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How our stores take care of their communities during the holidays

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With the renowned Mayo Clinic just a short drive away, not all the customers at the Gap store in Rochester, Minn. are local. Often, they’re in town to seek medical treatment or to support their families.

So it seemed fitting that employees there chose to adopt the Ronald McDonald House as part of our “Adopt A Family” holiday program. The house acts as a “home away from home” for families while a child is receiving medical care at the Mayo Clinic. 

“Every single day, you meet these people who have given up their lives to come to Rochester,” said Sandra Flom, the Community Leader for the Gap store at Rochester’s Apache Mall. “It is a huge part of our community. That’s what makes it so special for us and why we want to help.”

Each year for the past 10 years, employees at our stores and headquarters have teamed up to adopt a local family or nonprofit during the holidays as part of Gap Inc.’s tradition of giving. It’s just one way we give back to our communities.

Each location takes a unique approach.

In Rochester, there’s a Christmas tree made out of construction paper in the employee break room, and on each leaf is an item that the Ronald McDonald House needs. For the next few weeks, employees will pick up gifts from the wish list, collect them in the break room and wrap them. Finally, a manager will deliver a truck load of presents to the house – last year, the manager had to drive through a snow storm to get them to the house.    

In Beaumont, Texas, Gap store employees have partnered with Buckner Children and Family Services, which helps foster care families and other families in need. The store’s relationship with Buckner is year-round, said Gap community manager Karla Battle. Employees occasionally help the group sort and manage its warehouse of donated items. Last year, when a tornado tore through nearby Oklahoma, the store also adopted a family.

The Banana Republic store in Freehold, N.J. has adopted a family of five this year through the United Way. The staff has already started to purchase Barbie dolls and Spider-Man toys for the family’s four children, ages 2 to 11.

“We’ve been doing it every year and everyone is excited about it,” said Community Leader Jeffrey Tarnowski. “People already have their lists and they’re ready to roll this year.”