Kohl’s hometown partner renewals illustrate the company’s ongoing commitment to improving quality of life in Milwaukee BIPOC communities
As a continuation of the company’s ongoing commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI), as well as family health and wellness, Kohl’s (NYSE: KSS) announced today it is strengthening its support of the Milwaukee community with commitments totaling more than $2 million to eight nonprofit hometown partners. This renewal includes five hometown partners that help advance BIPOC communities, making progress against the company’s commitment to give $20 million in support of diverse communities by 2025. Through Kohl’s Hometown Partnerships, local nonprofits are able to continue programs that provide access to art and culture, health and social services, and other opportunities, including economic empowerment and neighborhood development. With these commitments, Kohl’s will continue its partnerships with Acts Housing, Boys & Girls Club of Greater Milwaukee, Employ Milwaukee, Greater Milwaukee Urban League, Milwaukee Art Museum, Ronald McDonald House Charities Eastern Wisconsin, Safe & Sound, and Zoological Society of Milwaukee.
“Kohl’s is committed to serving families in the Milwaukee community, and we are proud to support these organizations that make a positive impact in our hometown,” said Tara Geiter, Kohl’s director of community relations. “Kohl’s hometown partners touch a wide range of social causes, which continue to be a priority for our community. We are excited to help these organizations expand their reach, and we look forward to deepening these hometown partnerships in the years to come.”
“The hometown partnership with Kohl’s has helped us to amplify our reach and expand our workforce development programming impact in multiple areas ranging from digital literacy to transportation solutions to name a few,” said Employ Milwaukee President & CEO Chytania Brown. “We are grateful for the renewal of the partnership and look forward to ongoing collaboration with such a community-minded corporate partner.”
The Milwaukee-based organizations will leverage the donations from Kohl’s to meet the needs of the local community, including but not limited to:
- Acts Housing - Kohl's $500,000 grant over two years will help increase the number of Black and Brown individuals and families who receive pre-approval for home loans and who purchase homes for owner-occupancy in Milwaukee. Kohl's funding will help underwrite the continued work of building and executing robust programming, specifically for families who face the most barriers to homeownership, as well as develop workshop series and financial incentives to assist local Milwaukee families. As Acts Housing and Kohl’s near the end of the partnership’s second grant term, as of June, over 4,700 visitors have visited Acts Housing’s website to view virtual orientation, 25 new home loans were administered by Acts Lending and over 200 housewarming baskets were delivered to new homeowners.
- Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee - Through this $275,000 donation, Kohl’s funding will enable Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee to continue to provide access to leadership and character programs within the Clubs, including mentoring, community involvement, social-emotional well-being, and college and career planning. Over the next year, Kohl’s will work with Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee to increase civic engagement and advocacy, offer leadership development through the Youth of the Year Program and implement social justice community initiatives. In the 2020 term, this partnership assisted Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee in serving over 479,000 meals through the meal continuation program and in Club locations, and adjusted over 150 classrooms to accommodate safe, socially distanced Club activities.
- Employ Milwaukee - With this $250,000 grant, Employ Milwaukee will work to further advance and scale its DEI efforts by enhancing Basic IT skills training, device distribution, connection to free and reduced quality internet, and expansion of virtual service delivery platform. Spanning one year, this renewal will allow Milwaukee County participants to increase employment opportunities, promote economic advancement as well as connect underserved populations to the proper technology, knowledge and resources. Through this partnership, Employ Milwaukee’s Strong Families Strategy has connected families to multiple resources they can use to reach their full potential, resulting in over 1,200 youth benefiting from summer youth employment. In addition, Employ Milwaukee’s Digital Equity Strategy, which improves technology equipment ownership and skill building, has connected 50 individuals in BIPOC communities to devices and broadband service, as well as trained 50 individuals in basic IT skills.
- Greater Milwaukee Urban League - Kohl’s $100,000 donation will support Greater Milwaukee Urban League’s mission to lead through education, employment and advocacy to achieve economic vibrancy and equal access to all industries and disciplines that position Black communities to create wealth and live a better quality of life. This one year renewal will also support the organization's 2022 Black & White Ball.
