T.K. Maxx and Homesense in the U.K. were also a sponsor of The Prince’s Trust awards for the third year in a row, including serving as the headline sponsor in 2018. The awards recognize young people who have succeeded against the odds, improved their chances for better success in life, and had a positive impact on their local community.
In addition to its work with The Prince’s Trust, TJX Europe has been working in 12 communities in the Rwenzori region of western Uganda to help send children to school since 2008. In 2011, we furthered our commitment by developing a sustainable trade program in the region to help more than 4,000 families increase their incomes. We have supported the production and sale of coffee, cocoa, cotton, and crafts, and we sell coffee and crafts produced in that region in our stores. We also support helping these community members form co-operatives and build relationships with commercial and development partners, which has led to better and higher-quality crop yields. Cotton and cocoa co-operatives that we work with have been Fairtrade certified, helping the co-operatives achieve fairer pricing and access to international markets. In fact, research shows that these coffee farmers now earn more for their crops. These, combined with consistent sales of their crops, give residents a more reliable and increased income stream, allowing them to pay for basic needs, school fees, and other necessities. We believe our support is making a difference. Since the Rwenzori Trade Project started in 2011, more children (girls in particular) are completing primary school education as a result of the project. Between 2008 and 2012, school enrollment increased from 53% to 93% and since 2012 we have seen a further 16% increase.
At T.K. Maxx in Australia, we embrace community programs that equip disadvantaged youth with the resources and opportunities to rise up and build a better future. T.K. Maxx is proud to be a national partner of AIME Mentoring and provide funding to support AIME’s program across Australia. AIME provides an in-school program that is designed to equip Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander high school students with the confidence and life skills to believe that they will succeed. Additionally, they have “Tutor Squads” made up of trained university mentors delivering free academic support to the school’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students. AIME also supports students with their transition from school to work or further education. Students completing AIME’s program finish school and transition through to university, training, and employment at the same rate as other Australian children – effectively closing the gap in educational outcomes for successful participants.
We are proud to announce that we’ve teamed up with Jumpstart to support their vision that every child in America enter kindergarten prepared to succeed. TJX supported Jumpstart’s Read for the Record, a program that engages over 2 million children across the country in reading the same book on the same day to promote early literacy. We also supported their in-school programming, which Jumpstart says provides over 13,000 preschoolers access to curriculum focused on language, literacy, and social-emotional development. In addition, TJX’s grants provided 3,000 books to the Book Grant Program so teachers from under-resourced schools could apply to receive books and sent an additional 500 Spanish-version books to Puerto Rico, according to Jumpstart.
In support of our relationship, Associates in our field and corporate offices enjoyed building activity kits and reading to children. They even took books home to read to their own children and children at local preschools. Our support of Jumpstart helps forward TJX’s community mission of helping vulnerable families and children access the resources and opportunities they need to build a better future. We’re proud to be helping people like Patricia have an impact on young children’s lives.
“Nathaniel was extremely shy at the start of the program. He didn't engage much in play with the other children and had difficulty communicating. I spent time with him, encouraging him to participate in activities alongside his peers. In one of the sessions, I noticed him opening up to another child. We were playing the Alphabet Memory Game in the puzzle center, and he was trying really hard to explain the rules of the game to another classmate. It made me so happy to see his progress. I love that we can give him more individualized attention in Jumpstart.”
Patricia, AmeriCorps Volunteer Team Leader