“Pennies from Heaven” Campaign Benefits Afterschool Programs

Plano,TX—JCPenney is looking for a penny (or two, three, four, etc) for its shoppers’ thoughts to help raise money to fund much-needed afterschool programs.

The drive invites shoppers in more than 1,100 JCPenney communities to turn small change into “pennies from heaven” by rounding up their purchases and donating the difference to a local afterschool organization. Shoppers can also sign up to collect virtual pennies by participating in the store’s online campaign on its website or Facebook. Every time a participant downloads a song, sends a “lucky penny” to a friend or tweets on Twitter, they collect more pennies. JCPenney will turn these virtual pennies into real change, which could add up to more than $1 million for afterschool programs in local communities.

As of this morning, nearly 400 million pennies–and counting–had been collected.

For more than a decade, JCPenney has been a leading corporate advocate for the afterschool issue by distributing more than $100 million across every JCPenney community. Pennies from Heaven is part of the retailer’s most extensive cause-marketing campaign to date. While this campaign ends August 27, the store plans to run its Pennies from Heaven challenge four times a year.

“Compelling national research reveals that one in four students in America is unsupervised between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. each day. This represents more than 15 million kids who could benefit from the academic and social development opportunities that afterschool programs provide,” said Mike Theilmann, group executive vice president for JCPenney and chairman of JCPenney afterschool. “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,”

Marketing that Inspires Change

As the largest cause marketing initiative JCPenney has ever launched, Pennies from Heaven plays a prominent role in the company’s overall back to school promotions.Created in collaboration with Momentum Worldwide, Saatchi & Saatchi New York and 360i, the Pennies from Heaven campaign includes national and Hispanic advertising through broadcast, print and online media that showcases youth in afterschool programs through themed ads representing “Pennies for Art,” “Pennies for Science” and “Pennies for Music.” Each demonstrates the power of a penny to create new opportunities for learning.

Promotions for Pennies from Heaven are running as an integral component to JCPenney’s Back-to-School “Daydreamer” campaign, which features dream-inspired doodles to reveal kids’ inner aspirations.

The Olsens coin purse

Participating in the initiative are Olsenboye designers Mary-Kate Olsen and Ashley Olsen who created a limited edition change purse available exclusively at JCPenney. Each purse retails for $9.99 and 100% of the sale proceeds will be donated to the Pennies from Heaven campaign.

“Every child should have the opportunity to be part of a positive and nurturing environment after school,” said Ashley Olsen. “Through the purchase of an Olsenboye change purse, customers can help support afterschool programs and impact a child’s life,” added Mary-Kate Olsen.

Through its legacy of supporting youth and charitable organizations such as the Boys & Girls Clubs of America, the Y, National 4-H, United Way and FIRST Robotics, JCPenney formalized its commitment to the afterschool cause by establishing the JCPenney Afterschool Fund, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.

Since its inception, more than $100 million has been distributed to afterschool programs. For more information, visit www.jcp.com/pennies.

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