- Milwaukee Art Museum - With this $500,000 grant, Kohl’s will offer free admission for children 12 and under, and raise awareness of this benefit within traditionally underserved Milwaukee communities. The two-year grant will also support Kohl’s Art Studio, where the Milwaukee Art Museum will continue to offer drop-in art making for families, as well as expand Kohl’s Art Studio online for broader reach, and extend Kohl’s Art Studio into the community by providing art making at Milwaukee festivals and events. Now in the partnership’s fifth grant term, Kohl’s and the Milwaukee Art Museum have engaged families in art-filled experiences since 2008. From 2019 to 2022, the Milwaukee Art Museum has seen the participation in Kohl’s family programming touch more than 249,000 individuals and more than 63,700 visitors online. The Museum has also welcomed nearly 14,000 children 12 and under through Kohl’s free admission funding during this time.
- Ronald McDonald House Charities® Eastern Wisconsin - Through this $150,000 donation over two years, Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) Eastern Wisconsin will provide a spectrum of supportive programs for families with children seeking medical care at an area hospital. Programs include creative arts therapies and hospitality bag items for families calling the Ronald McDonald House “home,” as well as the Happy Wheels Hospitality Cart, serving families at Children's Wisconsin. Over the past year, the Hospitality Cart has served more than 1,700 people.
- Safe & Sound - Kohl’s $350,000 funding will allow Safe & Sound to continue its mission to provide safe neighborhoods for all residents in Milwaukee. Over the next two years, Safe & Sound and Kohl’s will work to create neighborhood coalitions to survey local communities, develop and implement neighborhood action plans focused on safety and community resources, assess the impact of the collective impact strategy in current neighborhoods, and evaluate how progress in these neighborhoods has prepared for expansion into additional diverse neighborhoods. Now in the second grant term, Safe & Sound has collected over 500 impact surveys across the five identified neighborhoods and has hosted nine data chats discussing survey results with community members. The organization has also held five focus groups hosted with adult and youth community members.
- Zoological Society of Milwaukee - Kohl’s $500,000 grant will allow the Zoological Society of Milwaukee to offer Kohl's Wild Theater as a way to provide fun, educational, conservation-themed theater performances using drama, songs and puppetry to engage children and their families. The two-year grant term will expand Kohl's Wild Theater’s conservation-themed educational shows into schools within 60 miles of the Milwaukee County Zoo, as well as fund on-stage performances at the zoo from Memorial Day Weekend through Labor Day on the Kohl’s Wild Theater Stage. Visitors will also be able to check out interactive activities near animal habitats, such as magic tricks and games, that also teach conservation lessons. As Kohl’s and Zoological Society of Milwaukee finish out the partnership’s fourth grant term, the organization has made great strides in conservation education with local communities. Over the past three years specifically, the Zoological Society of Milwaukee has served over 20,000 individuals and offered over 350 performances at Kohl’s Wild Theater Stage. The organization has also been able to expand its outreach performances to more than 1,300 locations, serving more than 220,000 individuals.
Kohl’s Hometown Volunteer Initiative
Kohl's is also a supporter of our hometown partners through our associate volunteering efforts. Through the Kohl’s Volunteer Program, when associates volunteer their time to hometown partners, Kohl’s will donate $50 for each hour served to the benefitting nonprofit, amplifying the impact of their service. Throughout Kohl’s history, the company has given more than $144 million to Milwaukee nonprofits.
To learn more about Kohl’s commitment to local partners in the Milwaukee community, visit Corporate.Kohls.com. For more details about other ways Kohl’s is helping the community for the benefit of our associates, customers and other stakeholders, please refer to our 2021 Environmental, Social and Governance Report.
Kohl’s (NYSE: KSS) is a leading omnichannel retailer. With more than 1,100 stores in 49 states and the online convenience of Kohls.com and the Kohl's App, Kohl's offers amazing national and exclusive brands at incredible savings for families nationwide. Kohl’s is uniquely positioned to deliver against its strategy and its vision to be the most trusted retailer of choice for the active and casual lifestyle. Kohl’s is committed to progress in its diversity and inclusion pledges, and the company's environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) stewardship. For a list of store locations or to shop online, visit Kohls.com. For more information about Kohl’s impact in the community or how to join our winning team, visit Corporate.Kohls.com or follow @KohlsNews on Twitter.