Grant from JCPenney goes toward YMCA afterschool programs

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Wardle Family YMCA recently received a $5,000 grant from JCP Cares, JCPenney’s new charitable giving program, to provide school-aged children with financial assistance to attend afterschool programs at the Y.  This gift provides children in the Beaufort county community, who otherwise could not afford to participate, with access to life-enriching afterschool programs that cultivate the values, relationships and skills kids need to thrive.

This is the fourth year that JCPenney has supported the local Y’s afterschool programs, which serve 150 children.

According to the Afterschool Alliance, a nonprofit public awareness advocacy organization, 15.1 million U.S. children are left unsupervised after 3 p.m. during the school year. Studies show participation in afterschool programs helps boost school attendance and academic performance and reduces gaps in academic achievement among children from disadvantaged households.

“As a company founded on the Golden Rule, JCPenney has a strong legacy of giving back,” said Miki Woodard, president of JCP Cares and vice president of philanthropy at JCPenney. “We are firmly committed to organizations like the Y, which truly make a difference in their communities.”

The Wardle Family YMCA sees the benefits of this collaboration first-hand.  “The support of JCPenney enhances our efforts to serve as many children as possible with meaningful, high-quality afterschool programming,” says Kaylin Garst, YMCA Operations Director.  “By working together we can not only keep children safer, but also help provide them with lasting benefits, including healthier lifestyles, improved social skills and an enhanced academic performance.”

In addition to supporting local YMCA afterschool programs, JCPenney, through JCP Cares, named the Y as its featured charity for the month of January. JCPenney team members invited customers to round up their purchases in stores to the nearest whole dollar and donate the difference to the Y. These resources will support the Y’s national commitment to closing the achievement gap through three key programs: early learning, afterschool and summer learning.