By RICK HAYES
---- — MT. VERNON — A group of volunteers from the Mt. Vernon Kohl's store rolled up their sleeves and donned gloves at The Amy Center on Thursday as part of the company's fourth annual National Go Green event in celebration of National Volunteer Week and Earth Day.
Five associates — including store manager Gaylen Brichacek — helped the center with spring clean up and landscaping projects. Other associates participating in the event include: Cheryl Hester, Janet Frazier, Emily Decker and Jessica Hensen.
"Kohl's stores and its associates are celebrating National Volunteer Week and Earth Day by volunteering through opportunities nationwide," Brichacek explained. "The Kohl's here in Mt. Vernon is helping out The Amy Center. They will get a grant of $1,500, and as a company, we're donating $2 million for the National Go Green event."
Brichacek said the annual event includes projects throughout the country, supporting youth-serving nonprofit organizations.
"It (The Amy Center) is an organization that benefits children, and that is what we look for," she said. "Our A team (Associates in Action) events that we do in town we go out and volunteer our time. Last weekend we had an event in Sandoval for One Hope United, and we do whatever they need, and they get a grant for $500 if they meet all the criteria."
Brichacek said some 13 similar events were held in the Mt. Vernon area during 2012.
Organizations interested in the grant program can visit the company's website on the community event link to register.
"They give us the dates, we have five volunteers that come from Kohl's, we help them out and they get the $500," Brichacek explained. "We do it whenever we have events that organizations need help with."
"Kohl's National Go Green event brings together our commitment to giving back and to environmental responsibility in a way that is meaningful for our associates and our communities," said John Worthington, Kohl's chief administrative officer. "Since we started the program four years ago we have donated more than $6 million in grants to local nonprofits in addition to thousands of associated volunteering their time during the month of April. We are proud of our associates' efforts to make a positive impact where they live and work and once again look forward to each and every one of our more than 1,100 locations participating as they did last year."