Kohl’s Donates $10 Million to Boys & Girls Clubs of America, Providing Trauma-Informed Care to Over Four Million Youth


Nearly half of all United States youth have experienced at least one potentially traumatic event in their lives, highlighting the need for trauma-informed strategies and practices

Kohl’s announced today a donation of $10 million, over three years, in support of the company’s national nonprofit partner, Boys & Girls Clubs of America, to support the development and delivery of trauma-informed training to Club staff, providing them with the skills to implement trauma-informed practices through formal and informal learning experiences with youth. Additionally, as a Signature Sponsor of Youth of the Year, Kohl’s will receive the highest level of partner recognition for both the program and events, further supporting youth across the nation. This renewal marks the largest single donation in Kohl’s history, and is part of the company’s commitment to deliver meaningful change for good to its people, customers and communities by giving $20 million in support of diverse communities by 2025. The national partnership with Boys & Girls Clubs of America, which was established in 2019, is rooted in Kohl’s commitment to develop and execute critical programming aimed at improving the physical and emotional well-being of children and families. 

“I’m incredibly proud to continue our partnership with Boys & Girls Clubs of America as we expand access to safe, inclusive Club experiences and provide targeted programming to build essential trauma-informed skills needed to build great futures,” said Michelle Gass, Kohl’s chief executive officer. “Forty-five percent of all U.S. youth have experienced at least one potentially traumatic event in their lives, and those events can change the way a child understands the world, resulting in lingering fear and anxiety. Prioritizing mental health amongst our youth continues to be an important issue for both Kohl’s and Boys & Girls Clubs of America. This multi-year donation will allow the organization to reach more youth across the nation and support young people in navigating all life circumstances. 

“We are thrilled to have the support of a committed partner like Kohl’s, enabling enhanced staff training and resources for local Clubs focused on trauma-informed care – a strategy that allows Clubs to continue supporting young people right where they are,” said Jim Clark, president & CEO, Boys & Girls Clubs of America. “This partnership is vitally important as we continue our commitment to enhance resources and tools to meet the evolving social and emotional needs of kids and teens across the country.” 

Improving Emotional and Physical Well-Being Nationwide
Boys & Girls Clubs of America and Kohl’s believe every young person deserves to thrive. However, for too many kids and teens, a great future and their ability to reach their full potential are threatened by widening emotional and wellness stressors. 

Over the past two years, Kohl's support enabled Boys & Girls Clubs across the country to integrate essential social-emotional development (SED) skills across its curriculum. Social-emotional development (SED) offers positive experiences, relationships and environments that young people need to become healthy, capable adults. Together, Boys & Girls Clubs of America and Kohl’s have trained over 24,000 Youth Development professionals and hosted over 800 training sessions focused on SED. As a result, the youth organization was able to integrate more than 70 curriculum resources that span social and emotional skill development as well as curate six curriculum resources to support social emotional skill development. 

The Kohl’s partnership has fueled the strength of 4,700 Boys & Girls Clubs, increased program quality, enabled youth voice and advocacy, and overall, nurtured the potential of the 4.3 million youth Boys & Girls Clubs of America serves annually. 

Bolstering Commitment to Help Support Healthy Youth
Whether experiencing the negative effects of bullying, poverty or a parent’s divorce, many kids face threats to their emotional well-being every day. In fact, according to Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s national impact study, nearly half of all United States youth have experienced at least one potentially traumatic event in their lives. This is especially true for youth of color who may not feel connected or included due to racism and social injustices they must contend with. 

As a result, Clubs must have strong policies, practices and partnerships to ensure that youth and teens find a safe place, supportive mentors and high-quality programs that allow them to build resilience and cope with uncertainty and difficult situations in a positive way. To accomplish this, Clubs must become trauma-informed. 

With Kohl’s $10 million gift, Boys & Girls Clubs of America will be able to fully support the emotional wellness of more than four million youth through the implementation and scaling of key initiatives that cultivate emotional wellness in young people long-term, including, but not limited to: 

  • Continue to support and educate Clubs on trauma-informed strategy and practices. This grant will enable Boys & Girls Clubs to scale up current resources with trauma-informed strategy, which integrates programs that teach the social-emotional skills and include a comprehensive trauma-informed review of the Youth of the Year program to ensure an emotionally safe experience for youth and staff.  

