Every January, we celebrate and honor the work, life, and legacy of civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. This national holiday reminds us to volunteer and give back to our communities and causes that matter to each of us. Inspired by the fact that Martin Luther King Jr. Day is an official day of service, and that the holiday coincides with Dr. King’s birthday, our colleagues across the country participated in a company-wide giving back initiative on January 13, 2022, to provide birthday kits to families in need.
After our give back event in October 2021, we heard from a local shelter that many of their clients would love to have birthday supplies to help celebrate their child’s birthday in a special way without having to worry about the cost. We aligned our efforts for our second give back behind this specific need and together made a tremendous collective impact. Our two corporate offices and more than 50 of our town centers collectively put together more than 2,600 birthday kits for families in need.
The birthday kits included party essentials such as cake mix and frosting, party supplies, balloons, decorations and more. These kits were distributed to local shelters, food pantries and foster care organizations in the communities we serve. These organizations will be able to give parents or guardians the kits ahead of their child’s birthday to help them celebrate in a special way. During the packing event, colleagues joined together virtually on a video call to see their co-workers across the country and celebrate the positive impact they were making together.
A few WPG properties exceeded their commitments and packed over 100 birthday kits.
- Markland Mall in Kokomo, Indiana connected with Kokomo Urban Outreach to help distribute the kits to local families and found out the need for kits was much greater than the 50 they had planned, so the property team reached out to local retailers to source and ask for donated supplies. Thanks to the community coming together, Markland Mall was able to pack 170 birthday kits full of cake mixes and party supplies.
- The team at Pearlridge Center in Aiea, Hawaii also packed 100 birthday kits for their local community and partnered with the YMCA of Honolulu to distribute amongst five programs across the island. Representatives from all departments participated in the kit assembly and the kits included birthday decorations, cookie mix, candles, and more.
Thank you to all of our colleagues who participated in this initiative! We’re proud to give back to our communities in this way and help families create special memories together.