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We endeavor to enrich the lives of our Associates as well as our customers and neighbors who live and work in the communities we serve. Collectively, we focus our charitable efforts in a number of areas, including The TJX Foundation, corporate partnerships, community programs, and Associate volunteerism. In addition, our divisions in the U.S., Canada and Europe have many longstanding in-store fundraising and community initiatives that support important causes and nonprofit organizations.
Global Support for the Alzheimer’s Association
Alzheimer’s disease and dementia painfully affect not only those who suffer from the disease, but their families and caregivers as well. The Alzheimer’s Association estimates that over 35 million people are impacted by Alzheimer’s disease worldwide. The significant number of people impacted by Alzheimer’s, including our Associates and customers, and their families, is the reason that TJX committed to a multi-year global partnership with the Alzheimer’s Association, the world’s leading voluntary health organization for Alzheimer’s care, support and research.
After making an initial $1 million multi-year pledge in 2010, TJX followed with a second $1 million pledge in 2013 to support the Alzheimer’s Association as they strive to fulfill their vision of a world without Alzheimer’s. Over the past several years TJX has become actively involved in several ways, including: becoming a Champion of the Alzheimer’s Early Detection Alliance; lighting our Corporate headquarters in purple during World Alzheimer’s Month; providing education and support to Associates; and sponsoring Walk to End Alzheimer’s teams around the country.
Disaster Relief Efforts
In addition to our ongoing focus on children, women and families, our giving extends to the community at large, particularly during times of need. TJX supports the Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund, which assists individuals and families whose lives have been struck by natural disaster. We have been a member of the Red Cross' Annual Disaster Giving Program for many years and in 2013, we made additional contributions from The TJX Foundation for services to help the victims of Super Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines and the tornadoes in Oklahoma. At the corporate level, we also contributed to the West Texas Disaster Relief Fund to help victims of a fertilizer plant explosion and made a special contribution to The One Fund, a Massachusetts-based foundation formed to help those families most affected by the Boston Marathon bombings. Through TJX Canada, we contribute to the Canadian Red Cross, and in 2013, helped support the Alberta flood victims and others affected by disaster.
We have developed community programs with many organizations that further strengthen our ties to our local communities. These relationships can take on many forms and often include a combination of corporate sponsorships, product donations, Associate volunteerism and other support.
Preparing the Next Generation of Associates Many of our community programs focus on youth and young adults, where we foster affiliations with schools, universities, and educational groups to help prepare students for graduation and transition into the workforce. Two of our larger initiatives are the Youth Business Institute (YBI) in the U.S. and the Get Into Retail program in Europe.
YBI is a ten-week, innovative, professional and personal development program that currently operates in nineteen high schools in twelve U.S. cities, and we expect to expand this number in the future. At YBI, over 400 TJX Associate volunteers teach high school students job readiness skills and expose them to career pathways relevant for entry into the retail workforce. The YBI course kicks off with workshops on time management and budgeting. In the weeks that follow, both TJX volunteers and teachers help guide students in areas such as resume building and interview preparation. We foster students’ career exploration through job shadowing of TJX Associates. YBI has graduated approximately 1,700 high school students and hired approximately 250 program graduates. Since the program’s inception, TJX has awarded over $500,000 in scholarships to YBI students.
In Europe, we work with The Prince’s Trust, an organization that supports 13 to 30 year-olds who are unemployed, struggling at school or otherwise at risk of exclusion from many opportunities available to young people. The Trust’s programs are designed to give vulnerable young people the practical and financial support needed to stabilize their lives, helping develop self-esteem and skills for work. We have set up a program with the Prince’s Trust called Get Into Retail, which recruits young people from The Prince’s Trust program and teaches them about career paths and working in retail as well as skills for interviewing and getting a job. We have offered employment opportunities to many of the program participants following course completion. The program was piloted in 2012 in London, and we have established ten programs this year, expanding beyond London to include other U.K. cities, such as Birmingham and Cardiff.
