Despite some common misconceptions, 4-H is not just an agricultural club (although this PRNewser writer and former 4-H member did spend the summers of her youth happily raising vegetables and dragging impeccably-groomed sheep around a show ring). In reality, 4-H is a community of six million young people across America learning leadership, citizenship, and life skills. The H’s stand for head, heart, hands, and health, as demonstrated in the pledge that each member takes: “I pledge my head to clearer thinking, my heart to greater loyalty, my hands to larger service, and my health to better living for my club, my community, my country and my world.” Who doesn’t love that message? Now, retail leader and longtime supporter JCPenney has taken a pledge of their own.
4-H has been a part of JCPenney’s philanthropic focus throughout the company’s history–Mr. James Cash Penney himself was actively involved with the organization for almost 50 years. Now the company is taking their dedication to 4-H a step further with “JCP Cares“, a new charitable giving program encouraging customers to round their purchases up to the nearest dollar and donate the difference. This month, National 4-H Council is one of two featured charity partners (the other being Boys & Girls Club of America). August is probably a smart month to feature these two organizations, because families shopping for back-to-school attire will be especially attuned to messages promoting educational and cultural enrichment programs for American children.
Miki Woodard, president of JCP Cares and vice president of philanthropy at JCPenney, said in a statement that “Through JCP Cares, we’re able to work with our customers to address some of the most pressing issues facing our communities today. The support of after-school programs continues to be an important cause to both JCPenney and our customers.”
And Donald T. Floyd Jr., National 4-H Council president and CEO, had this to say about the partnership: “For more than 50 years, JCPenney’s partnership with 4-H has provided millions of youth across the country the opportunity to learn from 4-H high-quality positive youth development programs.”
And yes, it will also allow more young farm girls like yours truly to continue their glamorous adventures in sheep showing.