The southern department store became the nonprofit’s leading active funder after a $360,000 donation from its spring Charity Day Sale.
SUMMIT, NJ, SEPTEMBER 7, 2022– Southern department store, Belk, raised more than $360,000 during the company’s 2022 spring Charity Day Sale in support of Family Promise Affiliates and their work to address family homelessness. This recent contribution from April’s event also means that Belk has now donated over $3.1 million to Family Promise, which is one of the retailer’s national charitable partners.
Since 2018, Family Promise and Belk have worked together to empower mothers and help families experiencing homelessness to thrive as part of Belk’s commitment to impact communities throughout their footprint. Belk’s donations through this initiative, in addition to Charity Day Sales, have helped Family Promise’s Affiliates provide shelter, rental assistance, workforce development, financial training, and more in support of their mission to strengthen southern communities. With Belk’s support, in 2021, the 60 Family Promise Affiliates in the Belk region served nearly 33,000 people. 80 percent of the families in shelter achieved sustainable independence and over 18,000 people volunteered.
Blu Tolen is one mother whose life was greatly impacted by the generosity of Belk. After the loss of her mother, father, and husband in consecutive years, Tolen and her son found themselves in need of Family Promise’s services in York County, SC.
“I wasn’t even finished grieving my parents,” said Tolen. “It got to the point where I couldn’t even get out of bed. Finally, everything was just gone – the car, the job, and then the apartment.”
With an associate degree and numerous professional certifications, Tolen never thought she’d need assistance from an organization like Family Promise.
“Most of the families that end up coming to us have had something happen in their life,” said Executive Director of Family Promise of York County, Leslie Starnes. “We call it ‘circumstantial homelessness.’ This is where maybe they’ve lost a job, or maybe a family member has gotten sick, and they just don’t have the savings to be able to afford rent.”
Thanks to Belk’s support of Family Promise’s southern Affiliates, Family Promise of York County helps more than 20 families per year in shelter programs. It’s why Tolen and her son had temporary housing available to them in their time of need. After several months, and with the help of Family Promise of York County, Tolen was back on her feet and secured permanent housing. Now, this mother and son aren’t dwelling on the past, but instead are focused on the future. Tolen has a new job, and her son is studying software development with hopes of earning a master’s degree one day.
“Giving back and supporting our communities has been in Belk’s DNA since we first opened our doors over 130 years ago,” said Belk Interim CEO, Don Hendricks. “We are proud to support Family Promise as one of our national charitable partners, because the work they do for families truly helps where it’s needed most. We’re grateful for our wonderful customers who also love to give back through our Charity Sale events because everyone sees the benefits they provide our communities.”
This year, Belk’s spring Charity Dale Sale raised over $1.08 million for the retailer’s partners. Their next Charity Day Sale will be held later this year.
Charlotte-based Belk, Inc., a privately-owned department store, opened its first store in 1888, beginning a legacy of selling great products at great prices, treating customers like family, and giving back to the community. Today, Belk serves customers at nearly 300 Belk stores in 16 Southeastern states, at belk.com and through the mobile app. For over 130 years, Belk has proudly put customers and community at the center of what they do, supporting local charities, organizations, and families when they need it most.
For more information visit https://newsroom.belk.com/.
To shop, find your local store at https://www.belk.com/stores/, visit belk.com or download the Belk app in Google Play or Apple Store.
About Family Promise
Family Promise envisions a nation in which every family has a home, a livelihood, and the chance to build a better future. What began as a local initiative in Summit, NJ, has become a national movement that operates in 200+ communities in 43 states. Family Promise delivers innovative solutions for family homelessness including prevention, shelter, and stabilization services. We have served more than one million family members since our founding more than 30 years ago, and we aspire to change the future for one million children by 2030 through our community-based programs. Learn more at www.FamilyPromise.org.
Media Relations Specialist, Family Promise
Senior Manager of Public Relations, Belk