SOURCE: United Way of America

December 16, 2008 08:00 ET

Target and United Way Brighten Holidays for Families in Need

Innovative Retailer Will Donate $2.5 Million in Trees Through United Way

ALEXANDRIA, VA--(Marketwire - December 16, 2008) - From December 19-23, Target stores across the country will donate more than 5,000 decorated holiday trees to local United Ways that will deliver the trees to families in need as well as to partners such as shelters, community centers and childcare programs.

"Target and United Way share the same goal of improving lives. The Target 'Share-a-Tree' program is just one more way we can work together to meet that goal and positively impact communities everywhere," said United Way of America President and CEO Brian Gallagher. "We're delighted to once again join with Target to bring joy to children and families through this wonderful gift."

In addition to the trees, with a total estimated value of $2.5 million, Target and its team members gave over $13 million to communities across the country through their 2008 United Way campaign -- increasing their campaign gifts by more than 8% despite the tough economy.

This is the 18th consecutive year Target has donated holiday trees to local community partners and families in need. United Way volunteers pick up and deliver the trees to various families and nonprofit partners.

"Target has a long-standing commitment of giving to the communities we serve," said Laysha Ward, president, community relations, Target. "The Christmas season creates an added challenge for families who are struggling to meet their basic needs. Through our ongoing partnership with United Way and the 'Share-a-Tree' program, we're honored to donate Christmas trees to support families in their holiday traditions."

According to United Way of Olmsted County in Minnesota, a volunteer from Head Start, a United Way partner, asked one of last year's recipients if her family enjoyed the tree. The mother of three young children began to cry, telling the volunteer how the children jumped around and danced when they received the tree: their very first Christmas tree. The family left the tree up for weeks after Christmas because the children would not allow it to be taken down.

Jackie Crowley from United Way of Long Island described last year's Share-a-Tree program as "an incredible experience to touch people's lives, especially at this time of year. Trees were distributed to families who had endured incredible hardships and unexpected circumstances, as well as to agencies that were providing a safe haven to our neighbors in need."

A delivery volunteer from United Way of Broome County in New York described her experience last year as "wonderful." At one home where she attempted to deliver the tree, no one answered the door so she left a note in the recipient's mailbox. Although the recipient family didn't own a phone, the mother somehow found a way to call. Her seriously ill ex-husband, just returned from the hospital after suffering a terrible seizure, had been unable to answer the door. Close to tears, she hugged the volunteers when they delivered the tree and thanked everyone involved for helping make her children's last Christmas with their father very special.

About United Way

United Way is a worldwide network in 47 countries and territories, including nearly 1,300 local organizations in the U.S. that advance the common good, creating opportunities for a better life for all by focusing on the three key building blocks of education, income and health. The United Way movement creates long lasting community change by addressing the underlying causes of problems that prevent progress in these areas. LIVE UNITED is a call to action for everyone to become part of the change. For more information about United Way, please visit: LIVEUNITED.org.

About Target

Minneapolis-based Target serves guests at 1,684 stores in 48 states nationwide by delivering today's best retail trends at affordable prices. Target is committed to providing guests with great design through innovative products, in-store experiences and community partnerships. Whether visiting a Target store or shopping online at Target.com, guests enjoy a fun and convenient shopping experience with access to thousands of unique and highly differentiated items. Since 1946, the corporation has invested five percent of its income in the communities it serves. Target (NYSE: TGT) gives more than $3 million a week to its local communities through grants and special programs. Target partners with nonprofit organizations, guests and team members to help meet community needs. For more information, go to www.target.com/pressroom.

Contact Information

  • Media Contacts:

    Sally Fabens
    United Way of America
    Email Contact
    703-836-7112, x 401

    Target Media Line
    612-696-3400