Tag Archives: Walmart

Walmart’s Christmas Miracle

Brooke McKeon Miles-Prouten is a longtime Westporter, and proud Staples High School Class of 1996 grad. 

Her babysitter, Leah Zilich, is a young 1st grade teacher at Fox Run Elementary School in Norwalk. Leah often provides snacks, supplies, even socks for her students.

This morning, Brooke posted this story — written by Leah — on Facebook. Sure, the Westport link is tenuous — but this holiday season is not the time to get all Grinchy. Just read it, enjoy it — and pay it forward.

A Christmas miracle occurred today!

Walmart-LogoA visit to Norwalk’s Connecticut Avenue Walmart in the morning is a daily routine in my life. Whether I’m getting snacks for my students, supplies for school, or just odds and ends, I am there when the doors open at 7 a.m.

The other day a man approached me, labeling me his favorite customer. Come to find out, he’s the general manager. We got to talking. I explained I am a teacher down the road.

He asked me if I needed any supplies for the school. I told him we always need supplies, but right now we need toys for kids who won’t have a single thing to open on Christmas. He told me to come back the next day. He’d see what he could do.

Of course I returned this morning. To my surprise this incredible man, Kelvin, donated $3,000 worth of toys and supplies to Fox Run! This Christmas is about to be very, very merry! 

I’m ecstatic! Also, I cried in the middle of Walmart!

What an incredible human being. Thank you Walmart, and thank you Kelvin, for showing us the true meaning of Christmas. You have impacted these children’s lives immensely!

Kelvin and Leah, outside the Connecticut Avenue Walmart.

Kelvin and Leah, outside the Connecticut Avenue Walmart.


Stop And Shop Here

Here is what I did not do on (aptly named)  “Black Friday”:

  • I did not pepper-spray fellow shoppers to keep them from an Xbox I wanted.
  • I did not get into fistfights, or stab anyone.
  • I did not shoot anyone in a parking lot.

All that happened at Walmarts, from Milford, Connecticut to California.

Thank god we don’t have a Walmart in Westport.  Though, Lord knows, the soon-to-be vacant YMCA would be a great spot for one.  Talk about bringing action to downtown!

While Westport stores did not open at 10 p.m. Thanksgiving Day — we may be crazy about shopping, but we’re not lunatics — Main Street was mildly to moderately packed this weekend.  I didn’t see anyone I knew, though.  Maybe Yogi Berra was right:  Nobody goes there anymore.  It’s too crowded.

Thanksgiving weekend in downtown Westport.

I’m not sure what attracts out-of-towners to downtown Westport.  Banana Republic, Eileen Fisher, The Gap, J. Crew, Pottery Barn — those are not exactly unique stores.

Of course, there are plenty of local businesses.  And just as the farmers’ market focuses attention on home-grown bounty, this shopping season should spotlight Westport merchants.

No, Mitchell’s doesn’t weave its own cloth.  But here’s what they do:  They always step up to support Westport organizations.  Buy an ad for our program book?  Donate something to our auction?  Help out a kid in need, with no public recognition?

Sure!  Just tell us what you need! says Bill, Jack or any of the 3rd-generation Mitchells now running the store.

When was the last time — to pick a name out of a hat —  Brooks Brothers did something like that?

Steve Silver, in the store that bears his name.

Same with Silver’s.  And Silver Ribbon.  And Sally’s Place.  Think of how many times you’ve seen their ads in programs.  They support school plays, sports teams, every fundraising effort imaginable.

The farmer’s market supports local, sustainable agriculture.  This holiday season, let’s support local, sustainable businesses.

We don’t do all our shopping at farmer’s markets, of course.  Sometimes we go Stop & Shop.

You won’t find every gift at a locally owned store.  If you were to get me, say, a gift certificate for books, I’d recommend Barnes & Noble — it’s close, convenient, and we long ago drove every independent bookstore out of town.

All I’m saying is, stop before you shop.  This month, think about supporting the Westport merchants who, month after month and year after year, support Westport.

Just stay away from Walmart.  You may not make it out alive.

Help For The Holidays

The holiday season has begun.  Local stores have “Christmas” (can I say that?) decorations up, and Wal-Mart — thankfully not a local store — has announced it will open at 10 p.m. Thanksgiving Day.

“Our customers told us they would rather stay up late to shop than get up early, so we’re going to hold special events on Thanksgiving and Black Friday,” Walmart’s chief merchandising officer said.  (No word on what Walmart’s hard-working, non-unionized workers associates think about punching in late on Thanksgiving night.)

While “06880” cannot become a bulletin board for every worthy help-the-less-fortunate endeavor this winter (bah, humbug!), 3 special events have caught our eye.

First:  Once again, the Conservative Synagogue is partnering with gourmet bakers, caterers and fine food outlets to provide Thanksgiving pies — while making a donation to Homes With Hope.

The “Share the Pie” fundraiser offers apple, pecan and pumpkin pies for $20.  The deadline to order is this Wednesday (November 16); pies can be picked up Tuesday, November 22 at the synagogue parking lot.

Click here to order, or call 203-454-4673.

Second:  The Department of Human Services is again sponsoring a holiday giving program for Westport residents.

Those who can contribute — gift cards for food, gas and discount department stores, for example, along with tax-deductible donations of money that’s used to fulfill last-minute requests — do so.  Human Services acts as a facilitator, protecting the confidentiality of donors and recipients.

To donate — or request help — email humansrv@westportct.gov, or call 203-341-1069.

Third:  The Westport Police Department local union 2080 and Police Benevolent Association are again sponsoring a toy drive.  New, unopened and unwrapped toys — as well as cash donations — will be collected at police headquarters any time through December 18.

There are plenty of ways to do good this holiday season.  These are just 3.

And none require a trip to Walmart at 10 p.m. Thanksgiving night.