During the holidays, six Windermere Real Estate offices pull together for Target for Kids event where we give 100 kids from deserving families a $200 gift card to shop for their families. Instead of having our own company holiday party, we help families on the Eastside who might not otherwise be in a position to celebrate the holidays. This year, we’re partnering with The Market Place at Factoria and the Target store on December 6th for the event.
The Target for Kids tradition began in 1998 when Don Deasy, the founder of Windermere/East, Inc., decided that in lieu of a company holiday party, they would try to give back to the community. Over the last 17 years, we have done the event 14 times, donating almost a quarter of a million dollars through the Windermere Foundation.
The morning of the event, a child from each family between the ages of seven and 12 (a “little shopper”) is given his or her gift card and partnered with one of our brokers who helps the little shopper select gifts for members of their family. For many of the children, this is the first time they have experienced the joy of gift giving. Unbeknownst to the little shopper, a gift for them is also purchased. Gifts are then taken into the mall where there are 6 large wrapping stations, each powered by 15 to 20 brokers. The gifts are wrapped, tagged and packaged for the little shopper to take back to their family.
While they wait for the gifts to be wrapped, there are crafts, Santa pictures, and light food and beverages. The event setup begins at 7:00 a.m. and in just a short amount of time the mall is filled with over 500 people! By 10:00 a.m. the last of the cleanup is underway and 100 families are on their way home with gifts for the holidays!
It is wonderful to see how much fun the kids have and to experience the joy felt by getting presents for their loved ones. This event is a favorite because it really welcomes the giving atmosphere of the holiday season.