U.S. HBC Foundation Raises Over $2 Million, Awards Grants to Mental Health Programs at Second Annual #1in4 Fundraiser

NEW YORK–The U.S. HBC Foundation, the charitable arm of Hudson’s Bay Company in the U.S., announced that it has raised more than $2 million and awarded four grants to mental health programs as part of HBC’s commitment to donate $6 million (CAD) to mental health initiatives across North America by 2020.1 The HBC Foundations in the U.S. and Canada are dedicated to making mental health a priority in every community by increasing understanding and improving access to care.

“Now more than ever, there is a tremendous urgency to foster mental health awareness and understanding,” said Richard Baker, HBC Governor and Executive Chairman. “With these latest grants, HBC will meet its commitment to provide $6 million CAD to support mental health initiatives by the end of 2019. We are grateful for the generosity of our vendor partners, who have helped to make this happen.”

“HBC and the HBC Foundation are committed to promoting greater access to resources and services for those affected by mental illness,” said Helena Foulkes, HBC Chief Executive Officer. “By supporting like-minded organizations that can make an impact, we hope to drive progress and change around these critical issues, but the work is far from finished. We look forward to continuing to support mental health initiatives across North America.”

The grants were announced at the #1in4 cocktail fundraiser held at L’Avenue at Saks in New York City. The event, named to represent the 1 in 4 people who will be impacted by mental illness in their lifetime,2 raised more than $2 million for the Foundation’s mission through generous contributions from vendor partners of HBC and its businesses.

The HBC Foundation awarded grants to four non-profit partners: Born This Way Foundation, Bring Change to Mind (B2CM), the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), and The Jed Foundation. Together, these grants will reach over 400,000 people with mental health services and support.

Born This Way Foundation

Born This Way Foundation, founded by Lady Gaga and her mother, Cynthia Germanotta, works to support the mental and emotional wellness of young people, decrease stigma and improve access to quality resources. This year, Born This Way Foundation partnered with the National Council for Behavioral Health to launch teen Mental Health First Aid in the United States. This evidence-based program will be the first in the country to provide Mental Health First Aid training to high-schoolers in grades 10 through 12, giving young people the hands-on preparation they need to support peers who are struggling with issues like anxiety, depression, substance use, or eating disorders.

“Mental health is central to the well-being of our young people,” said Cynthia Germanotta, President and Co-Founder of Born This Way Foundation. “We know from our research that youth today already see it as an important priority but it is on all of us to make sure every young person has the tools, resources and opportunities they need to support their mental and emotional wellbeing. This generous support from the HBC Foundation will help make that goal a reality for even more young people.”

Bring Change to Mind (B2CM)

Founded by Glenn Close, Bring Change to Mind strives to end the stigma and discrimination surrounding mental illness. To that end, in 2014 the organization launched student-led mental health clubs in high schools to provide a safe space for educated conversation around these issues. In partnership with the New York City Mayor’s Office, Bring Change to Mind is scaling this program to local schools with a pilot launch slated for Fall 2019. The HBC Foundation’s grant will fund staff in New York City, high school club activities, evaluation of the pilot and a regional meet up for club members.

National Alliance on Mental Health (NAMI)

NAMI is the nation’s largest grassroots organization dedicated to building better lives for Americans affected by mental illness. Each year, the organization hosts NAMI Walks, which are the largest, most prominent mental health education and fundraising walks in the U.S. Proceeds from the walks fund education, advocacy and support services for those impacted by mental illness. The HBC Foundation supported this year’s national NAMI 5K Walk to raise awareness for mental health.

The Jed Foundation (JED)

JED is a nonprofit that exists to protect emotional health and prevent suicide for our nation’s teens and young adults. In 2018, the HBC Foundation awarded a grant to JED that was used to launch the HBC Foundation Campus Scholarship Fund, which supports JED Campus – a nationwide initiative designed to help guide colleges and universities through assessing and building upon their existing student mental health, substance abuse and suicide prevention efforts. The HBC Foundation’s grant will help JED expand its program to more college campuses nationwide.

The HBC Foundation thanks and recognizes key members of our vendor community for their significant contributions, including Willkie Farr & Gallagher, Alix Partners, American Dream, American Express, G-III, Leonard Lauder, Peerless, PVH, Salesforce, Simon Property Group and Boston Consulting Group.

Guests at the fundraiser were entertained by American singer, songwriter and actress Cyndi Lauper.

1. The U.S. HBC Foundation, the Canadian HBC Foundation and HBC together have pledged to distribute $6 million (CAD) to support mental health initiatives across North America.
2. Source: World Health Organization, October 2018.

Launched in 2017, the U.S. HBC Foundation is the charitable arm of Hudson’s Bay Company (HBC), a global retailer and the oldest company in North America. The Foundation is dedicated to making mental health a priority in every community by increasing understanding and improving access to care.

HBC is a diversified retailer focused on driving the performance of high quality stores and their omni channel platforms and unlocking the value of real estate holdings. Founded in 1670, HBC is the oldest company in North America. HBC’s portfolio today includes formats ranging from luxury to premium department stores to off price fashion shopping destinations, with more than 300 stores and about 40,000 employees around the world. HBC’s leading businesses across North America include Saks Fifth Avenue, Hudson’s Bay, Lord + Taylor, and Saks OFF 5TH.

HBC also has significant investments in joint ventures. It has partnered with Simon Property Group Inc. in the HBS Global Properties Joint Venture, which owns properties in the United States. In Canada, it has partnered with RioCan Real Estate Investment Trust in the RioCan-HBC Joint Venture. HBC has partnered with SIGNA Retail Holdings for real estate and retail joint ventures in Europe.

Tiffany Bourré