Kohl's Department Stores will give half a million dollars to 20 schools each this year – a total of $10 million – in recognition of the 10th anniversary of its Kohl's Cares philanthropic program, which supports children's health and education.
Since last month, schools across the nation have been rallying supporters to cast a vote for their school via Facebook by the Sept. 3 deadline.
As students get ready for the new school year, Kohl's says it wants to inspire students and school supporters to dream big about what their favorite K-12 school could do with half a million dollars.
"At Kohl's we are excited to celebrate the 10th anniversary of our Kohl's Cares philanthropic program by giving back to the communities that we serve," commented Julie Gardner, Kohl's executive vice president and chief marketing officer.
According to Kohl's, the $10 million donation for the contest comes from the Kohl's Cares cause merchandise program, which sells special merchandise – including plush toys and books – and donates 100 percent of the net profit to benefit children's health and education initiatives nationwide.
Over the past 10 years, the Kohl's Cares cause merchandise program has raised more than $150 million for children's initiatives. This contest, the company says, is the latest illustration of its commitment to kids.
"We believe that when communities thrive, so does business," commented Gardner. "We feel so strongly about this program and the positive affect it could have that we have made it the cornerstone of the company's Back-to-School campaign."
Presently, the top 20 schools in the contest all have more than 40,000 votes. The school with the highest so far is Silverstein Hebrew Academy in Great Neck, N.Y., with over 70,000 votes. The next highest, Hebrew Academy Community School in Margate, Fla., has over 60,000 votes. Notably, Jewish schools take up the top six spots and 12 of the top 20.
Christian schools, meanwhile, account for about four of the top 20 - the highest-ranked being Lucas Christian Academy in Lucas, Texas, with about 51,000 votes so far.
Each participant is allowed up to 20 votes and voting officially ends Sept. 3.
Private schools that are for-profit are not eligible to participate.
On the Web: