Major Community Initiatives

AEO, Inc. makes large contributions to causes in the communities in which we live, work and play.

AEO Foundation Grants

In 2010, the AEO Foundation made 40 grants totaling $126,500 to non-profit organizations in Pittsburgh, New York City, Kansas, and in Canada. The grants supported a variety of youth development and student-related environmental conservation programs.

In Pittsburgh, one grant was awarded to Womansplace and The Consortium for Public Education to expand their Expect Respect teen dating violence prevention program in area high schools. In New York City, we supported New York Cares' Youth Service Environmental Program which teaches students about environmental conservation efforts and practices. In Canada, a grant to MADD enabled the organization to present its Assembly Program, "Shattered," to high school students to raise awareness about the dangers of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. In Kansas, a grant to Headquarters Counseling Center, the leading suicide prevention organization in the state, helped upgrade its current crisis hotline system and allow more people to reach the calling center.

Pittsburgh Promise

In our Corporate Office community in Pittsburgh, American Eagle Outfitters hosted an essay contest for graduating high school seniors and made a $100,000 donation to The Pittsburgh Promise. The Pittsburgh Promise is a transformative program designed to help students in Pittsburgh Public Schools plan, prepare, and pay for education at an accredited post-secondary institution within the state of Pennsylvania.

We invited eligible students to describe their personal vision for the city of Pittsburgh, and what they would do to help realize that vision. The winners were selected by a panel of American Eagle Outfitters associates, based on vision, commitment to action, creativity, plausibility, grammar, spelling, and punctuation. The panel selected 23 winners from high schools in the Pittsburgh Public Schools system as well as Pittsburgh charter high schools.

The winners received a new laptop computer, and a gift card from American Eagle Outfitters for a new back-to-school wardrobe. They were also treated to lunch at our corporate headquarters hosted by our CEO, Jim O'Donnell.


Since 2000, Riverlife has been connecting the people of Pittsburgh with one of the city's most valuable natural resources - its rivers. In 2010, we made a $50,000 contribution to Riverlife to help complete the South Shore Riverfront Park, a 28-acre facility on the banks of the Monongahela River. The park is adjacent to our corporate campus and will provide the residents of Pittsburgh with another wonderful outdoor space.

Ottawa Community Partnership

In November 2010, American Eagle Outfitters, Inc. made a $100,000 donation to the Ottawa Community Partnership in Kansas, the home of one of our distribution centers, to help build a YMCA. Ottawa is a small town with a population of 12,887. Our contribution will help to build the community's first community wellness, recreation and gathering center. In addition, the YMCA will provide programming to make the region's young people better students and citizens, foster healthy diversity and provide wellness opportunities for all ages.