Nationwide, pedestrian injury is one of the leading causes of injury-related death for children ages 5 to 14 — leading Via Christi Health and Kohl's Cares to develop Kohl's Safety Town, a community-based interactive pedestrian and bicycle safety education program.
Established in 2013, Kohl's Safety Town is being made possible again this year thanks to a $82,115 grant from Kohl's Cares® grant and a host of volunteers, including many Kohl's Associates in Action volunteer program participants.
This unique town travels to family-friendly events and venues throughout the year to provide hands-on learning to children ages 5 to 14 as they navigate their way through the obstacle course's various stations.
"With the support of Kohl’s, thousands of Wichita-area children received hands' on education in how to get where they're going," said Ronda Lusk, community health and Safe Kids coordinator for Via Christi's Wichita hospitals. "Our goal is to reduce the number of bicycle- and pedestrian-related injuries we see each year in our community."
In addition to increased safety, Kohl's Safety Town encourages parents and children to walk to school together, which in turn reduces congestion near schools, incorporates exercise into their daily routines and provides quality time together.
Since 2005, Kohl's has donated $613,877 to Via Christi. Previous Via Christi initiatives supported by Kohl's Cares® include Kohl's Parents Academy and Kohl's Newborns in Need. That support is made possible through the Kohl's Cares® cause merchandise program. Through this initiative, Kohl's sells $5 books and plush toys, where 100 percent of net profit benefits children's health and education programs nationwide, including hospital partnerships like this one. Kohl's has raised more than $257 million through this merchandise program.
In addition to the merchandise program, Kohl's Cares® features the Kohl's Cares® Scholarship Program, which last year recognized more than 2,300 young volunteers with more than $400,000 in scholarships and prizes. Through the Kohl's Associates in Action volunteer program, more than 834,000 associates have donated more than 2.7 million hours of their time since 2001, and Kohl's has donated more than $79 million to youth-focused nonprofit organizations. Kohl's also offers fundraising gift cards for schools and youth-serving organizations.
For more information, visit www.Kohls.com/Cares. Kohl's Safety Town’s next stop will be from 9 a.m. to noon, Saturday, Aug. 9, at Kohl’s Department Store, 6900 W. Kellogg. For more information, go to viachristi.org/kohls.