When Rent-A-Center was founded in 1986, the company’s goal was to provide hardworking people with an ownership path to items designed to enrich their lives. In 2008, RAC launched Random Acts of Caring, focused on random acts of kindness through various nonprofit organizations throughout the United States. The results have been money, gift cards, and merchandise for benefit-deserving groups.
This past June, RAC completed its 102nd Random Act of Caring, donating $5,000 to Florida-based PACE Center for Girls, which assists more than 2,000 at-risk young women in that state.
A Far Reach
True to the name and nature of the program, RAC surprises nonprofits with unexpected donations. Organizations can’t apply for a Random Act of Caring. Instead, they’re selected by RAC from a variety of sources. The organizations that receive donations impact the same communities as RAC, and they are often chosen because they provide vital social services, such as after-school programs, education, job training, and safe houses.
Other examples of Random Acts of Caring recipients include New Pathways for Youth, a Phoenix-area youth-mentoring organization; Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Youth Foundation, which aids young people at risk; Operation Supply Drop, a military-focused organization that sends video game care packages to active and injured servicemen and -women; and Treehouse, a Seattle-based nonprofit that assists children in foster care.
Though donations are usually given directly to nonprofits, Rent-A-Center completed another Random Act by awarding an Atlanta store manager with a $1,000 Visa gift card, asking him to share the donation with a worthy group. The money went to LiftUp Atlanta, which helps the homeless and feeds the hungry, providing food, shelter, clothing, counseling, health assessments, and more.
What’s in a Name
Is it a coincidence that RAC would create a philanthropic program with the same acronym? When you consider that Rent-A-Center has a storied history of giving back, you realize the duplicate name fits perfectly—and describes all that Rent-A-Center strives to be.