Target’s Up&Up Helps School Kids In Need

In a few short weeks, the smell of newly sharpened pencils, crayons, notebooks and backpacks will replace the scent of summer.

As back-to-school season arrives, students, teachers and parents are busy prepping for another school year. According to the National Retail Federation, families with school-age kids spend more than $600 on back-to-school purchases. And the Department of Education has reported that, on average, teachers spend $400 to $500 out of their own pockets on classroom supplies each year.

That’s a big budget — and one not every family and teacher can afford.

“For millions of kids living in poverty, the right school supplies often become a luxury instead of a necessity,” said Laysha Ward, president, Community Relations at Target.

LayshaWard TargetTo help more students get what they need for the new school year, Target announced this week that for every select up & up Private Brand school supply purchased at stores from July 13 through August 2, Target will donate one school supply item to a student in need. Through the program, Target’s goal is donate up to $25 million in supplies to the Kids In Need Foundation — enough for potentially up to two million kids.

“Through this partnership with Target, we’re able to put the essential school supplies in the hands of teachers and students nationwide to ensure they can start the school year off on the right foot,” said Dave Smith, executive director, Kids In Need Foundation.

“We know that giving is important to Target guests. This program gives them an opportunity to make a positive impact on the lives of others through the simple act of buying school supplies,” said Laysha.

Small act but a big deal, wouldn’t you say? Below, Targets official blog “A Bullseye View” spoke with Laysha about the program.

Why is a lack of school supplies such an important issue to Target?
We survey our guests and they tell us that education is their number one social concern. So, as part of our commitment to communities, Target has a deeply rooted commitment to education and helping put more kids on the path to high school graduation and lifelong learning. Not all students have the resources they need to get there. School supplies enable creativity, learning and growth — those are all very important to success in the classroom.

What makes the Buy One, Give One program different than past programs?
This campaign makes it easy for our guests to engage in Target’s giving, while building brand love and supporting communities in need. With the help of our guests, we are confident we will reach the goal of donating $25 million in supplies – making this the largest cause campaign donation Target has ever made to a single organization. That’s no small feat considering Target’s long history of giving back.

How did you select the up & up brand for this program?
up & up is our exclusive brand that’s equal in quality to national brands, but at a lower price — it just made sense! There are more than 300 up & up school supplies, including pencils, paper, crayons, paints, chalk, glue, scissors and staplers. All eligible products will be clearly marked so you’ll easily see them when you’re shopping in Target stores.

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Christopher Durham
Christopher Durham is the president of My Private Brand and the co-founder of The Vertex Awards. He is a strategist, author, consultant and retailer who built brands at Delhaize-owned Food Lion, and lead strategy and brand development for Lowe’s Home Improvement. He has consulted with retailers around the world on their private brand portfolios including: Family Dollar, Petco, Staples, Office Depot, Best Buy, Metro (Canada), TLW (Taiwan) and Hola (Taiwan). Durham has published five definitive books on private brands, including his first book, Fifty2: The My Private Brand Project. In 2017, he will debut his newest book, Vanguard: Vintage Originals, a visual tour of innovation and disruption in private brand going back to the mid-1800’s. Dynamic in his presentation while down to earth and frank in his opinions, he has presented at numerous conferences, including FUSE, The Dieline Conference, Packaging that Sells, Omnishopper and PLMA’a annual trade show in Chicago. Durham lives in Charlotte, NC with his wife, Laraine, and two daughters, Olivia and Sarah.