“Thanks a Billion!” Target Kicks Off A New Teacher Appreciation Campaign

May 20, 2015 - Article reads in

Update: Thanks to a flood of guest participation, Target has reached its $6 million donation goal! However, you can still thank a teacher on the Thanks a Billion website.

Before you say farewell at the end of the school year, say thank you. That’s the message Target’s sending to students and parents everywhere with its Thanks a Billion campaign, which invites guests to honor rock star teachers for all their hard work. 

Thanks A Billion Play

As part of the social campaign, guests are encouraged to share a message of appreciation through Target’s Facebook page or the Thanks a Billion website, honoring a teacher who has made an impact on their life. When a guest submits a note of gratitude (certain terms & conditions apply), Target will donate $25 to the teacher’s school with the opportunity for each school to receive up to $25,000. But here’s the best part: Target won’t stop until it’s given away a grand total of $5 million

“Supporting local communities through giving has always been a cornerstone of Target’s business,” said Laysha Ward, executive vice president and chief corporate social responsibility officer, Target. “Thanks a Billion campaign is one way guests can help Target achieve our goal of giving $1 billion for education by the end of 2015  and show gratitude to teachers who help shape and guide students nationwide.” 

To help school people about the Thanks a Billion campaign, Target called on a few friends. For starters? Ellen DeGeneres!  

“We are partnering up with Target this month for the Thanks a Billion campaign, which is all about showing appreciation to our teachers,” said Ellen DeGeneres. “Today, we surprised an amazing principal named Carlotta Brown from Peck Elementary in Houston because she works seven days a week dedicating her life to her students.”

Ellen DeGeneres says "Thanks a Billion!"

Target partner, Camila Alves, wanted to recognize the great work of a teacher and coach from Warren Easton High School in New Orleans, a school where the Just Keep Livin Foundation, implements one of their after-school fitness and wellness program at Title 1 high schools, co-founded by Camila and husband Matthew McConaughey. They provide students at inner city high school with the tools of a healthier future. Not only did Camila praise their dedication to their students, but she’s donating $5,000 to Warren Easton High School – now that’s a big thanks! 

“Education can open so many doors—that’s why it’s so important to thank teachers who make an impact every day on the lives of students," said Camila. “For the Thanks a Billion campaign, I choose to thank Ms. Esco and Coach Tony because they are wonderful teachers who change students’ lives for the better."

Camila Alves says "Thanks a Billion!"

Secretary of Education Arne Duncan raised his hand as well, creating a special Thanks a Billion video, which gives teachers across the country a well-deserved gold star.

Thanks A Billion: Arne Duncan Play

The Holderness family—creators of family-friendly song parodies “#XMAS Jammies,” “All About That Baste” and talent partners with Maker Studios—seriously upped their web video game with a massive “clap mob” for Maryam Khan, one of daughter Lola’s teachers at Wiley Magnet Elementary in Raleigh, N.C., and a $10,000 donation to the school, from Target.

“I love to teach and I love children,” said Ms. Khan. “I spend my own money on books, games, technology and gifts, so Target’s donation to Wiley Elementary will go a long way in giving students and teachers supplies throughout the year.” 

A Bullseye View captured some special behind-the-scenes photos of the Holderness family’s clap mob for Ms. Khan to show how it all came together. Check ‘em out!

Can you think of a teacher at your own school who goes the extra mile? Don’t forget to say Thanks a Billion!

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