A small group of youths from the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Milwaukee (BGCGM) recently visited a Milwaukee-area Meijer store to do a little toy shopping on us through a $10,000 donation.
But they weren’t buying for themselves. Instead, they took on the role of Santa’s elves for the day to support the Club’s 2021 Holiday Toy Drive. The gifts they picked will be distributed this holiday season to their fellow Club members.
Their work is part of our tradition of partnering with BGCGM to ensure that every Club member has a new toy to unwrap during the holiday season.
“We’ve been doing this since 2014. That was a year before Meijer even opened in Wisconsin,” Wauwatosa Meijer Store Director Jarrett Boyer said. “We felt it was really important that we show how much of a community partner we are, and how much we want to invest in the communities we operate in.”
BGCGM is one of the largest and oldest youth-serving agencies in Milwaukee and the largest Boys & Girls Club in the country. Every year, the organization works with Meijer and other partners to collect 3,000 toys and gift cards for all age groups.
“Partnering with Meijer, we get to reach our goal every year. We have been doing so for the last few years, so it’s a great partnership,” said Toriah Monroe of the Boys & Girls Club.
Many of the youths, ages 4-18, come from families where household budgets have little room for holiday gifts. Meijer is donating a variety of toys, age-appropriate and kid-approved, that are being safely distributed to Club members.
BGCGM works year-round to ensure youths in the program always have what they need, including exceptional programming, safe spaces, warm meals, and mentorship. With more than 40 locations in Milwaukee, the organization provides fun, enriching after-school and summer programming, including academic support, mentorship, organized athletics, arts, and nutritious meals. More than 80 percent of BGCGM’s annual budget goes toward youth programming.