Kohl’s, Walgreens, Century 21 Give Back On #GivingTuesday As Shopping Takes A Breather

As the dust settles from the heavy spending throughout Thanksgiving Weekend, shoppers now have a little bit of time to relax. During this downtime, consumers have an opportunity to spread the holiday spirit and give back to the community.

For the fourth year in a row, the United Nations Foundation and the 92nd Street Y are promoting Giving Tuesday across social media channels, and numerous retailers including Kohl’s, JCPenney, Century21, Rue La La and Walgreens are taking part in the festivities.

“Holiday consumer spending is climbing each year,” said Henry Timms, Founder of Giving Tuesday and Executive Director of the 92nd Street Y, “But Giving Tuesday allows consumers to focus on the true meaning of Thanksgiving.”


Founded on Dec. 1, 2012, the Giving Tuesday campaign is designed to highlight the altruistic aspects of the holiday season and celebrate philanthropic efforts. The movement specifically encourages people to share their acts of generosity on social media channels using the #GivingTuesday hashtag.

In 2014, Giving Tuesday raised an estimated $45 million, with more than 15,000 non-profit organizations participating around the U.S., according the Case Foundation. This year, more than 30,000 organizations have signed up. Here is a list of the campaigns select retail brands are running for Giving Tuesday, which takes place Dec. 1, 2015.

  • Kohl’s will support Giving Tuesday, holding a promotion encouraging consumers to purchase Kohl’s Cares items for $5 each, with 100% of the profit benefitting children’s health initiatives in the U.S. Items in the Kohl’s Cares collection includes children’s books from author/illustrator Nancy Tillman, coordinating soft toys, a Blake Shelton Christmas CD, a calendar, a note card set and a holiday cookbook. For every Kohl’s Cares purchase made in store or online on Tuesday, Dec. 1, Kohl’s will donate $1 to Toys for Tots, up to $100,000. Kohl’s already made a donation of its own on Nov. 23, giving $5.9 million worth of plush toys and children’s books to the Today Show’s 22nd annual Holiday Toy Drive.

  • Century 21 has partnered with actor Edward Norton and the company he co-founded, Crowdrise, to support the Giving Tower Holiday Challenge. Shoppers can donate to any of eight founder charities and numerous additional charity partners, with every $25 donation serving as an entry to win a $2,500 Century 21 Department Store shopping spree prize. As an added incentive, the charity partner that raises the most money in donations on Giving Tuesday from 12:00 a.m. ET through 11:59:59 p.m. ET on Dec. 1 will get a $25,000 donation to its cause.

  • As part of its Gifts That Give Back program, Rue La La will donate a minimum of $10,000 from online purchases to each of four different charities: The Breast Cancer Research Foundation, Dress for Success, Toys for Tots and Habitat for Humanity.

  • While Walgreens carries out the Get a Shot, Give a Shot program year-round, the drugstore is expanding the program so that for every immunization at a Walgreens or Duane Reade pharmacy, the company will donate the value of two vaccines to a child in a developing country. The expansion applies to all immunizations administered at Walgreens from Nov. 27 to Dec. 1.

  • JCPenney will donate $100,000 to Boys & Girls Clubs of America for Giving Tuesday, with the retailer hosting shopping sprees for more than 500 children from several local chapters of the organization. The children will each get a $100 gift card for one of 11 of the company’s stores, with local celebrities and athletes expected to make appearances at the gatherings.

Even payments providers have jumped into Giving Tuesday, with Discover launching an Employee Giving Program designed to provide a bonus match on employee donations made during the day. Discover also is encouraging card members to provide a 2% match when they donate a cashback bonus to the program’s charity partners.

PayPal also has decided to contribute to the campaign, noting that it would contribute an extra 1% to donations made through its site, so that the charity recipient gets 101% for every donation.

Whether via retail or beyond, Giving Tuesday has certainly gained traction over the past year. In 2015, 38% of Millennials plan to participate in Giving Tuesday, a substantial increase from a measly 8% in 2014, according to research from Crossroads.

The potential for Giving Tuesday’s growth is certainly great not just in reaching out to Millennials, but all shoppers. Despite the campaign’s growing popularity, only 18% of people are familiar with Giving Tuesday, according to The John Templeton Foundation.

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