor and interact with Y kids by setting goals for the school year and decorate back-to-school banners. Kids would receive backpacks filled with a pack of socks and a limited supply of gift cards.