Sunday, October 6, 2013

28 My Give with Target Experience

This past week I was invited to take a little organizing break and ultimately witness a celebration like none other....


Imagine, a town with a population of around 3,000 people winning a nationwide competition, which included cities over twenty times their size.  Yeah.  That happened!

Earlier this year I was asked to be part of the Target Inner Circle, and it was a partnership that instantly made sense to me.  I have shopped at Target for as long as I remember, and you all know I can't resist the temptation they throw at me as they constantly release new fabulous items from small town boutiques and famous designers.  Yes, my hubby chains my wallet to the inside of the car and gives me a cash budget when shopping at Target.  Can you blame him?

What I also heart about Target is their involvement around the community, which I was able to see first hand his week.

Tuesday afternoon, my hubby and I hopped into the car for a three hour drive to Benson, MN.  Yes, we drove far, far away from civilization.  OK, so I kid a bit.  But it is so similar to our own small town which is lined with farms, corn fields and small-town pride.  It felt like a home away from home.

This town was the center of our attention that day, because they did something a bit extraordinary.  They pulled together, they called everyone they knew, they used social media, they rallied at sporting and community events and they won.

Target is setting out to give an insane amount of funding to education {more on that here}, and with that, they challenged schools across the country to vote.  The votes would translate into dollars, and the first school to hit 10,000 votes would win the entire competition with a celebration.

Knowing that, can you believe that a town of only 3,164, could pull together enough support and votes to win the entire competition?  I think that is what sent chills through my entire body that night.  Seeing a community so close-knit and overcoming the odds, and winning something so tremendous brought this small town gal to tears.

A few pretty special celebs also stopped in to tell the town congratulations.  And then they stuck around for awhile to get their celebration on!




After a day long celebration with the students, which included games and a famous DJ, they ended the evening with a concert on the football field, which was rocked by the talented Luke Bryan.  Honestly, I had no clue who Luke Bryan was prior to heading that way, but I left there the biggest country music fan ever after listening to him and seeing his pretty smile.  Sigh...


It was an honor to be invited to share in this special moment in history for the small town with big hearts.  This event will forever be remembered by the students and staff in Benson, and they should be endlessly proud for being an inspirational underdog story and showing the importance of togetherness. 




I was not paid for this post, just offered to put on my celebration pants and hang out with the fine folks of Target and Benson, MN!  Truly an experience I will never forget! 

28 comments:

  1. Wow! That's awesome - for the school and for you! And yay for Target being a part of this! :)

    Dana

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  2. Very cool...always good to see the big guys helping out the 'little people.'

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  3. Such a small world! One of my coworkers is from Benson and asked me to vote.

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    1. That's so cool! They really did an amazing job reaching out! I was so impressed {and inspired!} xo!

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  4. I will forever love Target. Working there for three years, I got to be involved in so many great volunteer activities to give back to our community and I loved being apart of something that special!

    Jamie @
    The Growing Up Diaries

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  5. target does so many wonderful things for schools!!!! makes me love them even MORE!!!!
    emma @ {from my little pink couch}

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  6. JEN! You didn't know LUKE BRYAN?! Holy husband hall pass #1 candidate! I love him almost as much as my real husband ;)

    Love that you had so much fun!

    xo Kylie

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    1. Bahahaha Kylie! So funny! And I can totally see why! ;)

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  7. Such an awesome story! I know quite a few people from Benson. Great Minnesota town and Minnesota company!

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  8. I just love target....and why not bcs it's from my home towm minneapolis! so it HAS to be minnesota NICE!

    We just moved to florida but I miss every bit of minnesota:(( except weather;)

    Thanks for sharing one more great minnesota story! actually want to tell you something.....I wish that i knew before I left minnesota that you were my neighbor....would love to meet you in person.

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  9. Oh gosh! So glad you were introduced to the amazing hotness that is Luke Bryan! No one should go without a little Luke Bryan hip and butt shaking in their life! The country music world is a beautiful place...especially when he is involved! :)

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    1. I couldn't agree more! Haha, life will never be the same... ;)

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  10. I love love Targets involvement in education! If you have a red card you can sign through the "escrip" program to have a portion of the money you spend at Target go to your school! How awesome is that! :) thank for such a great and positive blog post :)

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  11. This is my hometown and I still have family and friends that live there. I am super proud of our small town rallying together, it is so cool something great happened to our little town.

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  12. It's awesome to see a community that even though is small manages to do something big and stand together. One more reason to love Target even more than I already do... Oh how I miss Target

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  13. Thank you so much for sharing! This is my hometown. What an experience this was for all of my family and friends?! So wonderful.

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  14. This is fabulous!! But can't believe you've been missing out the last few years that Luke Bryan has been rocking the world!! ;)

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  15. Our children and some of our grandchildren go to or have gone to Benson schools. This was an awesome celebration for the children and the community!!! Something that they will all remember for a long time. Thank You Target!!!

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  16. This is so fun! What an awesome experience! xoxo

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  17. that is so cool! Huge Packers fan so I would LOVE to see Donald Driver! but love all those celebs!

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  18. This is so awesome - nothing better than giving back! So great that you could be a part of it too! I wish we had a Target in South Africa x

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  19. I think that is great. I do find it a little disturbing that Target does not allow Salvation Army to ring their bell at Christmas outside their store!! That is a very old tradition. Macy's even allows it. As much as I love Target. You have to admit that Macy's is a bigger and better store that has been around for many years!! Something about Target and the way they go about "Giving" kind of rubs me the wrong way!!!

    Excited for you though to be able to be a part of an awesome town!!! You really don't know who Luke Bryan is...LOL. He is one of my favorite country singers!!

    Have a great week. :)

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    1. Hi Cathy!

      I had the same thoughts about the Salvation Army, I did however, find this: https://corporate.target.com/corporate-responsibility/safety-preparedness/disaster-preparedness-response.

      I also love Macy's, not always the prices or selection of home and organizing items... but yes, I shop there as well :) Target and Macy's actually were owned by the same company at one time.

      xo! Jen

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    2. I live in BENSON, my husband and I graduated from BHS as did our two children. I was excited to attend and bring two of my grandchildren to "The Big Event". I am now a fan of Luke Bryan..... it was absolutely fabulous to have that happen to our small town and wonderful how everyone pulled together to make it happen!
      A Northside teacher got it all started and did a GREAT job of getting it done! And to TARGET many many thanks! I love shopping in your stores!

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    3. I couldn't find the resource, but, I do agree with you. Target has great prices and you can't beat it for organization. I am working on my linen closet right now and scored some beautiful baskets on clearence. I was so happy. I can't wait to see it finished.

      Thanks Jen.

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  20. I'm also from Benson. It's amazing to think that not only did we win the celebration by getting the 10,000 votes from people in the surrounding communities but state wide supporters, and even possibly nation wide support. My boyfriend even sent a message through Facebook to previous foreign exchange students to have them help us and vote. Its amazing to know we even had world wide support!
    <3 my community and proud of how we all came together!

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