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Help local kids back-to-school shop by buying a gift card!

The Back-to-School Buddies program lets Hanes Mall shoppers buy gift cards from participating stores, which go to kids in need to do their back to school shopping.

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — The testimonies of The Salvation Army Boys & Girls Club’s students, parents, and employees inspired Hanes Mall officials to partner with WFMY News 2 and The Salvation Army to find a way to help the club’s members get this school year started on a better foot. Back-to-School Buddies pairs donors with The Boys & Girls Club members to make sure they enjoy a self-selected back-to-school outfit.

Hanes Mall installed a giant faux sneaker, trimmed with envelopes labeled with the names of stores popular with kids and teens. Shoppers can simply pick up an envelope, write a back-to-school message on the enclosed card, drop in a gift card from one of the mall’s retailers, and insert the filled envelope into the slot on the sneaker.

“The pandemic caused a lot of school closures so The Boys & Girls Club after school program stepped up to extend their hours in order to provide kids with a safe, nurturing, and encouraging remote learning option,” said Mayor Andrew Wiley, Area Commander of The Salvation Army of Greater Winston-Salem. “With the help of Hanes Mall, our hope is to bring awareness to the remarkable community resources The Salvation Army supports and to deliver local kids and teens in need the chance to shop for a first-day outfit that makes them feel confident for the in-person school year ahead.”

The enormous red sneaker is located on level one near Dillard's and will be there through Labor Day weekend. Hanes Mall hopes to deliver $3,000+ in Hanes Mall retailers' gift cards to The Salvation Army for distribution to the 300 members of The Boys & Girls Club over the course of the program.

Credit: WFMY News 2

“Hanes Mall has a long history of supporting the community, and it’s a privilege to help bring the excitement and tradition of back-to-school shopping to local kids in need. We hope the community will get behind this effort,” said Sarah Kotelnicki, marketing director for the shopping center.

For a list of Hanes Mall retailers participating in the Back-to-School Buddies program click here

About Hanes Mall

Owned and managed by CBL Properties of Chattanooga, Tennessee, [NYSE:CBL], Hanes Mall features more than 170 great specialty shops and is anchored by Dave & Busters, Belk, Dillard’s, and JCPenney. Hanes Mall is conveniently located at the intersection of the I-40, Exit Hanes Mall Blvd., or the Salem Parkway, Exit Silas Creek Parkway South Exit. For more information, visit ShopHanesMall.com.

About The Salvation Army of Greater Winston-Salem 
The Salvation Army, an international movement, is an evangelical part of the universal Christian church. Its message is based on the Bible. Its mission is to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and to meet human needs in His name without discrimination. The Salvation Army was established in Winston-Salem in 1907 and serves more than 50,000 people in Forsyth, Davie, Stokes, and Yadkin counties each year. The Salvation Army offers many programs including the only emergency shelter for homeless families in Winston-Salem and the only on-site breakfast feeding program in the community. The Salvation Army is a participating United Way agency. For more information about programs or to make a donation, visit www.SalvationArmyWS.org

About The Boys & Girls Club
The Salvation Army Boys & Girls Club's mission is to enable all young people, especially those who need us most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens. The Club provides after-school and summer programs focusing on education, character building, and physical activities.