Target gift cards put to good use

By Alyssa Vallester

MTHS earned $775 in gift cards from Target through their K-12 schools giving campaign throughout the United States. It was a stepping stone towards the company’s goal of giving $1 billion for education by the end of 2015.

The program began in July and lasted for four weeks, when visitors to Target’s Facebook Page casted votes for the K-12 school of their choice via the Give with Target app.

“A lot of businesses out there have programs that support their schools. But this one was the most money we’ve ever received. It’s a pretty significant donation. It was very cool,” Principal Greg Schwab said.

According to Ashley Johnson, the school’s student support advocate, the funding will be used for students and families in need.

“We have quite a few students who receive free and reduced lunches and many who don’t apply for it but still qualify. That means that there are a lot of people that need help with basic things like food, clothing, shampoo and toilet paper. Lots of things that a lot of us take for granted. The gift card is used for emergency needs, immediate needs for families or students,” Johnson said. “It honestly has been such a huge help to be able to just hear that somebody needs a jacket and it’s pouring rain, and I can say, ‘Okay, what size does he need? I can go get it now.’”

For every 25 votes a school received, the school got a $25 Gift Card to use for school supplies, field trips, programs and other needs, with each participating school eligible to receive up to $10,000 in gift cards.

“Students are welcome to walk into my office anytime if there’s an emergency or a need. I think it’s sometimes hard for people to sometimes feel like it’s okay to ask for help, but my job is support students and families,” Johnson said.

Overall, more than 3 million votes were cast for more than 80,000 schools through the Facebook app.