JCPenney Celebrates Women’s History Month with Community Grants

In honor of women going above and beyond to serve the community, Plano-based JCPenney said it is awarding five female changemakers a $2,000 donation to the nonprofit of their choice. Applications opened on March 1, and winners will be announced on May 1.

Plano-based JCPenney announced that it will award $10,000 in grants to women making a significant impact in their communities through philanthropic work and will honor Women’s History Month by releasing a “Women Making Change” apparel collection.

In honor of women going above and beyond to serve the community, JCPenney said it is awarding five female changemakers a $2,000 donation to the nonprofit of their choice.

The company said eligible applicants can be any woman actively serving their community through volunteer work at a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. Applications for these grants opened on March 1 on, where women can apply or be nominated for the chance to be selected.

Winners will be announced on May 1.

“At JCPenney, our commitment is to stand with our communities. We want to recognize the amazing contributions of women to their communities and highlight their inspirational examples,” Michelle Wlazlo, chief merchandising officer at JCPenney, said in a statement. “Our grant initiative is just one way we want to celebrate Women’s History Month and we’re excited to learn about the women who are making a difference every day.”

‘Women Making Change’

JCPenney said that Hope & Wonder, its brand that seeks to honor and celebrate cultural moments while supporting its communities, is releasing a Women’s History Month collection featuring styles surrounding the theme “Women Making Change.”

Hope & Wonder’s Women’s History Month Collection was created and curated in-house by JCPenney’s Creative Coalition, a cross-functional team of designers from diverse backgrounds who bring their authentic selves and distinctive voices to creating each Hope & Wonder collection, the retailer said.

The collection’s net profits will be donated to Dress for Success Worldwide, a leading global organization that empowers unemployed and underemployed women to achieve economic independence by providing no-fee programming, network, and community to succeed in work and in life.

Celebrating uplifting impact

JCPenney features associates and nonprofit partners who have shown exemplary service to their communities in its spring collection campaign photo shoot.

The company said the group of community changemakers consists of three JCPenney associates who go above and beyond as volunteers in their communities—identified as Carol, Grace, and Pamela Jackson, who also serves as the CEO of Dress for Success Dallas — and four charity partner leaders —Texas-based Gabriela Kane Guardia, executive director of Latinitas, Irving-based Soudary Kittivong-Greenbaum, VP of development for Alliance for a Healthier Generation, Rachel Currie Triska, CEO of VolunteerNow, and Claire Babineaux-Fontenot, CEO of Feeding America.

JCPenney said it recognizes these women because they have a heart for service and strive to make everybody count.

In honor of Women’s History Month, JCPenney said will be making donations to the causes and charities these community leaders support.

“We have the honor of working with incredible women every day—through our nonprofit partnerships, our women-owned brand founders, colleagues we collaborate with daily, not to mention all the women that walk through our doors as customers,” Katie Mullen, chief customer officer at JCPenney, said in a statement. “While these initiatives are highlighted today, we hope their impact is celebrated beyond this one month.”

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