The new school year may have just begun but schools across the nation can already count on additional funds thanks to Kmart's School Spirit fundraising program.
Kmart recently announced it plans to donate a minimum of $10 million to K-12 schools in the 2001-2002 school year. Nearly $240,000 was "raised" in the program's first three weeks and the company will double its donation to schools on Blue Light Always and Kmart credit card purchases made in September.
"We are thrilled with the initial response to School Spirit," said Charles C. Conaway, Kmart Chief Executive Officer. "Before the school year even began, more than 8.4 million enrollment packets were requested by school principals to give to parents at their schools and School Spirit cards had been used in nearly all of our 2,100 stores."
Customers need only to enroll in the program, specify the school to receive donations, and use a special School Spirit card when shopping at Kmart. With each purchase at any Kmart store, the company will donate a portion of all eligible purchases to the customer's school of choice. Each month the company features special programs to double its donation on specific purchases.
Kmart's School Spirit program provides greater flexibility to raise more dollars for schools since customers can pay for their purchases by cash, check or credit card. Additionally, customers shopping at any Kmart store can designate a Kmart School Spirit donation to an out-of-town school, making it possible for relatives and friends living elsewhere to raise money for a specific school in another location.
Another unique aspect of School Spirit is the fact that Kmart shoppers with children in multiple schools can enroll for multiple cards and direct donations to the corresponding schools.
"This program can easily result in significant extra funding for each school," said Conaway. "It is designed to be hassle-free for parents, students and schools, making participation easy for everyone. And, it is totally free to the schools. The more a School Spirit card is used, the more money a school earns."
Participating schools will receive checks from Kmart twice a year, beginning in Spring 2002.
Customers can enroll and immediately receive cards for the School Spirit program at the Customer Service Desk of Kmart's more than 2,100 stores or enroll online at http://www.bluelight.com/ and School Spirit cards will be mailed directly to the customer.
The School Spirit program is part of Kmart's ongoing Leaders in Learning corporate giving and community outreach initiative that focuses all of the company's community-based resources to support diverse education programs and promote lifelong learning.
Under the Leaders in Learning umbrella, new and existing corporate giving efforts -- including partnerships, corporate grants, local donations, community relations, matching gifts, and executive involvement -- will be directed to programs that support traditional and non-traditional learning initiatives in communities served by Kmart.
Kmart Corporation (NYSE: KM) is a near-$40 billion company that serves America with more than 2,100 Kmart and Kmart Supercenter retail outlets. Kmart donates $35 million each year to support its hometowns and local nonprofit organizations. Kmart associates also provide their most valuable resource -- time -- every day in their local communities. In addition to serving all 50 states, Kmart operations extend to the Caribbean Islands and Asia Pacific. More information about Kmart is available on the World Wide Web at www.bluelight.com under the "About Kmart" section.
SOURCE: Kmart Corporation
Contact: Dawn Orzel of Kmart Corporation, +1-248-463-6262