Friday, November 23, 2012

Target Gives Back

Everyone in the U.S. knows about Target. If they don’t, they obviously live under some rock. Target is the place to go for everything from amazing clothes and shoes to house wares and (if you’re lucky) groceries. Target is the kind of place I can go into and wander around aimlessly in for way too long (and spend way too much money). In fact, its where probably almost all of my kids clothes have always come from because their boys clothing selection is just better than any one else’s.

I learned something new about Target this week though. Turns out Target gives an astounding amount of money back to the communities that they reside in through grants and arts partnerships. To the tune of $2.35 million in 2011 in the Atlanta area alone which by my math is almost half a million dollars per person. That’s pretty awesome.

This includes grants through Target’s Take Charge of Education program, which lets guests allocate 1% of their Target REDCard and Target Check Card purchases to the K-12 school of their choice. That means schools all over the Atlanta area are getting some of the money you spent at Target back to improve the quality of education that your kids are getting. In fact 2011, more than 84,000 K-12 schools in the U.S. received a Take Charge of Education (TCOE) check from Target, totaling more than $26 million in donations for the year. They’ve donated $324 million through TCOE since 1997, putting them on track to reach their goal of $425 million in cumulative TCOE donations by FYE 2015.
Target also donated a school library makeover to Knollwood Elementary School, courtesy of their partnership Heart of America Foundation. In addition to new books, Knollwood received new computers, furniture and other essentials to make the school library thrive. Students were also given a new set of books to take home so that their whole family could share in the experience! How amazing of a gift is that?

The giving just goes on and on from Target in the Atlanta area. 88 schools benefitted from the 2011 Target Field Trip Grant, giving students the opportunity to see the world through different perspectives. The local grant supports The Woodruff Arts center, the Atlanta Community Food Bank, and The Sheltering Arms program. Target also supports the local United Way though store grants and employee contributions. Even the employees are in on the action!

Then there is the support for the Atlanta arts (a personal favorite). In case you haven’t heard, Target offers the Target Free Second Tuesdays program at the Atlanta Children’s Museum. Can’t beat free and you certainly can’t beat the amazing fun and learning experiences that the Children’s Museum brings. Add that to supporting accessibility in the classroom to organizations like the Alliance, the High, and the National Black Arts Festival and you have the kind of learning experience that every child deserves.

Did you know that Target did so much? Giving back in a community takes a special kind of company in general but when you take into account the employee donations and the support for the arts, you get a company that is going above and beyond to ensure the best of education in its communities. Even more reason to love Target.

*I was invited to join Target at the Children's Museum in Atlanta to get the information for this post but the thoughts are my own.

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