    • GOAL: Expose 3,900 Clubs by the end of the grant term, with all 4,900 clubs being on their way by the end of 2025, ultimately impacting more than four million youth by 2025. 

  • Enhance staff competency and confidence through trauma-informed training. This funding will be used to support the development and delivery of trauma-informed training to Club staff, providing them with the skills to implement trauma-informed practices through formal and informal learning experiences with youth. Boys & Girls Clubs of America will pilot Trauma-Informed Center of Distinction learning, that allows staff to attend in-person classroom learning and observation sessions with an exemplar trauma-informed Club and invest deeper in the professional development of Club staff tied to Youth of the Year.  

    • GOAL: 100% of Club staff will be exposed to trauma-informed practices by the end of 2025 and 500+ staff advisors will be trained annually for Youth of the Year. 

  • Integrate trauma-informed practices into Youth of the Year programs and events. The donation will help enhance the delivery of Youth of the Year programming for Clubs by making updates, integrating trauma-informed practices and digitizing program assets and resources, making them more accessible and easier-to-use for Club staff.

    • GOAL: Grow Youth of the Year program to 100,000 youth annually by 2025, directly impacting 225,000-275,000 youth. 

  • Support Youth of the Year scholarships and events. Through this funding, Kohl’s will ensure all qualifying Youth of the Year finalists and their mentors have access to travel across the state, region and country to participate in events, while also awarding scholarships to teens awarded the state, regional and national Youth of the Year title.

    • GOAL: Award 110 scholarships annually.

Kohl’s donation is made possible through Kohl’s philanthropic merchandise program, Kohl’s Cares, which sells children’s books and toys and donates 100 percent of the net profit to charitable organizations nationwide that improve the health and wellness of families.

Kohl’s National Volunteer Initiative
Kohl's is also a supporter of local Clubs through our associate volunteering efforts. Through the Kohl’s Volunteer Program, when associates volunteer their time with Boys & Girls Clubs of America or Kohl's other national partners, Kohl’s will donate $50, double the amount of Kohl’s regular donation, for each hour served to the benefitting nonprofit, amplifying the impact of their service. 

Since the Kohl's Volunteer Program's inception in 2001, the Company has donated more than $184 million in recognition of the more than 5.5 million hours Kohl’s associates have volunteered at eligible nonprofits across the country. 

To learn more about Kohl’s commitment to family health and wellness and community partnerships, or to access Kohl’s 2021 ESG Report, visit Corporate.Kohls.com.

About Kohl's
Kohl’s (NYSE: KSS) is a leading omnichannel retailer. With more than 1,100 stores in 49 states and the online convenience of Kohls.com and the Kohl's App, Kohl's offers amazing national and exclusive brands at incredible savings for families nationwide. Kohl’s is uniquely positioned to deliver against its strategy and its vision to be the most trusted retailer of choice for the active and casual lifestyle. Kohl’s is committed to progress in its diversity and inclusion pledges, and the company's environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) stewardship. For a list of store locations or to shop online, visit Kohls.com. For more information about Kohl’s impact in the community or how to join our winning team, visit Corporate.Kohls.com or follow @KohlsNews on Twitter.

About Boys & Girls Clubs of America
For 160 years, Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA.org) has provided a safe place for kids and teens to learn and grow. Clubs offer caring adult mentors, fun and friendship, and high-impact youth development programs on a daily basis during critical non-school hours. Boys & Girls Clubs programming promotes academic success, good character and leadership, and healthy lifestyles. More than 4,900 Clubs serve over 4.3 million young people through Club membership and community outreach. Clubs are located in cities, towns, public housing and on Native lands throughout the country, and serve military families in BGCA-affiliated Youth Centers on U.S. military installations worldwide. National headquarters are located in Atlanta. Learn more about Boys & Girls Clubs of America on Facebook and Twitter.