Organizations, charities vie for space at Target trough

Published 12:00 am Monday, April 28, 2003

Target Corp.’s Import Distribution Warehouse is not yet open for business.

But the company, which will eventually hire 500 employees for its 1.5 million-square-foot warehouse on Manning Bridge Road, is already putting its community-giving program into place.

Representatives from at least 50 Hampton Roads’ non-profit organizations turned out for a breakfast Monday to learn more about Target’s annual grant-giving program, said Randy Wilburn, community sponsor/facility operations manager in Suffolk. Organizations on hand included libraries, schools, the YMCA and the Salvation Army.

Email newsletter signup

Companywide, Target invests 5 percent of its total pre-tax operating profits – approximately $2 million per week last year – back into the communities it serves.

Wilburn was unsure how much money would be used for grants to organizations in Suffolk and surrounding cities. Most grants range from $500 to $3,000, he said.

Equally important, he said, are the volunteers hours that Target employees invest back into the community. Volunteers put in more than 320,000 hours last year.

&uot;We felt like the breakfast was a way we could introduce the Hampton Roads community to our volunteers and grant programs,&uot; Wilburn said.

Any local organization wanting to be considered for a grant this year should apply by May 15, Wilburn said. Target will be awarding the grants at the distribution center’s grand-opening event in July.

Target’s grants focus on three major areas: Arts, education and family violence prevention.