Nearly half of all United States youth have experienced at least one potentially traumatic event in their lives, highlighting the need for trauma-informed strategies and practices.
Kohl’s announced today a donation of $10 million, over three years, in support of the company’s national nonprofit partner, Boys & Girls Clubs of America, to support the development and delivery of trauma-informed training to Club staff, providing them with the skills to implement trauma-informed practices through formal and informal learning experiences with youth. Additionally, as a Signature Sponsor of Youth of the Year, Kohl’s will receive the highest level of partner recognition for both the program and events, further supporting youth across the nation. This renewal marks the largest single donation in Kohl’s history, and is part of the company’s commitment to deliver meaningful change for good to its people, customers and communities by giving $20 million in support of diverse communities by 2025. The national partnership with Boys & Girls Clubs of America, which was established in 2019, is rooted in Kohl’s commitment to develop and execute critical programming aimed at improving the physical and emotional well-being of children and families.
“I’m incredibly proud to continue our partnership with Boys & Girls Clubs of America as we expand access to safe, inclusive Club experiences and provide targeted programming to build essential trauma-informed skills needed to build great futures,” said Michelle Gass, Kohl’s chief executive officer. “Forty-five percent of all U.S. youth have experienced at least one potentially traumatic event in their lives, and those events can change the way a child understands the world, resulting in lingering fear and anxiety. Prioritizing mental health amongst our youth continues to be an important issue for both Kohl’s and Boys & Girls Clubs of America. This multi-year donation will allow the organization to reach more youth across the nation and support young people in navigating all life circumstances.
“We are thrilled to have the support of a committed partner like Kohl’s, enabling enhanced staff training and resources for local Clubs focused on trauma-informed care – a strategy that allows Clubs to continue supporting young people right where they are,” said Jim Clark, president & CEO, Boys & Girls Clubs of America. “This partnership is vitally important as we continue our commitment to enhance resources and tools to meet the evolving social and emotional needs of kids and teens across the country.”
Boys & Girls Clubs of America and Kohl’s believe every young person deserves to thrive. However, for too many kids and teens, a great future and their ability to reach their full potential are threatened by widening emotional and wellness stressors.
Over the past two years, Kohl's support enabled Boys & Girls Clubs across the country to integrate essential social-emotional development (SED) skills across its curriculum. Social-emotional development (SED) offers positive experiences, relationships and environments that young people need to become healthy, capable adults. Together, Boys & Girls Clubs of America and Kohl’s have trained over 24,000 Youth Development professionals and hosted over 800 training sessions focused on SED. As a result, the youth organization was able to integrate more than 70 curriculum resources that span social and emotional skill development as well as curate six curriculum resources to support social emotional skill development.
The Kohl’s partnership has fueled the strength of 4,700 Boys & Girls Clubs, increased program quality, enabled youth voice and advocacy, and overall, nurtured the potential of the 4.3 million youth Boys & Girls Clubs of America serves annually.
Whether experiencing the negative effects of bullying, poverty or a parent’s divorce, many kids face threats to their emotional well-being every day. In fact, according to Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s national impact study, nearly half of all United States youth have experienced at least one potentially traumatic event in their lives. This is especially true for youth of color who may not feel connected or included due to racism and social injustices they must contend with.
As a result, Clubs must have strong policies, practices and partnerships to ensure that youth and teens find a safe place, supportive mentors and high-quality programs that allow them to build resilience and cope with uncertainty and difficult situations in a positive way. To accomplish this, Clubs must become trauma-informed.
With Kohl’s $10 million gift, Boys & Girls Clubs of America will be able to fully support the emotional wellness of more than four million youth through the implementation and scaling of key initiatives that cultivate emotional wellness in young people long-term, including, but not limited to: