In the spirit of St. Nicholas, Meijer donated close to 400 children's winter boots for students at Blair Elementary on Dec. 6, St. Nicholas Day.

According to Waukesha Meijer Store Director Phil Kelley, the store was looking for a way to reach the community.

"We found out Blair Elementary has a high percentage of students on free or subsidized lunch programs,"Kelley said.

Meijer worked closely with the faculty/staff of Blair to ensure the boots are arranged at each student's desk, accompanied by a clementine, candy cane and a holiday card as a holiday surprise on St. Nicholas morning.

Kelley said the timing worked out.

"Everything tied together and went well," Kelley said.

But he admitted he didn't realize St. Nick was such a popular thing in the city and state. After doing some research he found out about early December occasion.

Warm feeling

Kelley found the donation experience to be amazing. He watched the kids exploring the boots and hopping around the classrooms.

"It was quite a scene," he said.

Kelley mentioned how great it is to work with a company that does so much for the community such as providing winter boots to kids.

Meijer is family-owned and has a strong focus on its community and customers, Kelley said, tries to partner with local schools.

Making an impact

The Waukesha store opened in August and has already hit the ground running.Kelley said Meijer sponsored Friday Night Live and donated a sign to the Les Paul Performance Center in Cutler Park.

The Waukesha Christmas parade on Nov. 20 was sponsored by Meijer. The Michigan-based retailer was partly responsible for allowing the parade to continue unabated last year – despite a cancellation scare – by donating $5,000 to the event.

It also hopes to build and expand more partnerships as the Waukesha store grows. Kelley commented now that the store is open, officials are hoping to find their niche and impact as many people in the community.

"We want to help and provide what the community is looking for," Kelley said.

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