For Marco Gomez, opening the doors at one of our new Meijer stores in Northeast Ohio marked the first day of business, but not the first day of being part of the Jackson Township community.
Even before customers made their first purchases, he already identified which area nonprofit organizations and projects he wanted to partner with in hopes of supporting his local neighbors.
“The excitement since opening our doors has been great,” said Marco, Store Director of the Jackson Township store. “But finding ways to support the communities where our customers and team members work and live is something special for all of us.”
Upon opening, Marco made check presentations to three local initiatives team members and neighbors said were making a difference.
Together, they donated $10,000 to the Jackson Township School District to help establish a K-6 Elementary Art Program, $10,000 to Jackson Township in support of the installation of bleachers or scoreboard at the park directly behind his store. He also donated $5,000 on behalf of his store to the Stark County Diaper Bank.
“To see a retailer come in, build a store and already embrace the community is unique,” said Shannon English-Hexamer, Founder and Board Chair for the Stark County Diaper Bank. “Marco visited our facility, asked questions and listened. He saw what we do, and we now have another partner to help us alleviate diaper need in the communities surrounding Jackson Township.”
Marco said that he asked team members about organizations that were active in providing support to families. His goal was to reflect the warm welcome Jackson Township showed and find partners that share his vision of being a good neighbor.
“There is more to being a retailer than opening your doors each day,” Marco said. “Our team wants to welcome our customers by name and see this store grow along with the community. We’re excited to see what’s next.”
Such support is common at Meijer stores across the Midwest. The retailer donates more than 6 percent of its net profit to charitable organizations annually, and each of its stores work with local food banks and pantries to help fight hunger. Since 2008, the retailer’s Simply Give program has generated more than $71 million for its food pantry partners throughout the Midwest.
The recently opened Brunswick Meijer donated $20,000 to the Brunswick City Schools in support of an Inclusive Playground project. It also donated $5,000 to the Trike and Bike benefitting VeloSano, which is a series of community-organized bike rides that provide children the opportunity to help support pediatric cancer research.