We’re always moved by the commitment and love our store teams have for their communities. Store #1522 in Arlington, Texas, directs their love towards the local Boys & Girls Club.
“The work the team does impacts hundreds of kids within the organization,” says Melinda Bracken, Gap District Manager. “They provide homework support and give these kids hope for the future by taking the time to listen.”
The inspiration for the team comes from Community Leader Heather Bausch. “Her passion for her community is evident in how she continues to organize events within the Market,” says Melinda. “Their energy comes from helping others and they love what they do.”
Each summer, the Hands On Children's Museum in Olympia, Washington hosts “Sand in the City,” giving local kids a chance to play in giant sandboxes loaded with sand toys and sculpting tools. The team from Old Navy #3090 loves to volunteer at the event – focused on experiential learning – and many others sponsored by the Museum. It’s how the team gives to the community – by using their skills and talents and offering an opportunity to make learning fun for local kids.
“Our crew has enjoyed using their skills, along with the Museum’s Curriculum, to influence children across Olympia,” says Danielle Zingler, Old Navy Market Leader. “A lot of the store’s team members are studying in math or science in college, so it’s fun for them to be able to help the kids learn those things!”
Banana Republic and Gap store teams in the Atlanta area are all about backpacks. For the past 5 years, the teams have partnered with For the Kids in All of Us to support their events, including their annual massive “Backpack in the Park” event, which consists of a brunch buffet, live entertainment, and a silent auction.
The broader Gap Inc. Atlanta team has been able to impact the lives of close to 1,000 children with new backpacks and toys. “Each year, the team’s connection with the leaders in this organization grow stronger,” says Tommy Payne, Gap District Manager.
“Everyone's favorite time of year is backpack season!” says Sandi Sisk, Banana Republic District Manager. “Common break room chatter in July revolves around who brought the coolest backpack, how much the kids are going to love the backpacks, or how many kids we can send back to school ready to learn. It's all anyone can talk about.”
Summer School. It brings back bad memories for some of us. But for the kids who participate in the GAP MEE program (Getting Ahead Professionally: Mentoring for Excellence in Employment), summer school is a chance to learn life skills, have fun, and even jump off a tree!
The team at the Ohio Fulfillment Center (OFC) and the Ohio Contact Center (OCC), in partnership with Columbus State Community College, developed the GAP MEE program to help low-income and potential first-generation college bound high school students develop the skills they need to succeed in college and their careers. Recently, 30 GAP MEE students met at the OFC to finish their 3-week program. The students were interviewed and assessed by Gap leaders and presented multiple group research project to Gap mentors.
“Gap is the sole funding source and provider of volunteers supporting this youth development program,” says Doug Diehl, Senior Director of Human Resources. “Our employees are motivated to help local students in such a tangible way that also supports our Gap Inc. mission to give to the community.”
The Gap MEE program also transforms from summer school to camp. The team spends time at Camp Mary Orton, nestled in the woods near the Olentangy River, for teambuilding (i.e. jumping off trees!) and conflict resolution exercises. The jumping isn’t only for the students. Cheered on by the students, even a Gap employee learned to conquer a fear of heights!
Each year, Boston Cares mobilizes more than 25,000 local volunteers to clean up and improve schools and other nonprofits throughout the Boston area. Literally hundreds of people in the community participate in the volunteer day, and for the past three years, the team from the Copley Place Gap store has joined in and volunteered.
Not only has the Gap team rallied 40+ volunteers from other nearby stores to participate, but they’ve translated those efforts into $7,500 in Field Team Grants for Boston Cares – multiplying the impact of the team’s volunteering.
“Many of our team members that volunteer with Boston Cares have local roots and bring a sense of personal responsibility and pride to the events,” says Chris Messier, Gap District Manager. “There’s an incredible sense of community and togetherness on the team.”
The team at Highland Village in Austin, Texas, can outfit just about any customer. The Banana Republic store team has been showcasing their talents in a fashion show benefitting Cloud 9 Charities every year since the store first opened seven years ago.
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