Belk today donated thousands of new school uniforms to students in need, the fourth year it has done so in conjunction with United Way of Central Carolinas. And for the first time, Belk has broadened its United Way partnership nationwide, through an in-store denim drive that begins today and runs through Sunday.
This year’s new component, an Aug. 1-3 jeans drive, allows customers to donate gently used jeans at any Belk store, for which they’ll receive a $5 coupon toward a new pair of junior jeans. Through local United Ways, Belk will then donate the denim to students in need – those who attend schools where
uniforms are not mandatory.
Students attending schools where uniforms are required will once again benefit from Belk’s generosity. Over four years, Belk has donated more than 12,000 two-piece uniforms with a retail value of nearly $650,000. Locally, the uniforms are being distributed to:
- Charlotte/Mecklenburg – Donation of 2,100 Uniforms
United Way Agencies: A Child’s Place, Communities In Schools, and YWCA Central Carolinas
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools: Ashley Park Academy, Billingsville Elementary, Bruns Academy, Walter G. Byers Academy, Druid Hills Academy, Hidden Valley Elementary, Nathaniel Alexander Elementary, Thomasboro Academy, Westerly Hills Academy and Winterfield Elementary
- Cabarrus County/Kannapolis City – Donation of 1,000 Uniforms
- Union County – Donation of 500 Uniforms
“Back-to-school is a fun time of year for our customers, so when we can align that excitement with an opportunity to give back in the communities where we do business, it’s a perfect fit,” said Adam Orvos, Belk’s chief financial officer, representing Belk at today’s donation event. “Belk consistently runs one of this United Way’s 10 largest campaigns because we believe in United Way’s impact on our hometown. United Way agencies not only help children who can’t afford uniforms, but they help parents find jobs, help the homeless find housing, and much more. We’re proud to do our part.”
One of United Way’s primary initiatives, a 10-year push to raise graduation rates for at-risk children and youth, is now expanding from Mecklenburg into Cabarrus and Union counties. Likewise, the Belk partnership began in Mecklenburg County, then included Cabarrus and Union as well.Belk, Inc. Furthermore, because of the success of the United Way partnership, Belk expanded the school uniform donation program to other Belk markets such as Savannah, Ga. and Jackson, Miss.
“The children that United Way agencies work with just need someone to hold their hand and tell them that they matter, and that’s exactly what Belk has done with these uniforms, over and above their generous employee and corporate donations,” said Kirsten Sikkelee, chief executive officer of YWCA Central Carolinas. “School uniforms improve self-esteem, which helps boost school attendance, which in turn impacts academic success. Every piece of the puzzle helps provide our community’s children the best possible chance to succeed in life.”