Kohl’s Shares Christmas Cheer with Club Kids

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    By Nicole Miller

    “More books please!” was the theme of the 2006 Children”s Book Week this month. The call was answered by a donation of 1,200 books to Utah County”s Boys and Girls Club from Kohl”s department store in American Fork.

    Kirt Erickson, store manager of Kohl”s in American Fork, said the club had a positive impact on his childhood. He attended the club in Scottsdale, Ariz. Kohl”s existing program, Kohl”s Care for Kids, carries two to three product lines each year, usually stuffed animals and books, and donates the profits from the sale of those products to benefit Primary Children”s Hospital. At the end of each year, Kohl”s donates the surplus products to a different local charity. Erickson said he selected the local Boys and Girls Club because of the positive experience he had there as a child.

    “He called me out of the blue,” said Weston Parson, the executive director of Utah County”s Boys and Girls Club. “It was one of those calls you like to get.”

    Erickson told Parson he had 1,200 books he wanted to donate to the club. Parson said the club staff identified 600 to 800 club children who could use the books in their homes. They”re also going to donate a portion of the books to the Toys for Tots program and keep the remaining books in the club library.

    Toys for Tots is a program organized by the Marines to help provide a nice Christmas to families who otherwise wouldn”t receive any gifts.

    Parson said although the Boys and Girls Club receives donations to meet a variety of needs from several different sources, this particular donation was important. “To see that books are going to kids, who may or may not have books in the home, is extremely exciting,” he said.

    The Boys and Girls Club will distribute the donated books to club kids at their Christmas party, said David Bayles, the director of program services for the Utah County chapter.

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