The highlights of this program?
Ice cream, bonding, and a peek into the corporate world.
The TJX/Cameron Middle School Program is one of our most unique site-based programs as it is held at TJX Headquarters in Framingham rather than at a school. This partnership allows the Littles to really get a sense of who their Bigs are as professionals, and for us to form a unique lasting partnership with TJX.
Dawne Dragonetti, Match Support Specialist and Coordinator for the program, explains a typical visit:
“I arrive at the school and the kids meet me in the office and we walk out to the bus for the 10 minute trip over to TJX Headquarters. The kids are always very excited. A lot of singing and talking happens on the way over to TJX. We check in at the security desk with our good friend Jerry, who mans the desk with a big welcome. He greets every Little and takes the time to ask them questions and find out what is going on with them. The Bigs then meet us in the Lobby and they all go their separate ways. Some go back to offices, some grab ice cream, and some hang in the Café and play games or do arts & crafts. After a fun-filled and educational hour or so, we all meet back down in the lobby and then take the bus back to the school … The bus ride home is filled with discussions about their time with their Bigs and plans for their next visit.”
We are very thankful for our partnership with TJX. The company provides the transportation to and from the Headquarters. They also supply the Littles with snacks each week and make it possible for us to throw a Holiday Party for the matches each year. This year’s Holiday Party was a big hit. As Dawne describes it,
“TJX supplied ice cream with lots of toppings. They did some crafts, finished homework, and talked. A group of about 8 matches played several rounds of Spoons. It ended in hugs all around and wishes for a Merry Christmas”.
One of the greatest perks of this program is the opportunity for the Littles to see inside the headquarters and get a taste of what it is like to work in a corporate office. Many of the Bigs are able to show their Littles their offices, which always leaves a lasting impression, especially if their Bigs are buyers. The Littles get the opportunity to preview some of the next season’s merchandise and even give their input!
This program also allows for the TJX employees to create a small community within the company as well. Though all of the Bigs work at TJX, they are from different departments and many had never met before.
Right now, there are 12 matches who meet up each week. 5 more Bigs and Littles are in the process of being matched. The TJX/Cameron Middle School Program, along with all of our Site-Based Programs, continues to grow. We are always looking for volunteers to expand our programs. To learn more about how you can get involved, click here.