Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Did Kohl’s Ever Really Care?

It has been well over three months since the Kohl’s Cares Facebook competition ended. It was the competition where I teamed up with a very deserving neighborhood school, East Side Community High, to help raise awareness about their participation. School started shortly after the competition ended for ESCHS and things in my life went back to business as usual. Many of you who generously supported these kids continue to inquire about the final results, and unfortunately, there still are not any (that myself or ESCHS are aware of). Kohl’s has stayed very quiet and little is currently known as to what they are even doing. Many wonder if the whole competition was just some publicity scam for Kohl’s. One school has even gone as far as suing Kohl’s - Florida school suing over Kohl’s Cares contest. I can’t say I blame them for being a little upset. Many people devoted a lot of time, energy, and resources helping kids all over the United States participate in a contest with some pretty large promises made by Kohl’s. All of that has now vanished. Even the original contest page has been deleted by Kohl’s - http://apps.facebook.com/KohlsCares. Weird right? Funny too that part of that page forced you to “LIKE” the Kohl’s Facebook page in order to vote for a school; gaining Kohl’s millions of dollars worth of publicity when the voting ended. Then they quickly shut their doors with a smile, and have left all of the kids out in the cold; still dreaming about their chances of winning. Nice. Real nice.

There is some other news though (that I’m glad to share). I recently received an email from ESCHS and it looks like all of this has inspired them to march forward with or without the empty promises of Kohl’s. Here’s the letter I received from Mark Federman, the principle of East Side Community High School.

Dear Students, Families, Staff, Alumni, Neighbors and Friends of East Side:

Many of you supported East Side during the Kohl’s Cares contest and have been asking, What happened? Please continue reading to find out and to learn what East Side has decided to do about it and how you can help.

It is great to see the country finally talking about education, thanks to the new movie Waiting for Superman. In a country where public schools are often failing our most “at-risk” kids and families, East Side has been a beacon of light, demonstrating to the city and the country that public schools, if done right, can work for our students. Unfortunately, in these tough economic times it is becoming more and more difficult for East Side to provide our students with the much needed access to resources and experiences that broaden their interests, develop their talents and increase their cultural capital - things that many of their peers in wealthier districts or private schools often take for granted.

We hoped winning the Kohl’s Cares Facebook Contest would help us with these much-needed resources. (East Villager Article). It’s been 3 months since the Kohl’s contest ended and to our knowledge no formal winners have been announced, however several have been disqualified. East Side took great pride in making it to #26 and receiving more votes and support than any other urban public school in the entire country.

We may not have won the money, but we once again came together as a community to show the city, the country and the world what a special place East Side is. We are a community made up of incredible young people, exceptional families, extraordinary educators, loyal alumni and dear friends, old and new.

Many of you have been emailing, calling and asking, "What’s next?" and, "How can we help? We put our heads together and realized we came very close to winning the $500,000 and imagined the amazing and transformational possibilities $500,000 would do for the students of East Side: update our technology, maintain our arts and music programs, bring back our drama program, build a gym and expand our college readiness program. We decided WE MUST GET THE $500K ANYWAY!!!!!!

Therefore, East Side Community High School is launching our $500K Anyway campaign. We are committed to raise the half million dollars for our students by the end of the next school year (June 2012). We did not become one of the most successful urban schools in the country by waiting for Superman (or Kohl’s), we did it through incredible teachers and teaching, collaboration, innovation, hard and smart work, a belief in our kids and their families and most importantly, community.

Therefore, we ask you, our friends and community members, to join us and support our students by going to Friends of East Side - Support East Side Students to learn how you can help in your own little or big way. WE ARE NOT WAITING FOR SUPERMAN!



Mark Federman
Principal East Side Community High School

I definitely recommend checking out the ways to donate over at ESCHS, and if you have any other ideas definitely get in touch with them too. I also recommend heading over to Facebook and doing a quick dis-LIKE and letting Kohl’s know that it's not cool to mess with kids. Then if you feel even more compelled to hit the keyboard a little more with those human phalanges, give a few of these folks a shout and tell them how you feel...

Kevin Mansell - Chairman, President and CEO: Kevin.mansell@kohls.com
Donald A. Brennan – Senior Executive VP: Donald.a.brennan@kohls.com
John B. Worthington – Senior Executive VP: john.b.worthington@kohls.com
Julie Gardner – EVP and Chief Marketing Officer: Julie.gardner@kohls.com
Vicki Shamion – Vice President, Public Relations: (262) 703-1464 investor.relations@kohls.com
Steven Burd – Kohl's Board of Directors: directors@kohls.com
Brian F. Miller – Senior VP - Corporate Governance (262)703-1723: brian.f.miller@kohls.com
Media Relations - (262) 703-1335
Community Relations - (262) 703-7000
Wes McDonald - Chief Financial Officer (262) 703-1893

Thanks again to all of you who showed support to these kids back in August. I hope some of you can continue to show that through ESCHS’s new 500K Anyway Challenge too.

Happy Holidays to all!



No comments: