As I look ahead to the month of February and the rapid approach of March, I’m reminded that once again it is time to begin planning what will most certainly prove the largest of this year’s in-store community events: National Night Out. If you are not familiar with it, National Night Out is an annual opportunity (and long supported by Target) for communities across the nation to show support for law enforcement and each other as they establish a united front against local and organized crime. My store hosts an annual event that is a much-anticipated opportunity not only for the community, but for the (incredible) team of Target volunteers who lend their support and enthusiasm at every opportunity.
Last year’s NNO event was organized by local law enforcement partners and hosted by Target in our store’s parking lot. The volunteer turnout was unparalleled, with participation from multiple Target stores, law enforcement agencies, and youth programs (such as the police explorers). Our law enforcement partners arrived in force, bringing all of the toys, tools, and equipment that most citizens gawk at from afar: a helicopter, police boats, K-9 units, mounted units, fire trucks, and a bomb-squad robot were all stars of the show! Additionally, local vendors provided (free of cost) face painting, popcorn, a DJ booth, and food and drinks for the community. With an event geared towards children and communities, you can imagine how our parking lot was quite a spectacle for the average passerby!
All of these resources are assembled for the purpose of providing a safe place for our teams and community to gather, meet-and-greet their law enforcement partners, and get an ‘all-access’ pass to view a few of the resources that support the safety of their communities on a daily basis. Along with approximately two-dozen Target volunteers, I participated in assembling and hosting various tables and booths, distributing food and prizes, and guaranteeing that every store guest (yes, we like to call Target shoppers our ‘guests!’) and participant left with a smile on their face!
It was only after taking the picture shown above that it occurred to me: I may have one of the most rewarding and unique jobs available! Where else can I ‘work’ with a team of people I call friends, give back to the community that I serve, smile (unintentionally), and get paid? It’s a unique experience with a unique company…
When is the last time you had a helicopter and the bomb squad in your parking lot (while smiling)?
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