Similar to our YBI program in the U.S., TJX Europe works with The Prince’s Trust, an organization that supports teens and young adults who are unemployed, struggling at school, or otherwise at risk of exclusion from many opportunities. Since 2014, T.K. Maxx has been actively involved in the Trust’s Get Into Retail program, which helps disadvantaged young people acquire the skills and training needed to succeed in a retail career. Participants in the program learn basic career skills, interview preparedness, and job application techniques. They also benefit from combining classroom-based training with an in-store mentor. In 2019, we once again supported 15 Get Into Retail programs across the U.K., training more than 150 young people and hiring over 70% of the program participants. The number of young people that have been through the program now totals over 1,100, with a number of those hired now in team leader positions in our stores. TJX Europe has also begun working with other disadvantaged groups, and last year, in partnership with The Prince’s Trust, the Loss Prevention team ran a two week Get Into LP program.
In addition to our participation in Get Into Retail, Homesense is a supporter of The Prince’s Trust Achieve program, a personal development course for 13- to 19-year-olds. The program helps young people who are at risk of underachieving at school or college engage with, and succeed in, their education. In just the past year, Homesense has helped raise nearly $270,000 to help The Prince’s Trust Achieve program reach over 1,900 young people. In most of the countries where The Prince’s Trust operates, one in two young people who participate in the program report they believe they have seen an improvement in areas that include communication skills, confidence, setting and achieving goals, managing feelings, reliability, and working with others.
T.K. Maxx and Homesense in the U.K. were also sponsors of The Prince’s Trust awards for the fourth year in a row, including serving as the headline sponsors in 2019. The awards recognize young people who have succeeded against the odds, improved their chances for better success in life, and had a positive impact on their local community. We were also proud to welcome The Prince of Wales to our T.K. Maxx store in South London in February, 2020, where he met with some of the Get Into Retail participants and heard how the program impacted their lives.
In addition to its work with The Prince’s Trust, TJX Europe worked for many years in the Rwenzori region of western Uganda to help send children to school, beginning with initial contributions to help build classrooms and teacher’s accommodations, provide teaching resources, and more. We then helped develop a sustainable trade program in the region with a goal of helping more than 4,000 families increase their incomes. Today, we sell coffee, chocolate, and crafts produced in that region in our stores. We believe our support is making a difference and helping to give residents a more reliable and increased income stream to help pay for basic needs, school fees, and other necessities.
At T.K. Maxx in Australia, we embrace community programs that equip disadvantaged youth with the resources and opportunities to rise up and build a better future. T.K. Maxx is proud to be a national partner of AIME Mentoring and provide funding to support AIME’s program across Australia. AIME provides an in-school program that is designed to equip Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander high school students with the confidence and life skills to believe that they will succeed. Additionally, they have “Tutor Squads” made up of trained university mentors delivering free academic support to the school’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students. AIME also supports students with their transition from school to work or further education. According to AIME, students completing AIME’s program finish school and transition through to university, training, and employment at the same rate as other Australian children – effectively closing the gap in educational outcomes for successful participants.
Since 1984, T.J. Maxx has proudly supported Save the Children U.S. programs, which create a brighter future for children in need through early education, literacy, and health programs. T.J. Maxx’s relationship began with sponsorship of children who participate in Save the Children’s national education programs. Over the years, we have grown our relationship to include an annual in-store fundraising campaign, as well as sales of branded merchandise. Store and home-office Associates are able to connect directly with children, creating a special relationship and experience for everyone involved. Further, our Chief Executive Officer is a member of the Board of Directors of Save the Children. To celebrate our 35-year partnership, T.J. Maxx also made a contribution to the 100 Days of Reading campaign. Building on this relationship, TJX has expanded its commitment to Save the Children with a global grant from The TJX Foundation as an investment in global breakthroughs for children.
If it travels fast, makes a lot of noise or has sharp teeth, second grader Jayden loves to read about it – from dinosaurs and sharks, to monster trucks and motorcycles. “Jayden loves to read to me every day,” his mom said. “He says it’s fun.”
This wasn’t always the case. Last school year, Jayden was a struggling reader who lacked confidence in his abilities and was reluctant to participate in reading activities in class. Today, Jayden’s reading skills are ahead of most of his classmates with the help of Save the Children’s in-school literacy program, which boosts literacy growth through guided independent reading practice, comprehension-building book talks and reading quizzes. The program is a rare family resource in Jayden’s hometown in southwestern Tennessee, a remote community that grapples with poverty and unemployment. Jayden’s mom said her son has come out of his shell this past year, his newfound confidence evident in all he does. “He used to be shy, but now he is very talkative,” she said.
“I like school more now because I can read better. I like learning new things and making good grades. I want to go to college – I want to be a lawyer someday. They help people when they’re in trouble.”