BY: Bianca Nicholson
Retailers Aéropostale and p.s. from aéropostale teamed up with nonprofit DoSomething.org again this year for the fifth annual Teens for Jeans campaign to collect jeans for homeless teens across the nation.
The Teens for Jeans campaign collects jean donations at all Aéropostale and p.s. from Aéropostale stores and distributes them to local homeless shelters in need. Stores are actively collecting jeans for this year’s drive until Feb. 20, but will still accept donations after that date for the next Teens for Jeans drive. For every pair of jeans donated, customers receive a sticker sheet with a coupon for 25 percent off of their next pair of Aéropostale jeans.
Atlanta area stores Teens for Jeans donations benefit various homeless shelters, although most donations will be sent to the Atlanta Union Mission. The Atlanta Union Mission is the largest and longest-running shelter in Atlanta. Homeless men, women, and children can seek emergency or temporary shelter, recovery programming, job attainment, and transitional housing through the Atlanta Union Mission.
According to the National Coalition for the Homeless, one out of every three homeless people is under the age of 18, the majority between 15 and 17. It is estimated that 1.6 to 1.7 million people under the age of 18 will experience homelessness each year.
The homelessness crisis inspired the Teens for Jeans campaign’s involvement in communities across the nation. Aéropostale believes that with the brand’s popularity among today’s teens, the more than 900 stores in the United States and Canada could make a difference in their local communities. The company has committed to donating an additional 10,000 pairs of new jeans.
The promotion of Teens for Jeans in high schools differs from previous years. Popular musician Demi Lovato recorded the public service announcement for the use of involved high schools. High school students can get their schools involved by setting up a Teens for Jeans drive at their school. By signing up online at DoSomething.org, students received kits with banners, boxes, and stickers to promote and collect for the cause.
The school with the highest number of jeans collected wins $5,000 for the school and a pair of jeans for every student. Two $500 college scholarships will be given to two randomly selected participants.
Executive Vice President of Aéropostale Mary Jo Pile informed stores that this year 7,500 schools signed up to hold a Teens for Jeans drive, as opposed to the previous year that saw 1,200 schools get involved.
The Teens for Jeans drive at Fannin County Schools in North Georgia collected 300 pairs of jeans. Theresa Miller, store manager of the Town Center at Cobb Aéropostale in Kennesaw, would love to see more schools involved.
“It’s easy for high schools to be involved,” she said, “The Teens for Jeans drive is set up already. It’s a given project for when you want to help your community.”
Miller is a big supporter of the campaign and Aéropostale’s community involvement.
“It’s an excellent campaign. It’s doing something great for the community and our company is very big in that. It’s one of the criteria of working here; you have to get involved in the community,” She said.
The Town Center at Cobb Aéropostale has collected more than 1,300 pairs of jeans so far. The employees are utilizing all of their networks in order to reach a goal of 1,500 pairs of jeans.
Customers are encouraged to do the same, asking their friends, families, Facebook networks, churches and schools to donate to the cause.
As Adam Heykens, an assistant manager at the Town Center Aéropostale, said, “It’s a cool trade off. There are some families who really enjoy doing it. Some parents have made it into a nice lesson for their kids, making a point of helping their community.”