Rite Aid Foundation gives $20,000
With help from the Union College Chi Psi Fraternity and a Union College senior serving as a Marketing Intern, Boys & Girls Clubs of Schenectady received a grant today from the Rite Aid Foundation for $20,000 as part of Rite Aid’s “Big Hearts Give” Challenge. A check presentation was held Thursday, February 11, 2016 at Rite Aid’s Eastern Ave location in Schenectady, attended by Rite Aid officials, staff and board from Boys & Girls Clubs of Schenectady and Union College students and staff.
In 2014, Rite Aid began their journey together with more than 200 charities, to build a powerful coalition of organizations who share a mission to create better lives for the children. This is the driving force behind the Rite Aid Foundation and is the reason the KidCents program was created. To celebrate the one-year anniversary of Kid Cents, Rite Aid Foundation launched the “Big Hearts Give” Challenge to award participating charities with $5000 to $20000 in grants depending on the number of designations received. 300 designations were needed to reach the $20,000 level. The incentive program ran from October through January 31st.
The special challenge was designed by The Rite Aid Foundation to help KidCents charities raise awareness, grow their donor network and earn additional funds for their organization. In all, The Rite Aid Foundation’s KidCents program will donate a total of $1,597,500 to 182 KidCents charities.
Boys & Girls Clubs of Schenectady was excited to participate in the challenge and started November with 14 designations. By the beginning of December, the organization was only at 21 designations despite an organization-wide promotional effort. It was in late December that Boys & Girls Club of Schenectady received an email from Gregory Geisel, the Philanthropy Chair of Union’s Chi Psi fraternity, offering volunteer support. “We decided to ask the fraternity to assist with the Big Hearts Give Challenge, as we realized we probably couldn’t reach 300 designations by January 31st on our own”, said Lauren de Jong, BGCS Director of Development.
“Chi Psi accepted the challenge with great energy and excitement and immediately jumped into action. Also in early January, we were lucky enough to have a marketing intern from Union College placed with our organization, Jake LaRovera. Jake joined in right away to support our Kid Cents Challenge efforts, harnessing the power of students at Union, working closely with the Fraternity to stay on track towards our goal.”
Once Union College got involved, Boys & Girls Clubs of Schenectady immediately jumped up to 164 designations in January. “It was truly amazing”, de Jong said. “I kept in close contact with Nolan Lescallet (Chi Psi President), Gregory Geisel and Jake LaRovera all through the month of January, as well as the Union Greek Life office. The students at Union were wonderful to work with and the Greek Life office was very supportive of the project and the work the students were doing for us. Working with the college students on this Big Hearts Give Challenge was an incredible experience and truly illustrates the power, excellent work ethic and heart of the student body at Union. The Chi Psi brothers and our intern Jake told us they would make this happen-- and they did exactly that. With their hard work and dedication to the cause, we now have $20,000 from the Rite Aid Foundation. It truly is an amazing thing!”
When the final results were in, not only did the Boys & Girls Clubs of Schenectady reach the goal of 300 new designations for Rite Aid Kid Cents, they surpassed that goal by 64 designations.
The Boys & Girls Clubs of Schenectady would like to thank the Rite Aid Foundation and the Eastern Ave Rite Aid location for its generous support and for the opportunity to participate in the Kid Cents program and the Big Hearts Give Challenge. Special thanks also goes out to the BGCS Board, Auxiliary, and loyal supporters who also assisted the organization meet its goal. And again, success would not be possible without the Chi Psi Fraternity, Elizabeth Artz and Jake LaRovera, “our amazing Union College friends”.
Rite Aid Foundation grant funds will support important Boys & Girls Clubs of Schenectady programs that promote the social, educational, health, leadership, and character development of boys and girls in Schenectady during critical periods of their growth. Boys & Girls Clubs of Schenectady provides a safe place for more than 12,000 Schenectady kids to learn and grow, ongoing relationships with caring, adult professionals, life-enhancing programs and character development experiences, hope and opportunity… and fun!