A wrapped gift, picked just for you, waiting to be opened — it doesn’t take much to bring comfort and joy to someone’s holidays. Now imagine that magic multiplied across the country, touching thousands of communities, and you’ll get a sense of the true impact of Target’s annual Great Giftogether holiday giving event.
This November and December, more than 2,000 Target stores and 19 supply chain facilities are partnering with local nonprofits to identify more than 4,000 families in need, and then fulfilling their wish lists to make their holidays a little brighter. It's a one-of-a-kind, person-to-person moment, as thousands of team members volunteer to pick, purchase and wrap gifts, supported by Target and countless community partners.
What’s also incredible? The Great Giftogether began only four years ago with one team member’s idea to spread holiday joy but has since spread across our entire company. Pair this with Target’s $1 million donation to Toys for Tots — back for its fourth year — and it’s clear that Team Target’s hearts are with our communities this holiday, and always.
“The Great Giftogether is just one example of Team Target showing up to serve and strengthen its communities,” says Ron Brown, vice president, community impact, Target, who founded the program. “Our team members balance delivering joy for guests while achieving nearly 1 million volunteer hours each year for causes they care about most. I couldn’t be more proud to see the growth and success of this program, thanks to the dedication and participation across our teams."
That spirit shined bright at our store in Smyrna, Georgia, where Ron recently joined the team as they tackled families’ Great Giftogether wish lists — in partnership with the nonprofit Community Assistance Center — and made some merry memories along the way.
People to people
For our teams, the Great Giftogether is the grand finale to a year of giving back. The best part: They can plug into their strong relationships within their communities to provide them with needed support.
When it came time for our Port Charlotte, Florida, store to select a partner for this year’s Great Giftogether, local nonprofit Move Mountains was a natural choice. That’s because last October, the group, which provides kids with volunteer opportunities, helped the Target team pass out extra supplies after Hurricane Ian hit Florida. Target also provided a grant that December to support Move Mountains’ Project RAE event, which assists local families who have a child or parent battling cancer. “Target not only helped us feed these families for months but assisted in providing them with Christmas as well!” says founder Nicole Nappi.
Move Mountains, which organizes everything from meal deliveries to crafting events at retirement homes, was already familiar with area families in need, and had its own holiday giving tree program at a local school. The Great Giftogether provided a chance to level up the caring.
“Every year we try to partner with the school and provide them with bicycles for every kid on the giving tree that needs bicycles,” says Jacqueline S., Target specialty sales team leader. “This will help a lot by letting us provide for more of a lift, and partnering with a couple more families that need more than just a sticker on the tree.”
For the Port Charlotte store team, participating in the Great Giftogether isn’t just about fulfilling a family’s wish list — it also speaks to team members’ own stories of overcoming hardship.
“After Hurricane Ian, both of us were in need of a new home,” says Jenifer M., executive team lead of human resources, who helps Jacqueline plan the shopping strategy. “As moms, we know the stress of what that's like to not know if you can provide, and it just feels so heartwarming to know that we're not going to let that happen to two families.”
From the heart
Personal connections also ring true at Target’s distribution center in Midway, Georgia. The facility, which supplies area stores with everything from food to holiday décor, has an active volunteering schedule, with team members pitching in on a dozen or so big events throughout the year.
For this year’s Great Giftogether, the Midway distribution center partnered with the YMCA of Coastal Georgia to adopt two local families. Team leaders divided into two groups — one dedicated to each family — and shopped for their wish-list items, whether clothes or shoes for the parents, or fun playthings for the little ones.
Adam C., field labor analyst, volunteered to pick out the toys.
"Having two little kids of my own, that one hits near and dear to my heart because I want to be able to give them the sun, the moon and the stars,” he says. “Helping these families be able to at least give something and have a good holiday for them — that's part of the reason why I like to be so involved.”
The Great Giftogether caps a full year of giving back for the team, which also is active on Earth Day, at beach cleanups and a local trick-or-treat walk. Their good work feels even greater within their close-knit community, where Target is one of the largest employers.
“It really hits home when you can see that it's more than just the job,” Adam says. “It's a presence in the community that really does a lot of good.”
Giving back throughout the year
The Great Giftogether’s success is rooted in Team Target’s volunteering spirit, which shines bright year-round.
For example, Target's store in Prescott, Arizona, partnered this holiday season with the Yavapai County Food Bank for the Great Giftogether. It’s a relationship nurtured by team member Randy G., who volunteers each week at the food bank's dine-in program — and at Prescott’s Special Needs Activity Program. Other team members lend their support to the local Boy Scouts troop or veterans’ groups. This spirit of giving has helped the store team clock among the highest number of volunteer hours in their region.
“I appreciate so much that we can support these kinds of things within our community,” says Penny F., executive team lead, HR, who dedicates time to the American Cancer Society.
Supporting the places where our guests and team members live and work is our legacy. Add in over 400,000 team members filled with the spirit of giving, and the result is joy, multiplied. To see how we are making a positive impact throughout the year, check out Target’s community engagement efforts.