Braintree’s Best Buy Mobile location, located in the South Shore Plaza, has donated $19,000 to three organizations to help teens in the region.
Given from Best Buy Children’s Foundation, which donates a total of $2.75 million through Community Grants across the nation and $125,000 in this region, the funding come from Best Buy’s corporate profits, and is given out by local stores.
Each store solicits organizations that may need the money and asks them to apply for the program. From there, the stores petition the company for grants.
This year, Best Buy will give $10,000 to Teen Voices Inc., $4,000 to Blue Hill Observatory Science Center, and $5,000 to 826 Boston Inc.
Although very different organizations, a common factor is that they each impact teens.
“We looked for ones that deal directly with teenagers, 13- to 18-years-old, and look for organizations that try to better teens through leadership and science and technology to help them with their education,” said Hayley Esson, general manager for Braintree’s Best Buy Mobile location. “Whether it’s better computers or … some type of summer camp that they need … one organization need iPads to do surveys for government research for their schools. Those are the types of charities we try to give money to.”
Best Buy’s Community Grants program is also working with these organizations on a rolling basis, Esson said, to encourage them to apply annually for the grant.
“And in the meantime, we can donate our time and energy,” Esson said.
Best Buy said it will sponsor volunteerism and community service at any charity that is important to its employees. So long as 10 employees from a Best Buy store volunteer somewhere, Best Buy will donate $1,000.
One person can also work 40 hours for any organization in the course of a year, and Best Buy will donate $1,000.
“We don’t usually donate goods, we donate money, and we do it by giving our employees the chance to be out in the community,” Esson said. “Everything you hear is about how [the company is] suffering, yet we’re still donating over $2 million to charities.”
Applications are accepted through the month of June and then handed out in September every year.
The experience is not only rewarding to the local charities and foundations, but also to store employees, Esson said.
“Any of the organizations we go after are ones that could really use the funding. We’ve had cards, thank you letters, people sending us business to our store just because of it. I don’t know if that’s the point of what we do, but it's good to see people come into the store and making lasting relations with them. Plus my employees love making those relationships and making a customer relationship to it as well,” Esson said.
For more information about Best Buy Children’s Foundation, click here.