Department store Belk has donated $550,000 to the First Responders Children's Foundation, a nonprofit that provides support to children and their families enduring financial hardships. The money was raised during a special Charity Day Sale to help support its COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund. The donation will provide aid to the healthcare and emergency personnel working on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic in local communities throughout Belk's 16-state territory.
Belk, based in Charlotte, focuses on fashion, including some private label lines.
In addition to providing financial hardship grants, the funds will help supply personal protective equipment for first responders as well as temporary housing to curb the spread of hardship and infection among first responder families and the communities they serve.
"First Responders Children's Foundation would like to thank Belk, its associates and customers for supporting our Foundation," said Jillian Crane, president of First Responders Children's Foundation. "There's no doubt that first responders on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic are sacrificing so much to protect our families, and it's our responsibility to help them and their families through this crisis by providing grants, scholarships and partnerships. Through our partnership with Belk we were able to surpass our $500,000 fundraising goal and raise an additional $50,000 as well as educate and inspire Belk's customers about the brave individuals who are working on the front lines of this pandemic."
The Helping Our Heroes Charity Day Sale, held at all Belk locations and online at belk.com, offered customers exclusive discounts up to 40% off on rarely discounted top designer brands such as Free People, Polo, Under Armour, Columbia, Coach and Levi's. In addition to donating 2% of sales that weekend, which totaled approximately $500,000, customers were able to round-up their purchase to the nearest dollar or make a separate donation to the First Responder's Children Foundation. Through these efforts, Belk customers raised an additional $50,000 for the nonprofit.
"We wanted to show our appreciation to first responders, and our partnership with this organization during our Charity Sale is very special," said Lisa Harper, CEO of Belk. "We're proud to help support the heroes on the front lines who've risked so much to keep us safe during the COVID-19 pandemic."
The First Responders Children's Foundation was created after 9/11 and has provided millions of dollars in college scholarships benefiting hundreds of children with first responder parents who have been killed or injured in the line of duty. In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, the organization has awarded $5.76 million in grants to more than 5,000 first responders, including healthcare workers, police, fire and EMT, who have endured financial hardships due to COVID-19.