In 2002, we marked another year in which TJX did the right thing in the communities in which we have a retail presence, home offices or distribution centers. Children and families continued to be at the center of our charitable giving and volunteer activity. We are proud that The TJX Foundation, together with our divisions, supported over 800 nonprofit organizations worldwide. TJX associates donated their time and energy to many organizations through participation in major events such as The Boston Marathon Jimmy Fund Walk and The American Cancer Society’s Daffodil Days Program. In addition, our associate participation in The United Way campaign reached a record level in 2002, with 24,000 associates making donations.
Save the Children continued to be at the center of T.J. Maxx’s charitable activities as did the Family Violence Prevention Fund at Marshalls. HomeGoods continued to focus on the Jimmy Fund and A.J. Wright continued its work with Boys and Girls Clubs of America. Internationally, Winners continued its sponsorship of The Sunshine Foundation as did T.K. Maxx of NCH (formerly National Children’s Home).
Another major initiative of this past year was our partnering with The White House Office of National Drug Control Policy. Through this partnership, all of our U.S. chains promoted anti-drug messages through in-store signage and directing customers to The Anti-Drug.com website. Our customers also received information on raising drug-free kids through our advertising and divisional websites.
In 2002, we reached the 30,000 mark in hirings through the Welfare-To-Work Program. TJX signed on to this important program in 1997 and we have far exceeded our initial goal. Our First Step Program continues to be an innovative way to help former welfare recipients bridge the gap into the working world by providing assistance with childcare, transportation and counseling. During 2002, we expanded our outreach services to all associates with our T.J. Extra Program to raise awareness about available government benefits such as fuel assistance, Fannie Mae and tax credit programs.
Our emphasis on cultural diversity is supported by our hiring programs, community outreach, and Minority and Women-Owned Suppliers Program. In sum, doing the right thing in our communities and valuing the diversity of people remain cornerstones of our Company.