J.C. Penney Co. is launching a new program, "Pennies From Heaven," to benefit afterschool programs. From July 31 to Aug. 27, customers at the retailer's 1,100-plus stores will be asked to round their purchase amounts up to the nearest dollar and donate the extra change to the program.
According to J.C. Penney, one in four students in the U.S. -- roughly 15 million kids -- is unsupervised between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. each school day. The retailer has been an advocate of afterschool programs for more than 10 years, distributing more than $100 million to these programs around the country.
The program will be promoted in national and Hispanic broadcast, print and online media, with ads showcasing students in afterschool programs with themes such as "pennies for art" and "pennies for science." It will also be featured in the company's back-to-school "Daydreamer" campaign.
Before the official launch, the program is being promoted online through a new microsite, jcp.com/pennies, where users can earn virtual pennies. Once 100 million pennies are collected, J.C. Penney will donate $1 million to the afterschool cause.
"With communities facing severe cuts in education and school resources, there's never been a more important time to raise awareness of the afterschool issue and get our customers involved in helping to narrow the education gap," said Mike Theilmann, group exec VP, J.C. Penney Co., and chairman, jcpenney afterschool.