Target-Sponsored Survey Uncovers 92 Percent of Veterans Report Serving Their Community is Important to Them
MINNEAPOLIS – Target today announces its partnership with VolunteerMatch to help connect military veterans, active military, and their families with community and civic service opportunities across the country. The partnership is an immediate response to a report based on the first ever nationally representative survey of veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan which found that these men and women have a strong desire to serve their country on the home front through community service and volunteer work. The report entitled, “All Volunteer Force: From Military to Civilian Service,” was written by Civic Enterprises and underwritten by Target and the Case Foundation.
The report highlighted that only 13 percent of veterans strongly agreed their transitions home from deployment were going well. However, those veterans who had participated in service opportunities since arriving home had smoother transitions than those who had not. Given the pressing need to help ease veterans’ re-entry into the community, Target and VolunteerMatch have taken immediate action on the report results to make it easier for veterans to find service opportunities, for citizens to support the military through community service, and for service organizations to more effectively recruit volunteers in local communities. Available now, military families, veterans and supporters can visit www.VolunteerMatch.org to help connect with service organizations that are available nationwide.
The VolunteerMatch home page features a link to its Advanced Search page where “Military Families & Veterans” has been added as a new Interest Area – making it easy for visitors to find military-related volunteer offerings.
“At Target, we have a profound connection to this survey, as we are proud to count many veterans and military reservists among our 350,000 team members. I can’t think of a better way to show our continued support to veterans and active soldiers serving in our Armed Forces than to listen and swiftly respond to their needs,” said Laysha Ward, president, community relations, Target. “This online resource provides an easy way for veterans to find meaningful volunteer and service opportunities and make connections in their local community.”
“Military service and community service are both strong in our nation, and volunteering at local organizations is a great way for these traditions to come together to strengthen local communities.” said Greg Baldwin, president, VolunteerMatch. “We are happy to work with Target to salute the men and women who defend our nation and help ease their transition home.”
Target helps to support veterans in many ways throughout the year, and to further showcase its continued commitment this Veterans Day, Target is a sponsor of ServiceNation’s MISSION SERVE care package assembly at George Washington University. In partnership with ServiceNation, the military family organization Blue Star Families, event participants and GWU students, the volunteers will create more than 500 “Thx Box” care packages for military families during the event’s service project. The care packages will include a reusable Target bag, games, spa items, photo albums, playing cards, DVDs and more. The event is sponsored by Target, Blue Star Families and the forthcoming PBS documentary, “This Emotional Life.”
Target currently has thousands of team member veterans, as well as many active duty personnel and countless team members who have a family member currently serving in the military. To help provide ongoing support and resources for any Target team member soldier and/or family member connected to the United States military – before, during and after deployment – Target developed the Military Service Network (MSN). MSN is an onboarding social network that serves as a resource conduit for Target team members, which offers service opportunities, support groups and educational presentations.
And because Target understands the difficulty and importance of communicating with family members who are deployed as part of the military, Target Technology Services (TTS) has created a solution that allows team members to communicate with deployed family members using Microsoft Communicator, Target’s standard instant messaging (IM) software. The Military IM program is open to any team member with a Target computer who has a family member deployed with one of the armed services.
“As a Target team member the past thirteen years and active member of the military for twenty-four years, Target has provided me, my team member counterparts, and our families with every opportunity to stay connected, help ease our transition home from deployment, as well as provide ample ways for us to get involved and volunteer,” said Bill Lieder, Target team member and active member of the Army National Guard. “There are thousands of military men and women throughout the nation that have a passionate desire to serve and continue their dedication to their country, and it’s our duty to help them do just that.”
For years, Target has donated funds and volunteer hours to local and national veterans’ and military organizations that align with the company’s core areas of giving – education, arts and social services, which includes:
* Voice of Democracy: Target is the national sponsor of the $3 million scholarship competition in which students write and record a broadcast script based on a patriotic theme. Local VFWs gather volunteers to judge the competition, which culminates in a Target-sponsored trip to Washington, DC for the state finalists.
* United Through Reading Military Program: With Target’s support, the United Through Reading Military Program now reaches all branches of the military, helping parents and children stay connected while separated during long deployments through the medium for reading aloud on DVD.
* Our Military Kids: Target provides support through grants and education scholarships, as well as pro bono efforts, for Our Military Kids, which provides support to the children of deployed and severely injured National Guard and Military Reserve personnel.
* Operation Gratitude: Volunteers from Target stores and distribution centers participate annually in the Patriotic Drive to assemble care packages for troops overseas.
* American Legion: Last month, Target and the American Legion joined forces to raise more than $100,000 for care packages to send to the Army service members of Bravo Troop 3-61 Cavalry, who lost all their possessions when their base camp in Afghanistan was attacked and later destroyed.
Since 1946, Target has given 5 percent of its income to support education, the arts, social services and volunteerism. Today that’s more than $3 million every week.
Minneapolis-based Target Corporation (NYSE:TGT) serves guests at 1,743 stores in 49 states nationwide and at Target.com. Target is committed to providing a fun and convenient shopping experience with access to unique and highly differentiated products at affordable prices. Since 1946, the corporation has given 5 percent of its income through community grants and programs like Take Charge of Education. Today, that giving equals more than $3 million a week.
VolunteerMatch is a national nonprofit dedicated to strengthening communities by helping good people and good causes to connect. Its award-winning online service, www.VolunteerMatch.org, makes it easy to find a way to make a difference by location, expertise, or availability. VolunteerMatch provides many of the nation’s most recognized businesses, campuses and organizations with Web-based solutions to facilitate and track volunteer engagement at local and national levels. As the #1 ranking for “volunteer” on Google and Yahoo!, the VolunteerMatch network regularly welcomes more than 180,000 visitors each week and has become the preferred volunteer recruiting service for tens of thousands of participating nonprofits across the country.
About Civic Enterprises
Civic Enterprises is a public policy firm that helps corporations, nonprofits, foundations, universities and governments develop and spearhead innovative public policies to strengthen our communities and country. For more information, visit www.civicenterprises.net.