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At TJX, we have a longstanding tradition of being a good corporate citizen. During our 35-year history, our Company and Associates have been committed to supporting and giving back to the communities in which we work and live. Today, as a Neighbor of Choice, we continue to support organizations that help women, children and families, aid in education, assist the disadvantaged, and help prevent domestic violence. TJX’s Community Relations program has three main initiatives: The TJX Foundation, Corporate Partnerships and Workforce Initiatives. In addition, our divisions in the U.S., Canada and Europe have many longstanding in-store fundraising and community initiatives that support worthwhile causes and nonprofit organizations.
A Global Partnership with the Alzheimer’s Association
In late 2010, TJX announced a major multi-year pledge and global partnership with the Alzheimer's Association on behalf of our retail divisions, more than 168,000 Associates and millions of customers around the world. In 2011, TJX continued supporting our global partnership with the Alzheimer’s Association by launching an internal Alzheimer’s education program for Associates worldwide. We believe our support will continue to help the Association eliminate Alzheimer's disease through the advancement of research, provide care and support for those affected, including caregivers, and reduce the risk of dementia through the promotion of brain health.
Through corporate sponsorships, in-kind donations, Associate volunteerism and other outreach efforts, Corporate Partnerships support local and national initiatives in the communities where we do business. Here are some examples of how our partnerships benefit our communities:
Preparing the Next Generation of Associates: Many of our corporate partnerships focus on youth, where we foster affiliations with schools and educational groups to help prepare students for graduation and transition into the workforce. For example, TJX founded the Youth Business Institute (YBI), a 10-week, innovative, professional and personal development program where TJX Associates teach high school students job readiness skills and expose them to career pathways relevant for entry into the retail workforce. Today, YBI has graduated more than 1,600 students, operates programs in nine high schools located in five cities, and is planning for future expansion.
Fostering Self-Sufficiency: TJX Community Relations and The Marmaxx Group partnered 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, TJX helped renovate two spaces for the nonprofits. Thanks to our corporate partnership, we were able to help create a shopping experience comparable to a true retail environment for Crisis Assistance Ministry’s and Jackets for Jobs’ clients. TJX continues to provide clothing deliveries and support.
The story of TJX’s commitment to providing meaningful jobs for individuals with potential barriers to employment in the U.S. started in 1996. TJX’s Chairman, Ben Cammarata, then TJX’s CEO, traveled to Capitol Hill and promised President Clinton and Congress that TJX would hire 5,000 welfare recipients within three years. This was at a time when the country was challenged over how to break the cycle of multi-generational welfare dependency. TJX’s commitment helped define what a positive change could look like. The power of work as a key element in transforming lives was validated when the Company doubled our goal, hiring 10,000 welfare recipients in three years. This placed us on the path to becoming a leader in the Welfare-to-Work movement. Over the years, TJX has provided work for more than 160,000 people receiving some form of government assistance.
The TJX Workforce Initiatives group, in tandem with The TJX Foundation and our Community Partnerships program, works closely with community-based organizations (CBOs) to develop partnerships for our Company. The group also facilitates the building of employment relationships between the CBOs and our stores and distribution centers. These relationships are beneficial on many levels: job seekers gain self-confidence and learn about retail career opportunities; TJX hires enthusiastic Associates referred from a pool of pre-screened candidates and benefits from federal, state and local tax credit and incentive programs; and CBOs expand outreach efforts and continue to attract government and private funding because of demonstrated success in working with TJX.
In 2011, our Workforce Initiatives group held its first “best practices” summit, with Associates attending from our stores, distribution centers and corporate offices. The Workforce Initiatives group is actively involved with philanthropic boards and associations to help other companies learn the value of working with CBOs.
TJX Europe has similar initiatives, including a five-year relationship with Remploy. TJX Europe remains committed to making our European workplace more accessible to people with disabilities. It is also working with Job Centre Plus in certain regions of the U.K.
Community Relief Efforts
In addition to our focus on children and families, our giving extends to the community at large. Through our support of the American Red Cross, TJX has provided substantial funding for a variety of relief efforts, including the American Red Cross' Massachusetts Food Pantry. TJX also supports the Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund which assists individuals and families whose lives have been struck by natural disaster. In 2011 alone, as a member of the Red Cross' Annual Disaster Giving Program, we contributed to services that helped victims of tornadoes in Joplin, Missouri as well as the many tornadoes that swept through the southern U.S. Over the years, our contributions to this vital fund have helped victims of the Haitian earthquake, California wildfires, Hurricane Katrina and the 2004 Asian Tsunami, to name just a few.
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. Through our regional targeting program, we make a concerted effort to invite Associates in our stores, offices and distribution centers to recommend organizations in their communities to receive charitable grants through The TJX Foundation, making our efforts more localized and meaningful for both our Associates and customers.
In the U.S., since 1991, TJX Associates have been big supporters of the United Way’s annual fundraising campaign. In 2011, nearly 31,500 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.
In Canada, our Associates have been strong supporters of the annual Covenant House Cause and Effect Campaign. Covenant House Toronto is a widely respected organization that advocates for homeless youth in Canada. In collaboration with community partners, Covenant House serves the largest homeless youth population in Canada and provides a comprehensive range of housing and support services to meet the needs of homeless youth. For more than five years, our Associates have enthusiastically volunteered their time at Canada's largest youth shelter to help serve food, stock supplies and bring hope to young people to help them move from a life on the street to a life with a future.
At TJX Europe, T.K. Maxx and HomeSense Associates in the U.K. and Ireland are encouraged to volunteer and fundraise for the charitable causes they personally care about. Our Community Fund provides grants for individual Associates or Associate groups to support local causes close to their hearts. To date, the Fund has supported over 300 local causes, from supporting children with multiple sclerosis to providing art and music workshops for socially disadvantaged children. In Germany, T.K. Maxx fundraises for charity partner, Children for a Better World, which supports afternoon care programs for socially disadvantaged children and young people, offering them a hot meal and a range of recreational activities. In Poland, each store is partnered with local children’s charities, for which they fundraise, sell merchandise and make donations.