Black Friday will take on new meaning for those at Derby Street Shoppes as employees work to encourage shoppers to give back.
Not only will the Shoppes welcome the Hanover-based Cardinal Cushing Centers to sell hand-crafted wares from its special needs students, there will be a variety of fund-raisers for the Germantown Neighborhood Center in Quincy.
“Especially coming up to the holidays, we do everything we can to give something back,” said Niamh O’Maille, marketing coordinator at Derby Street Shoppes. “We thought this was a great idea, because people do get consumed with all the commercialism. This is a chance to do something simple.”
For the Germantown kids, the Shoppes will host a pajama drive, encouraging anyone to purchase new pajamas for girls, boys, kids, and teens and drop them off outside The Paper Store. Volunteers from Germantown will also serve hot chocolate from Panera.
Those making a donation will be entered into a drawing for a chance to win $100 of shopping.
“It means a lot to the kids and teens of Germantown, just to get something as simple as pajamas…it will make a huge difference to them during the holidays,” O’Maille said.
Additionally, Magic Beans will host a Giving Tree to raise donations for Germantown kids. Participants can choose an ornament from the tree, which contains information on a child in need. Shoppers will then receive a 20 percent discount on whatever gift they pick out for the child.
For Kathy Quigley, director of Germantown Neighborhood Center, Derby Street’s continued efforts to assist the organization are much appreciated and the efforts much needed.
“The economy has been slow to recover and we have seen a sharp increase in requests for the pantry, fuel assistance and other critical necessities of life. Due to these circumstances, the holiday season becomes an even bigger challenge for us to continue to meet the needs of the disadvantaged in our community,” she said in a release.
Cardinal Cushing Center’s participation for the first time this year will also be meaningful, O’Maille said. “We’re happy to have them on board,” she said.
With a makeshift store in the converted Giving House between REI and Kohl’s, the organization will showcase the talents of their students, and bring awareness to the organization.
“This is a wonderful opportunity for us to share who we are with the South Shore Community,” said Cushing’s President and CEO, Jo Ann Simons. “Simultaneously providing customers with the opportunity to shop for a cause this holiday season makes it even sweeter.”
The organization will be on site from Thursdays through Sundays until Dec. 22. Hours on Thursdays and Fridays are from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. On Saturday and Sunday, vendors will be there from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
While much of the credit will go to the volunteers and donors to the event, O’Maille also recognized the merchants who help make the fund-raisers possible.
“Our merchants are always really generous this time of year,” O’Maille said. “Magic Beans having the giving tree …without their support, it wouldn’t be possible for us to even have that fund-raising element. So a big thank you to all our merchants who come out and support us.”
For more information on Derby Street events, visit here.