In recognition of The Company Store’s 100th anniversary, representatives recently announced the launch of it’s Kids’ Design Contest, a program geared at inspiring creativity while supporting art education and charitable work among America’s youth. Under this initiative, The Company Store will accept original artwork from children 12 years and under, and then select one winning piece, whose design will be transformed into a comforter print for their ongoing Buy One, Give One (BOGO) comforter donation program. In this effort, The Company Store donates a new comforter to a homeless child for every comforter sold.

“Since launching this endeavor in January, we’ve seen an immensely positive response from consumers who view this as an opportunity to make a purchase while simultaneously giving back to their community,” says Dennis Warner, chief marketing officer of The Company Store. “This next phase is a chance to engage and involve children while demonstrating that making a difference in the world can be both enjoyable and rewarding.”

According to the National Coalition for the Homeless, families with children is one of the fastest growing segments of the homeless population. In 2007, 23 percent of all homeless people were members of families with children. Recent evidence confirms that homelessness among families is increasing. The rate of requests for emergency assistance by families rose faster than the rate for any other group between 2006 and 2007. More than 70 percent of cities surveyed reported an increase in the number of families with children seeking emergency assistance. Additionally, a recent report by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) reported that the number of people in families that were homeless rose by nine percent in the course of a year.

The Company Store is dedicated to making a difference in light of these devastating statistics.

“We’re pleased to partner with charities nationwide on such a vital initiative,” said Warner. “There are a significant number of homeless children in this country who do not sleep in their own home, in their own bedroom. The Company Store is committed to bringing some comfort to these children in need.”

Submissions will be accepted on the Facebook page for Company Kids (Facebook.com/CompanyKids), the children’s division of The Company Store. Voting will be open to the general public beginning March 28 through April 22 the deadline to submit artwork will be April 11.

All it takes is to submit an original design for a comforter. If that design gets the most votes on Facebook, The Company Store will use it on the thousands of comforters that it donates to homeless kids across the country. The three designers with the most votes win will Company Kids gift cards. First prize will be a $500 gift card followed by $250 and $100 for second and third places, respectively.

The competition guidelines are as follows: open to children 12 years old and younger; designs must be handmade–use paint, pencils, markers, etc. use six colors or less.

Images must be submitted in .jpg, .gif, or .png formats. For more information on the Kids Design Contest, please contact either Lance Buckley or Tricia Summers via phone at (212) 243-1431, or visit www.thecompanystore.com.