Retail giant jcpenney announced this morning, Nov. 27, the launch of its Holiday Giving Tour, a 12-day, nationwide schedule of events that will bring classic holiday traditions to major US cities. The tour launch is in conjunction with Giving Tuesday.
Many Americans rushed from the Thanksgiving dinner table to grab deals at the mall; throngs of shoppers stormed retail outlets on Friday, and the internet hummed all day Cyber Monday as bargain hunters loaded their virtual shopping carts. Today, Giving Tuesday, is designated as the day to step back from consumerism and embrace the giving spirit of the holiday season with charitable works.
The concept of Giving Tuesday originated with 92Y, a nonprofit community and cultural center in New York City, and organizations, including the UN Foundation, Special Olympics and The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research joined in the effort to make the Tuesday after Thanksgiving a national day of giving, fund raising and bringing awareness to important causes.
The jcpenney tour begins this morning in Bryant Park, Midtown Manhattan, with a free performance by John Legend, and free ice skating and hot chocolate throughout the afternoon. The tour ends Dec. 8 in Los Angeles with an acoustic performance by Blake Sheldon outside the jcpenney store at Westfield Culver City.
“The holidays are a time of generosity and giving and we look forward to sharing this holiday spirit through our Holiday Giving Tour by surprising America with acts of generosity across the country.” — Miki Woodard, vice president of philanthropy at jcpenney
The full 12-city tour has a schedule of unique events:
- Nov. 27: New York, N.Y. — In partnership with #GivingTuesday, New Yorkers will enjoy a complimentary performance by John Legend followed by free ice skating, skate rentals and hot chocolate throughout the afternoon at CitiPond at Bryant Park.
- Nov. 28: Langhorne, Pa. — Lumberjacks will distribute complimentary firewood outside jcpenney’s Oxford Valley Mall store.
- Nov. 29: Orlando, Fla. — jcpenney will replace toll booth attendants with Santas. For every toll paid, jcpenney will match with a donation to The Salvation Army up to $10,000.
- Nov. 30: Knoxville, Tenn. — A miniature jcpenney-branded blimp will drop small gifts to unsuspecting pedestrians in Market Square.
- Dec. 1: Dallas, TX — Residents of warm-weather Dallas will get a chance to sled down a customized tobogganing hill at Flagpole Hill park.
- Dec. 2: New Orleans, La. — The local jcpenney store at Oakwood Shoping Center will surprise residents by turning their parking lot into an ice skating rink.
- Dec. 3: Chicago, Ill. — Warming up the Windy City, a cashmere-clad Santa will hand out jcp cashmere scarves, hats and more in downtown Chicago.
- Dec. 4: Alamosa, Colo. — The small town will receive a fully decorated, Rockefeller Center-sized Christmas tree and lighting ceremony.
- Dec. 5: Kemmerer, Wyo. — Home of jcp’s first “Golden Rule” store, jcpenney will take over the local town car wash. Without having to get out of their cars that morning, the residents of Kemmerer can drive through a tented elf-staffed assembly line receiving hot cider or coffee, a $10 jcp gift card, a breakfast burrito from a local restaurant, and a car wash by jolly Santas.
- Dec. 6: Portland, Ore. — A local artist will create a beautiful pointillism portrait made out of hundreds of live poinsettias outside Pioneer Courthouse Square and at the end of the day, residents will be invited to take them home.
- Dec. 7: Phoenix, Ariz. — A team of helpful “elves” will offer complimentary valet service at the Paradise Valley jcpenney store to alleviate any stress around holiday shopping parking.
- Dec. 8: Los Angeles, Calif. — Blake Shelton will give an exclusive, acoustic holiday performance outside the jcpenney store at Westfield Culver City.