In addition to our focus on youth, some of our community programs emphasize empowerment and self-sufficiency. For example, in the U.S., we support Work Without Limits, an organization that connects businesses with people with disabilities who have gone through an internship program so that the business can find well-qualified, trained new hires who can be productive from day one and people with disabilities can find jobs that leverage their talents. Additionally, TJX Community Relations and The Marmaxx Group partner with The Crisis Assistance Ministry of Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, and Jackets for Jobs, Inc., in Detroit, Michigan, two nonprofits dedicated to getting people in need back on the path to self-sufficiency. With the help of local Marshalls and T.J. Maxx Associates and substantial TJX donations of funds and merchandise, thousands of people have been helped through programs like these.
We are proud of these and other programs which we believe help people move from dependency toward independence.
Volunteerism: Our Associates Make a Difference
We believe our Associates’ volunteer efforts breathe life into our Company’s core values of integrity, mutual respect and caring, while tapping the leadership skills, compassion and altruism of our Associates. Many of the volunteer opportunities undertaken add a new dimension to the lives of participating Associates while offering the communities in which we operate greater access to a talented pool of people and increased number of volunteer hours.
Sometimes we combine our Associate volunteerism with our regional targeting programs, which invite Associates in our stores, offices and distribution centers to recommend organizations in their communities to apply for charitable grants through The TJX Foundation. Our Youth Business Institute and Jackets for Jobs programs, mentioned earlier, are excellent examples of leveraging the strength of Associate volunteers within our community relations and charitable giving efforts. We believe regional targeting of charities makes our philanthropic efforts meaningful for both our Associates and customers.
TJX Associates volunteer their time and talents in a number of meaningful ways including fundraising, mentoring and serving as directors on nonprofit boards. In the U.S., since 1991, TJX Associates have been big supporters of the United Way’s annual fundraising campaign. In 2013, more than 34,500 Associates participated in the annual workplace campaign, donating substantial funds to innovative programs that advance the common good and create opportunities for a better life for those served.
Our U.S. Associates are actively engaged in supporting other national causes as well, and activities that may have started as smaller, grass-roots efforts have now grown into more substantial campaigns that occur in many locations across the country. For example, our U.S. Loss Prevention group leads Associate participation in the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walks that occur throughout the country each fall. In 2013, this group rallied together 89 teams in 31 states, with over 2,500 Associates, family members and friends raising significant funds for breast cancer research and support. In addition to these grass roots-type campaigns, many Associates at our corporate headquarters volunteer their time supporting events ranging from blood drives to walking for various causes to weekly participation as Big Brothers/Big Sisters.
In Canada, our Associates strongly support programs that assist disadvantaged women and children. For more than 10 years, TJX Canada has worked with Ernestine’s Women’s Shelter and Covenant House Toronto. In addition to corporate donations of gift cards and in-kind product, Associates volunteer their time at Ernestine’s and every summer the Store Operations group coordinates a barbeque, providing food and entertainment, and organizing games for the women and children in the shelter. Covenant House Toronto is a widely respected organization that advocates for homeless youth in Canada, providing a comprehensive range of housing and support services to meet the needs of these youth. In addition to their monetary contributions, our Associates enthusiastically volunteer their time at Canada's largest youth shelter to help serve food, stock supplies and participate in programs. We believe this support helps to encourage young people working to move away from a life on the street and into a life with a future.
In Europe, T.K. Maxx and HomeSense Associates in the U.K. and Ireland are encouraged to volunteer and raise funds for the charitable causes they personally care about. We have established The Community Fund to further strengthen charitable giving in Europe, which provides grants for local causes recommended by our Associates. We believe that the combination of our Associates’ volunteerism along with The Community Fund contribution, help create a strong impact at the local level. In Germany, T.K. Maxx supports the charity group Children for a Better World, and this year, for the first time, a team of 28 Associates volunteered their time to participate in the Metro Marathon relay to raise funds for this important cause. In Poland, stores are partnered with local charities, for which they raise funds, make donations, and sell specialty items designed to raise funds for their charities.