Partners for Youth with Disabilities was awarded a $12,500 grant from the Rite Aid Foundation as part of Rite Aid’s Big Hearts Give Challenge. A check presentation ceremony was held Friday, February 19, 2016 at the Rite Aid Pharmacy located at 100 Cambridge Street in Boston, attended by Rite Aid officials, PYD staff members and volunteers.
In 2014, Rite Aid began their journey with more than 200 charities to build a powerful coalition of organizations who share a mission to improve the well-being of children. With this mission, the Rite Aid Foundation introduced the KidCents program to provide Rite Aid customers an opportunity to give kids in need a chance for better lives and brighter futures. Through KidCents, members of Rite Aid’s wellness+ with Plenti program can round up their in-store or online purchases to the nearest dollar and designate their change to one of more than 360 kid-focused charities that now partner with KidCents. PYD is proudly part of the program!
To celebrate the one-year anniversary of KidCents, the Rite Aid Foundation launched the Big Hearts Give Challenge to award participating charities with $5,000 to $20,000 in grants depending on the number of designations the organizations received. This incentive program ran from October 1st, 2015 through January 31st, 2016. In all, The Rite Aid Foundation’s KidCents program will donate a total of $1.6 million to 182 KidCents charities!
PYD was truly excited about this opportunity and accepted the challenge with great passion and energy. Within several weeks, we were lucky enough to reach 83 designations from PYD supporters and Rite Aid customers to qualify for the $12,500 award. “It was phenomenal to see almost 100 people sign up. We were originally shooting for the $10,000 level award, but thanks to our supporters’ time and effort, we surpassed that goal to get to the next level,” said Nicole Malo, PYD’s Development Manager. “It’s a true testament to what we can do when we come together. We’re fortunate to be part of this caring community.”
PYD staff members, board members, participants, LEND fellows, volunteers, friends, and family were all called upon to join in the challenge. It was a grassroots movement. We reached out to people via email, social media, and a lot of in-person encouraging to sign people up and have them designate PYD as their KidCents charity. Esterlina Macinnes, who is one of PYD’s LEND Fellows, helped spearhead the challenge and she successfully signed up about ten people she knows.
Peter Hallisey, District Manager from Rite Aid, presented the check to PYD and gave a speech on behalf of the Rite Aid team. “It’s a pleasure for us to make a donation to this tremendous organization. We know our customers share our passion when it comes to giving back to the community, and that’s why KidCents was created,” said Peter. “By leveraging the power of this highly successful KidCents program, our partner organizations will have the opportunity to increase their funding to make a bigger difference in the lives of children in our communities.”
Through this special challenge, PYD succeeded in raising awareness, growing our donor network, and earning additional funds for our organization. We would like to thank the Rite Aid Foundation for their generous support and this opportunity to participate in the Big Hearts Give Challenge. Our special thanks also go out to PYD staff members, volunteers, and all the loyal supporters who assisted our organization in meeting its goal. The award funds will be used to support important PYD programs that motivate youth to reach their personal, educational, and career goals, and guide organizations in becoming more inclusive.
This post written by Sophia Xiaotong Ma, Graduate Student at the Boston University College of Communication. She is one of PYD’s BU PR Lab Account Executives. (Edited by Nicole Malo, with the additional edit help of PYD Team Members.)