Target gives $86,000 to community |

Target gives $86,000 to community

Julie Sutor/Special to the Daily

SUMMIT COUNTY – A few weeks ago, Christina Carlson worried that newborn babies in Summit County might not get the attention and care they need next year.

Carlson, director of the Family and Intercultural Resource Center – FIRC – faced a serious revenue shortage for FIRC’s Warm Welcome program, as state funding dried up.

“We’ve been scrambling pretty hard for that program,” Carlson said.

On Thursday night, Target officials came to the rescue and handed Carlson a $5,000 check.

Through Warm Welcome, trained volunteers provide prenatal and postnatal visits to the county’s new mothers. Volunteers conduct training on early childhood development and care and quell new parents’ anxieties.

Each mother receives a bag with a baby book, an instructional videotape, a comprehensive childhood resource guide and information on breast feeding, immunization, postpartum depression and finding daycare.

The Target grant, coupled with funds from the Coors Foundation, assures that Warm Welcome will be up and running throughout 2004.

“This is a great support to us,” Carlson said, waving a red and white scarf at a reception in Breckenridge. “I love Target.”

FIRC was one of several Summit County nonprofit organizations at the Silverthorne Target’s Evening of Giving, during which store officials announced more than $86,000 in grants, employee payroll contributions, product donations and volunteer hours.

“Target has been giving back to the community since 1962,” said Gaye Melton, Target spokeswoman. “It’s not something we do. It’s who we are.”

According to Melton, Target contributes more than $2 million a week to education, the arts and social services programs in communities that house its stores.

Among this year’s Summit County recipients are the Summit Foundation, Keystone Science School, Summit County Libraries, the Lake Dillon Performing Arts Foundation, the Summit Historical Society and the Summit School District.

Through a payroll deduction program, employees of the Silverthorne Target give regular contributions to the Summit Foundation, a local foundation that supports nonprofits in Summit County and surrounding areas.

Since Target’s opening in March, employees have set aside $8,500 of their pay for the organization.

“For a first-year program to donate $8,500 is tremendous,” said Deb Edwards, executive director of the Summit Foundation. “We honor Target’s giving philosophy. In terms of having them in our community, they’re a great partner for a lot of organizations.”

Through Target’s Take Charge of Education program, the store has contributed about $7,000 to area schools since its opening.

Whenever a shopper uses his or her Target Visa, the store donates 1 percent of the purchase amount to a K-12 school chosen by the customer.

In addition to its financial donations, Target encourages its employees to contribute their time.

Since March, local Target workers have logged about 1,500 volunteer hours, mostly through Habitat for Humanity projects, including a new home for one of the store’s employees.

Store manager Bill Kelt said it makes sense for the store to give back to the community.

“These nonprofit organizations help our team members,” Kelt said. “The economy is not strong, and the need for funding has made it more important for us to support their work.”

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