TOPEKA, Kan., -- In celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, which begins on September 15th, today Payless ShoeSource(R) has launched the 2009 Payless Inspiring Possibilities Program and invites shoppers to join the retailer to raise money to establish higher-education scholarships with the Hispanic Scholarship Fund (HSF) in support the future of Hispanic youth.
Through the program, Payless is selling a limited-edition Trilogy necklace for only $4 in more than 750 stores nationwide and on Payless.com(R), while supplies last, and will donate 100 percent of the net profits of necklace sales to the Payless Inspiring Possibilities Scholarship established with the HSF. This is the second annual Payless Inspiring Possibilities program to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month. Last year, Payless awarded 12 $2,500 scholarships for the 2009-2010 academic year to HSF scholars.
This year's exclusive Trilogy necklace features an on-trend design with a bead-ball silver-tone necklace and three distinctive charms -- one with the inspirational words engraved on both sides (English on one side, Spanish on the other): Dream/Sonar, Believe/Creer, and Inspire/Inspirar. The two remaining charms include a purple-colored bead and a circular swirl design.
"Youth and education are critical to the future of our nation," said LuAnn Via, president and CEO of Payless. "We were thrilled with the success of the program last year, and pleased to have given out a dozen scholarships to deserving Hispanic youth through our partner HSF. With this year's exclusive on-trend necklace design and at $4 - a price point accessible to so many -- we expect that this year's program will be equally as strong. Together, we are truly celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month and benefiting young Hispanics with strong opportunities for higher education to help them achieve their goals and make their dreams come true."
The Payless Inspiring Possibilities Scholarship program is unique because it features an on-trend fashion accessory that is affordable, enabling people to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month and support an important, worthy cause - enabling higher education for Hispanic youth.
"This year's Payless Trilogy necklace celebrates the dreams and educational goals of Hispanic youth," said Gaby Alban, spokesperson for Payless ShoeSource. "The necklace is fun to wear and is an easy and affordable way for Payless and its shoppers to honor Hispanic Heritage Month and give back to the community."
The dreams of today's Hispanic youth are our best hope for a brighter future, not only for the Hispanic community but for the nation as a whole. Through the Payless Inspiring Possibilities Scholarship program, Payless hopes to inspire all Hispanic youth to pursue their dreams and is dedicated to the continued support in achieving their educational goals.
"I am a recipient of the Hispanic Scholarship award and am grateful for helping me fund my education and easing the financial stress associated with graduate expenses," said Jasmine Diaz, graduate student at Fordham University School of Social Service. "But most of all, thank you for strengthening the Latino community through the encouragement of educationally based scholarships. Our dreams are closer in reach thanks to people like you."
For more information on the Trilogy necklace and/or the Payless Inspiring Possibilities program, please visit www.payless.com/hhm.
About the Hispanic Scholarship Fund
The Hispanic Scholarship Fund (HSF) is the nation's leading Hispanic scholarship organization, providing the Hispanic community more college scholarships and educational outreach support than any other organization in the country. In its 34-year history, the Hispanic Scholarship Fund has awarded over $250 million in scholarships to more than 90,000 students in need. Two-thirds of these students were the first in their families to go to college.
During the 2007-08 academic year alone, HSF awarded nearly 4,100 scholarships worth close to $27 million. HSF scholars are high achievers and they have or are attending close to 2,000 of the nation's diverse and academically rigorous colleges and universities in all 50 states, Puerto Rico, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
For more information about the Hispanic Scholarship Fund or to make a contribution, please visit www.hsf.net.
About Payless' Giving Programs
Payless has established formal programs to support important causes by selling unique on-trend items and making them accessible with affordable price points and then partnering with shoppers by donating a 100 percent of the net profits from item sales to a cause. Through such programs, Payless supports Breast Cancer Awareness in October and celebrates Black History Month in February and Hispanic Heritage Month in September by establishing the Payless Inspiring Possibilities Scholarships benefitting higher education of America's minority youth. Payless supports inner city youth in New York City with its Friendship Shoe program, with proceeds benefitting the Fresh Air Fund, which provides free summer vacations to underprivileged children living in the New York area. In April, Payless announced its alliance with the Nature Conservancy's Plant a Billion Trees campaign where it is donating $1 - the cost to plant one tree in the Atlantic Forest in Brazil -- for every reusable shopping bag sold. The company said it expects to plant, at minimum, 100,000 trees through this effort. These are among the Payless and Collective Brands, Inc. giving programs.
About Payless & Collective Brands, Inc.
Payless ShoeSource, Inc., a unit of Collective Brands, Inc., is the largest specialty family footwear retailer in the Western Hemisphere and is dedicated to democratizing fashion and design in footwear and accessories and inspiring fun, fashion possibilities for the family at a great value. As of the end of first quarter 2009, the company operated more than 4,500 stores. In addition, customers can buy shoes over the Internet through Payless.com(R) atwww.payless.com.
Collective Brands, Inc. (NYSE: PSS) is a leader in bringing compelling lifestyle, fashion and performance brands for footwear and related accessories to consumers worldwide. The company operates three strategic units covering a powerful brand portfolio, as well as multiple price points and selling channels including retail, wholesale, ecommerce and licensing. Collective Brands, Inc. includes Payless ShoeSource, focused on democratizing fashion and design in footwear and accessories through its more than 4,500-store retail chain, with its brands American Eagle(TM) by Payless, Airwalk(R), Dexter(R), Champion(R) and designer collections Abaete for Payless, Lela Rose for Payless and alice + olivia for Payless, among others; Stride Rite, focused on lifestyle and athletic branded footwear and high-quality children's footwear sold primarily through wholesaling, with its brands including Stride Rite(R), Keds(R), Sperry Top-Sider(R), Robeez(R), and Saucony(R), among others; and Collective Licensing International, the brand development, management and global licensing unit, with such youth lifestyle brands as Airwalk(R), Vision Street Wear(R), Sims(R), Lamar(R) and LTD(R). Information about, and links for shopping on, each of the Collective Brand's units can be found at www.collectivebrands.com.
AMERICAN EAGLE BY PAYLESS IS NOT AFFILIATED WITH AMERICAN EAGLE OUTFITTERS