I had the great pleasure of spending my day off giving some much needed love to a Chicago Public School through Target and Heart of America. Target and Heart of America have been partnering for the past five years to makeover libraries in schools in need all across America. Ryerson Elementary School in Chicago’s Humboldt Park neighborhood was chosen to receive the 149th library makeover. Hundreds of Target team members, along with a local construction company, the Chicago Food Depository, and many from Heart of America volunteered their time to make this library makeover a success, and also to hand out books and food to each family.
The sea of red that attends these events makes me very thankful to work for such an amazing company. Target gives 5% of all of their profit back to communities in the form of these library makeovers and thousands of other volunteer events. That translates to about $4 million and many thousands of hours each week!
The library not only got a facelift with new paint, carpet, seating, tables, and bookshelves; it was also provided with 2,000 new books! Promoting literacy is a huge initiative of Target Corporation. I was blessed with a family who read to me very often as a child, and thus, with the ability to read well before I started school. I never even considered that there were children in the United States who didn’t have a similar opportunity, much less the ability to read by 5th grade! This is a very real battle for children and families in Chicago and many other places in our great country.
All of the children’s families were invited to the ribbon cutting ceremony for the library (which was completed before we got there), and then they were provided with seven books for each child to start their very own home library, and 20-30 pounds of healthy “brain” food for each child. They sure were weighed down when they left! Yet, I’m sure some of their everyday burden was lifted.
|Setting up shop|
|This room was filled with fresh fruits and vegetables|
|The dry goods room is all ready to roll!|