Giving back is part of our DNA. We are committed to showing the world that there’s REAL power in the optimism of youth by supporting causes that make a REAL difference. We believe that taking care of our associates and customers also means taking care of the communities where they live and work. Our AEO family and the AE and Aerie brands have come together with inspiration, passion and support to help those most in need in 2020. We are proud to share that during a challenging year for many, AEO, the AEO Foundation and the AE and Aerie brands led several successful charitable giving campaigns. Thank you to our associates and customers for increasing the impact of our giving and for helping us continue to build a better world.
Supporting Mental Health
We all can help prevent suicide, whether it’s checking in with your friends or reaching out to a professional if you need to talk. To do our part, we partnered with Crisis Text Line multiple times in 2020 – to commemorate World Mental Health Day in October, we launched Mental Health Awareness tees on AE.com with 100% of sales benefiting Crisis Text Line, and for Mental Health Awareness Month in May, we raised $262,198 through customer donations and face mask sales. These donations help provide access to free, confidential support for people in distress. Reminder: you can text EAGLE to 741741 for free 24/7 access to a live, trained Crisis Counselor.
Getting Out the Vote
Thanks to our customers, HeadCount more than doubled its voter registrations during this election cycle by registering more than 432,000 Americans to vote. You amazed us and stepped up in a huge way by raising $442,431 through t-shirt sales and checkout contributions – helping us make the largest corporate contribution in HeadCount’s history! If democracy is in your hands, our future’s looking bright.
One in nine people struggle with hunger in the U.S. To help fight hunger this holiday season, we partnered with Feeding America, the nation’s largest domestic hunger-relief organization, and thanks to our customers, we’ve donated more than 13 MILLION MEALS since November.
In a year like no other, AE and the AEO Foundation provided more than $1 million for pandemic relief, including 1 million face masks for first responders and health care providers; a $106,041 donation to America’s Food Fund made possible through the AE Come Together Concert Series, #AExMEProm, #AerieREAL Positivity Campaign, and customer contributions at checkout; plus 2,200 AE and Aerie gift cards to boost morale of medical personnel, and tons of donated merch, including more than 1 million undies donated overseas.
Promoting Racial Justice
AE, Aerie, and the AEO Foundation pledged $500,000 in support to the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF), which fights for criminal justice reform, voting rights protections, education equity, economic justice, and an end to systemic bias and racism. This donation will support LDF’s education equity programs and scholarships for exceptional African American students. Plus, we were able to collect an additional $104,534 in donations at checkout thanks to our customers, and AEO matched associate donations of $16,149 to local and national civil rights organizations.
AEO REAL Change Scholarship for Social Justice
One of the best ways to foster an inclusive culture is to help increase representation of diverse associates. To help inspire systemic change at AEO, we’re making a big commitment to investing our people. In October, we announced the creation a $5 million scholarship program to advance educational opportunities for full and part-time associates who are actively driving anti-racism, equality, and social justice initiatives. Each scholarship will help provide recipients with financial support as well as additional resources, including access to a mentorship program to help guide and assist with career development.
No Place For Hate
AEO is continuing its support of the ADL’s No Place for Hate program, a school climate improvement program that provides K-12 schools tools for combating bias, bullying and hatred. AEO has supported this initiative since 2018 following the tragic shooting at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh. In addition to this program, AEO was recognized as a sponsor of ADL’s “In Concert Against Hate,” a 25-year tradition that honors real-life heroes who’ve performed extraordinary acts of courage and compassion when confronted with anti-semitism, hatred and bigotry.
National Eating Disorders Awareness Week
Aerie proudly partnered once again with the National Eating Disorders Association to support prevention and reduce the stigma associated with eating disorders. Aerie’s 2020 campaign raised $200,106 through a limited-edition body confidence tee with 100% of sales benefiting NEDA, customer donations in stores, and a $1 donation for every unretouched photo shared on social media with #AerieREAL. Aerie also sponsored the Body Project Experience as well as virtual NEDA walks across the country.
Global Week of Inclusion
In mid-July, Aerie celebrated Special Olympics‘ Global Week of Inclusion alongside six inspiring athletes from Special Olympics’ San Antonio basketball team who competed in the Special Olympics World Games in 2019. To honor the week, Aerie shared profiles of each athlete to capture their amazing spirit. In addition, Aerie produced limited-edition Better Together tees with 100% of sales benefitting Special Olympics. Together with customer contributions, Aerie raised $245,002 for the charity, a 44% increase over last year’s donation!
Aerie Saves Lives With Bright Pink
This year marked the 11th year that Aerie has honored Breast Cancer Awareness Month and joined forces with Bright Pink, a non-profit dedicated to saving lives from breast and ovarian cancers by empowering women to be proactive about their health at a young age. Our 2020 campaign raised $130K thanks to Aerie and our customers with our limited edition Bright Pink tee selling out in less than one week! In addition, more than 7,000 Aerie customers utilized Bright Pink’s Assess Your Risk quiz, an interactive tool which enables women to determine their risk level for breast and ovarian cancer.