Shopping pennies add up to fund Boys & Girls Clubs

Your back to school shopping spree can help fund after school programs at the Boys and Girls Clubs of the Gulf Coast.

JCPenney launched a nationwide philanthropic campaign that invites customers to turn small change into "pennies from heaven" by rounding up their purchases and donating the difference to a local after school organization.

The Boys & Girls Clubs of the Gulf Coast is one of 1,100 after school organizations matched with a local JCPenney store that will benefit from the proceeds raised during the pennies from heaven campaign. The pennies from heaven event begins July 31 through Aug. 27.

"With budget cuts in education, there's never been a more important time to support after school programs as a valuable community resource that helps to bridge the education gap," said Dr. David L. Spinks, Executive Director, Boys & Girls Clubs of the Gulf Coast.

"As customers shop for the Back-to-School season, we hope they will keep our mission in mind so that the social and academic learning opportunities we provide after school will continue to be available to local youth."

National research shows that one out of four students in the U.S. is on their own between the hours of 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. each day.* The after school program offered at Boys & Girls Clubs of the Gulf Coast serves more than 2800 students each year by involving them in programs that help kids develop social skills, provide opportunities to be physically active and achieve academic success in school.

"For more than a decade JCPenney has been deeply committed to helping kids spread their wings by making it possible for more students to participate in life-enriching after school programs," said Anthony Berutti, store manager for JCPenney, Edgewater Mall, Biloxi.

"When we leverage the power of a penny to create opportunities for learning, we can make a positive difference in the lives of our future leaders."