LAS VEGAS, July 15, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Zappos.com, the customer service company that just happens to sell shoes, clothing, and more, today announced that it’s partnering with legendary basketball Hall of Famer, Shaquille O’Neal for the second year in a row, to power the back to school season through his charitable initiative, Shaq-to-School. And this time, they’re bringing a new friend to the playground! Amazon is making the 2019 school year a happy one, and together with Zappos, they will give the big guy a lift in making his greatest impact yet.

“Education is an important foundation for success,” said O’Neal. “Our goal is to help get kids the supplies they need so they can concentrate on their studies. Thanks to the support of my partners at Zappos and Amazon, I’m excited to reach even more kids this year through our Shaq-to-School program.”

In 2018, American families were projected to spend up to $1,355 per kid on back to school supplies, according to Backpack Index, a study that tracks classroom supply and fee costs. Combined with the fact that approximately one in five kids in the U.S. under the age of 18 live in poverty, it’s clear that community support is crucial.

This back to school season, Zappos, Amazon, and Shaq will help spread the word about the importance of helping kids in one’s local community while delivering school supplies in person through a multi-city Shaq-Pack event benefiting the Communities in Schools (CIS) program.

Shaq-to-School strives to achieve an “E” in excellence when it comes to supporting kids in need. Its full syllabus includes:

  • Happy School Year Shaq-Pack Events: Multi-city distribution impacting 5,000 kids, thanks to donations from Yoobi, Pentel, 3M, Hasbro, Panasonic, JVC, and AmazonBasics. Happy School Year Shaq-Packs include school supplies, a backpack, shoes, and a t-shirt or hoodie.
  • Zappos for Good Host-a-Drive: Starting July 15, businesses throughout the continental U.S. can host a school supply drive in which supplies and return shipping costs are covered by Zappos.
  • Zappos for Good Special Curation: Discount codes will be distributed to CIS and other programs benefiting kids in need for use on items from a special back to school curation on Zappos.com. 
  • Zappos for Good Collection, Shaq edition: Limited edition hoodie by Psycho Bunny in support of the CIS program available at Zappos.com on July 15.

“Shaq has been raising awareness for kids in need for over 20 years, and those are some big shoes to fill,” said Steven Bautista, head of charitable giving, Zappos for Good. “Through joining forces with him and Amazon to power Shaq-to-School this year, we’re humbled to help amplify and spread the program’s effects to even more kids in our own community of Las Vegas, and beyond.”

The Shaq-to-School partnership is part of Zappos for Good, the customer service company’s department dedicated to fostering community efforts. For more information about Shaq-to-School, visit: zapposforgood.org.

About Zappos.com
Established in 1999, Zappos.com is a leading customer service company and innovator in online retail, company culture, and organizational evolution. Specializing in shoes, clothing, and more, Zappos WOWs customers through its legendary 365-day return policy, fast/free shipping, and 24/7 friendly service. To learn more about how Zappos shares its unique culture with the world, visit ZapposInsights.com. Zappos.com LLC is a subsidiary of Amazon.com, Inc.

About Shaquille O'Neal
Shaquille O'Neal is a four-time NBA Champion and three-time NBA Finals MVP. The retired, 15-time NBA All-Star was named as both one of the highest ranked athletes in the NBA and most influential in sports. With a PhD in Leadership and Education, this iconic marketing and social media marvel is ranked among the "100 Most Creative People in Business" by Fast Company Magazine. As a celebrity, athlete, business professional, and comedian, O'Neal has an enormous and devoted fan base across a variety of demographics. Visit Shaq.com; follow @Shaq on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

About Amazon
Amazon is guided by four principles: customer obsession rather than competitor focus, passion for invention, commitment to operational excellence, and long-term thinking. Customer reviews, 1-Click shopping, personalized recommendations, Prime, Fulfillment by Amazon, AWS, Kindle Direct Publishing, Kindle, Fire tablets, Fire TV, Amazon Echo, and Alexa are some of the products and services pioneered by Amazon. For more information, visit amazon.com/about and follow @AmazonNews.

About Communities In Schools
Communities In Schools (CIS) is the national organization dedicated to empowering at-risk students to stay in school and on a path to a brighter future. Working directly inside more than 2,300 schools across the country, CIS connects kids to caring adults and community resources designed to help them succeed. CIS does whatever it takes to ensure that all kids – regardless of the challenges they may face – have what they need to realize their potential.

Media contact:
Praytell Agency on Behalf of Zappos
natania@praytellagency.com