Target Helps Ventura Elementary


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Since 1962, Target has supported communities with projects through the United Way. In 2014, Target team members nationwide volunteered nearly 250,000 hours as part of the annual United Way campaign.

Target looks to provide opportunities for team members to be involved in the community and make a difference, particularly in the area of education, a core focus area for the United Way as well.

Recently, 88 area representatives from 18 Target stores—including employees from as far away as Gainesville and Ocala—joined together to help Ventura Elementary in Kissimmee.

Ventura Elementary was chosen for Target’s Annual Wellness Day partly because of a recent incident at the school. In February, the school playground was set on fire, resulting in over $60,000 worth of damage to the grounds.

“We knew we had to do something,” said Target employee and volunteer Laisa Cotto. “We wanted to do something for both the kids and the teachers that was a real and visible change.”

Target’s Executive Leadership Team was motivated to help the school. They reached out to Danielle Wolfe, a United-Way funded Americorps VISTA and coordinator at Ventura Elementary to see what they could do.

“It was the perfect time for Target to reach out,” said Danielle. “The kids and teachers needed to know the community was thinking of them.”

With Danielle and the school management, Target identified several projects, including improving the school’s landscaping and repainting the teacher’s lounge.

“We’re constantly looking for how we can help,” said Target District Team Leader Mike Slaton. “Education is a key focus for us, and this was an opportunity to make an impact. I have three boys of my own in school, so this is near and dear to my heart.”

With donations of plants and mulch from Uncle Jutty’s Nursery in Kissimmee, Target volunteers were able to freshen and rejuvenate the school’s campus, making it a source of pride for the students and community.

Students and teachers alike now have a beautiful and revitalized campus and they know firsthand that the community cares deeply for them and for their continued success.

For information about how your business can take part in volunteer activities, visit the Volunteer Resource Center.

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