Best Partnership Award-Finalist, Target and The Mission Continues

Finalist: Target and The Mission Continues

In 2010, Target sponsored the first nationwide study showing how volunteerism and service help ease the transition of veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. As a result of this research, Target and The Mission Continues partnered to connect returning veterans with meaningful service opportunities.

Target is committed to supporting education, serving schools and honoring the service and sacrifices of military families. The Mission Continues challenges veterans and civilians to serve in their communities.

Together Target and The Mission Continues serve military areas by empowering Target team members, local veterans and active duty members, and civilians to volunteer in and improve local schools. This partnership was formed to strengthen the connection between Target and military communities as well as highlight Target’s commitment to serve our nation’s schools.

On Veterans Day 2010, more than 1,000 Target team members and veterans volunteered at schools in 11 markets across the country. Through service, Target and The Mission Continues came together to live the values of veterans and came away with a sense of mutual respect and understanding.

Target volunteers said it was rewarding to work with those who had served our country, and veterans were impressed by Target’s level of support and generosity.

The partnership's overarching goal was to unite Target team members with local military and civilian volunteers to complete school improvement service projects in at least 10 military communities where Target is located. On Veterans Day 2010, across the nation 1,013 veteran and active-duty military volunteers, Target team members, and 22 Project Leaders volunteered their time in the name of 10 fallen soldiers to impact 5,740 students.

They worked in 11 different schools in 11 different cities toward 1 mission: To build an America where every returning veteran can serve again as a citizen leader, and where together we honor the fallen by living their values through service. Together, the volunteers completed a large-scale plan to serve elementary schools. Volunteers cleaned, painted, helped with routine maintenance, planted gardens, and read to kids.

One of the larger projects was a Target School Library Makeover at Manor View Elementary at Fort Meade, just outside of Washington, D.C. This event was attended by representatives from all branches of the military, as well as Secretary of Education, Arnie Duncan. 

Many veterans have an intense desire to continue serving their communities when they return home, and by offering service projects for veteran and civilians, The Mission Continues and Target are able to facilitate this desire to serve.

A veteran who participated in one of the projects said, “I was fortunate to serve abroad and return home unharmed. It is important to me to represent my fellow soldiers who lost their lives and were injured in Iraq and Afghanistan.”

In the short term, by working together Target and The Mission Continues have strengthened the connection between Target and military communities and have highlighted Target’s commitment to serve our nation’s schools.

The work has helped Target team members appreciate their company’s sincere commitment to service and perform service that helps them feel great about the company they work for, the partners their company chooses, and the improvements they made in their community. 

To continue supporting veterans serving at home, Target and The Mission Continues have extended their partnership this year. On Veterans Day 2011, Target and The Mission Continues plan to facilitate approximately 15 projects in schools across the country.

In the long term, they will work together to shape Target’s strategy about the best way to involve our country’s veterans in service here at home. 

The Business Case

The Chamber BCLC believes the best examples of business-nonprofit partnerships have true benefit to the company, as well as to the cause or community the company serves.

Since 1946, Target has given 5% of its income to communities. Today, that totals more than $3 million in giving every week. But Target’s support goes beyond financial contributions.

Team members and retirees across the country regularly offer hands-on help to local nonprofit organizations, volunteering hundreds of thousands of hours of their time and talent to community projects. Target’s commitment to the community strengthens their brand, helps guests view Target positively, and inspires their team members who want to work for a socially responsible company.

For many years, Target has donated funds and volunteer hours to local and national veterans’ and military organizations. This past year, Target intensified this commitment by not only supporting research about the benefits of volunteerism for returning veterans, but also through actively involving veterans in service.

Target’s partnership with The Mission Continues allowed them to support both education and veterans at the same time. The Mission Continues and Target have worked together to help Target connect with and build stronger and more meaningful relationships with key military leaders and communities.