A nationwide retailer that cites philanthropic involvement as a cornerstone of its business is on track to double its impact this year within Coastal Georgia.
Team members at the Target Regional Distribution Center in Liberty County’s Tradeport East Business Center are on pace to exceed the facility’s community service goals, according to general manager Melinda Macdonald.
“We take pride in being a good neighbor in the community,” Macdonald said, repeating a company cornerstone. “Our focus is where our team members and guests live and work.”
The Midway distribution center has accumulated its service hours this year by supporting the Liberty and Bryan county school systems, the Boy Scouts of America, United Way of the Coastal Empire and Coastal Empire Habitat for Humanity.
Team members also recently participated in Hinesville Safe Kids Day and National Night Out.
Midway employees and those from the Target import warehouse in Savannah also are teaming up for a partnership with Coastal Empire Habitat for Humanity, where volunteers are dedicating several Saturdays this fall to build a home in Savannah. Together, the two facilities donated $3,000 to the organization.
Target’s commitment to communities encourages the Midway distribution center’s approximately 500 employees to engage in such projects.
The Midway distribution center employs warehouse workers and packers who receive support from teams dedicated to maintenance, logistics, assets protection and human resources.
Charitable donations are part of the company’s larger corporate responsibility efforts. Since 1946, Target has given 5 percent of its profits through community grants and programs. Today, that giving equals more than $4 million each week, Macdonald said, adding that the Minneapolis-headquartered retailer is committed to education and helping more U.S. children read proficiently by the end of the third grade — a critical milestone on the path to graduation. The Midway facility employees support this commitment by volunteering for events like Read Across Liberty.
In addition, this year the center is focusing its grant funds toward education projects through local school systems and extracurricular activities such as the Boy Scouts.
Each spring, the facility also conducts a campaign to raise funds for the United Way of the Coastal Empire’s Liberty County office. Midway team members have raised a significant amount for the 2013 campaign, which ended last week.
“When you get a chance to give and serve someone else, you take greater pride in what you have and what’s around you,” Macdonald said when asked how volunteerism impacts the center’s employees. “Volunteerism provides team members with an opportunity to make a lasting impact in the communities where they live and work.”
The contributions have not gone unnoticed. In 2011, Target was named the Liberty County Chamber of Commerce business of the year with more than 35 employees, following a nomination by the Liberty County Development Authority.
Employees at the distribution center operate with customers in mind, Macdonald said, to move general merchandise and dry grocery products as efficiently and effectively as possible to stores in Coastal Georgia and along Florida’s eastern coast. Another regional distribution center in Tifton serves western Florida.
“We’re a team-oriented organization, and we focus on delivering great results. Our team members are empowered and encouraged to contribute, innovate and lead,” she added, explaining that the work environment also requires self-starters.
“We have a very strong, diverse representation in this building, and I’m very proud of that because I think it really helps not only the things that we can do in this facility, but also in the community,” Macdonald said.
Organizations interested in Target’s community outreach programs should go to www.target.com/corporateresponsibility.