Kohl’s Donates Nearly $1.5 Million to Three Milwaukee Nonprofits Benefiting Youth Engagement This Summer


Funding for Milwaukee Public Museum, Discovery World, and COA Youth & Family Centers will support STEM programming, summer camps, and free museum entry days 

As school wraps up and summer kicks off, Kohl’s is furthering its support of our hometown community by committing nearly $1.5 million in donations to Milwaukee Public Museum, Discovery World, and COA Youth & Family Centers in support of youth STEM programming, summer camps, free museum entry days, and more. Youth engagement is an important component of family health and wellness, which is the cornerstone of our philanthropic work. Families and youth throughout the Milwaukee area have a variety of fun and educational activities available this summer, and all year long, thanks to these hometown partners.

“Keeping youth engaged and providing safe entertainment for them outside of school hours and during the summer is so important for the health and futures of our communities,” said Tara Geiter, Kohl’s director of community relations. “Milwaukee Public Museum, Discovery World, and COA Youth & Family Centers are each doing amazing work to create resources and programming for our youth and we’re proud to continue our hometown partnerships with them.”   

Milwaukee Public Museum
Kohl’s has committed to donating $575,000 over the next two years to Milwaukee Public Museum to support Kohl's Thank You Thursday, which offers free admission to every visitor on the first Thursday of each month, as well as extended hours providing additional access for individuals and families. 

Since our partnership began in 2015, more than 200,000 visitors have been provided with free access to the museum through the Kohl’s Thank You Thursday initiative. Kohl’s and Kohl’s Cares have donated more than $3 million over the last eight years. To learn more about Kohl’s Thank You Thursday, please click here

“We are incredibly grateful for our partnership with Kohl’s and its impact in the community,” said Dr. Ellen Censky, Milwaukee Public Museum (MPM) President and CEO. “For the past eight years, Kohl’s Thank You Thursday at MPM has provided free admission to visitors on the first Thursday of every month. This means families and individuals who may not otherwise be able to afford tickets or memberships are able to experience our three floors of exhibits without worrying about the financial barrier. We are excited to continue this important partnership to ensure the scientific and cultural wonders of the world are accessible to all community members.”

Discovery World
Kohl’s has committed to donating $500,000 over the next two years to Discovery World to help maintain and enhance the Kohl's Design It! Lab, which welcomes summer campers to explore STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Mathematics) programming firsthand. Activities include building a model skyscraper, prototyping a wearable design, and discovering hidden math in nature. For museum guests, Kohl's Design It! Lab is included in the price of admission. Additionally, once school is back in session, Discovery World delivers a range of educational programs to participating school/organizational groups and supports school curriculum with projects that are scaled using age-appropriate technologies. It is also re-launching outreach efforts to better serve communities where they are by bringing a tangible presence to neighborhoods. 

In 2022, Kohl’s Design It! Lab provided more than 40,000 projects to kids and their families throughout Discovery World’s exhibit floor. Additionally, Kohl’s Design It! Lab served more than 5,500 students through project participation at the Lab or off-site last year. Since the partnership began in 2010, Kohl’s and Kohl’s Cares have donated more than $8.5 million to Discovery World. To learn more about Kohl's Design It! Lab at Discovery World, please click here

“The generous support from our partners at Kohl’s helps Discovery World enhance our experience and enrich the quality of science education in Milwaukee and beyond,” said Bryan Wunar, President & CEO of Discovery World. “Whether it's families designing weekend projects in the Kohl’s Design It! Lab, or students from Milwaukee’s surrounding neighborhoods spending a week learning architecture in summer camp, Kohl’s continuous commitment to our community allows us to share the wonder of science and ignite a love of endless exploration.” 

COA Youth & Family Centers
Kohl’s has committed to donating $375,000 over the next three years to COA Youth & Family Centers in support of expanding Kohl's Explore Your Future events for teens and providing daily programs for youth so they have a safe environment during hours when school is not in session. Additional opportunities are also being funded for youth and teens to engage in STEM programming and gain a greater understanding of STEM opportunities and college/career paths. 

Since 2020, more than 10,000 individuals have participated in STEM programming at COA’s two centers and Milwaukee Public Schools after school sites. Since the partnership began in 2017, Kohl’s and Kohl’s Cares have donated more than $1 million to COA. To learn more about the Kohl’s Explore Your Future programming at COA, please click here

“The challenges of the communities we serve are many, and there is no single answer or solution,” said Charlotte Y. Cannon-Sain, COA Executive Director. “To address these challenges, we will always need organizations with a heart to address the challenges and people with the hands to do the work. COA thanks Kohl’s for having the heart to address the challenges of our communities through funding and volunteer support as we roll up our sleeves to do the work.”

Kohl’s Hometown Support
Since February, Kohl’s and Kohl’s Cares have announced nearly $7.5 million in hometown partnership donations over the next three years to the American Cancer Society, Children’s Wisconsin, COA Youth & Family Centers, Discovery World, Hunger Task Force, and Milwaukee Public Museum. 

In support of its hometown, Kohl’s and Kohl’s Cares have given more than $152 million to nonprofits in the Greater Milwaukee area throughout company history. In addition to long-standing hometown partnerships with nonprofits who are making a difference in the community every day, Kohl’s also gives back through its Hometown Giving Program, and recognizes associate volunteer efforts for causes and organizations they care about through the Kohl’s Volunteer Program. To learn more, please visit Corporate.Kohls.com

Photos courtesy of COA, Discovery World, and Milwaukee Public Museum.