Natural Grocers has joined with Jack and Jill of America Inc. in a partnership to "Support America's Families Together."
Starting on Jan. 20—the national holiday dedicated to civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr.—the natural products retailer will launch two fundraising initiatives, with the goal of raising at least $120,000:
- From all Natural Grocers stores, 2.5% of sales on Martin Luther King Jr. Day will be donated to the Jack and Jill Graduation Assistance Program. The donation goal is $60,000.
- Through Feb. 29, customers can donate directly to the Graduation Assistance Program at any store. The donation goal is $60,000.
Jack and Jill of America was founded in 1938 to support black children in creating social and cultural relationships. Today, the program focuses on education, developing leadership skills and community service to enrich youth ages 2-19 and the communities in which they live. The organization has more than 245 chapters around the country.
The partnership includes financial investment through donations, fundraising and sales-baked giveback; support for Jack and Jill's Graduation Assistance Program; and access to job and internship opportunities, including Natural Grocers' store manager training program.
The campaign started in October when each member of the Portland Willamette Valley JJOA chapter received a Natural Grocers + Jack and Jill of America Partnership card, which at check out automatically triggers an uncapped 5% of sales returned to the organization. Of the 5%, half goes to the local Jack and Jill chapter and half goes to the Graduation Assistance Fund, which provides scholarships to students attending any of the 101 Historically Black Colleges and Universities.
"We have been thrilled with the response to the Portland Willamette Valley Jack and Jill of America and Natural Grocers partnership," said Tracy Mack-Askew, president of the Portland Willamette Valley Chapter of Jack and Jill of America. "Our members have risen to the occasion and together with our favorite organic grocer, we have truly been impacted by Natural Grocers' investment in our families and community." Her statement was included in the Natural Grocers' press release.
One key to the partnership is Natural Grocers' commitment to recruit employees from the Jack and Jill chapters and then offer career and training opportunities. Career paths include nutritional health coaching and positions in store support and distribution centers. Also, internships will be available to Jack and Jill participants who are 18 or older.
"At Natural Grocers, our core principles not only define who we are, but also who we partner with in our mission to improve the health and wellbeing of our communities by providing access to affordable, high quality food and nutrition education," Kemper Isely, Natural Grocers chairman and co-president, said in a released statement. "As our partner, Jack and Jill of America, helps us to reinforce our purpose-driven mission to all communities across the country."
The company and Jack and Jill both are committed to education and empowerment; accessible, high quality health and wellness choices; and opportunities for growth and advancement through purpose-driven programs.
"Standing by our principles is paramount to the success of our organization and to our ability to keep our families and children our number one priority, so when we found our values shared amongst the team at Natural Grocers, we knew we'd found an invaluable partner," Danielle Brown, national president of Jack and Jill of America Inc., said the statement released by Natural Grocers.
Source: Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage