How We Stepped up with Volunteers of America to Help People in Need
Volunteers of America “always steps forward” to help the most vulnerable, as the nonprofit organization says on its website. The charity has been doing so for almost 125 years.
We’re honored to have stepped forward and partnered with Volunteers of America to help people in need and encourage a spirit of giving at Brookfield Properties shopping centers across the U.S. this holiday season. Our Warm for the Winter Coat Drive is one example of how we’re giving back to our local communities.
Warm for the Winter efforts to collect coats, gloves, hats and scarves for donation were held at over 140 of our retail properties, along with 61 of Brookfield Properties' multi-family properties. Participating shopping centers included Columbia Mall (Columbia, Missouri), River Hills Mall (Mankato, Minnesota), The SoNo Collection (South Norwalk, Connecticut) and Tysons Galleria (Tysons, Virginia). Overall, we collected more than 5,500 donations.
The Warm for the Winter Coat Drive culminated in an art installation that was made up of coats that were collected across the country. Brookfield Properties enlisted Noah Scalin, a Richmond, Virginia-based artist, to design a one-of-a-kind, interactive display at Tysons Galleria featuring more than 3,000 coats before the items were donated.
With his art, Scalin aims to reorganize the “noise” of American culture into recognizable signals by “illuminating people, moments, and objects that should be prioritized over the distracting spectacle of society,” according to local news reports. His Warm for the Winter art installation depicted two hands holding a candle, representing the importance of human connection and “signifying the glow of warm clothing being donated and the use of candles among different cultures and religions during the holidays.”
Some Brookfield Properties locations added special, interactive twists to charity initiatives during the holidays. Here are a few highlights:
Ala Moana Center - The “Angel Tree” & Virtual Red Kettles with the Salvation Army
Shoppers at Ala Moana Center, the largest shopping center in Hawaii, joined the spirit of giving in two ways:
- Angel Tree - Shoppers picked a tag off the Angel Tree, located on the Ala Moana’s Center Court, then selected a new toy or household item the Salvation Army distributed to families in time for Christmas.
- Virtual Red Kettles - A Salvation Army tradition remade for social distancing, customers donated by scanning a QR code at virtual versions of the bright, red kettles at certain Ala Moana locations through December 24.
Barnes Crossing (Tupelo, Mississippi) & Florence (Alabama) Malls - Continuing Angel Tree Tradition
Similar to Ala Moana Center, shoppers at both locations selected a tag off the tree to “adopt” an angel - a local child - and, through the Salvation Army, arrange to send a Christmas gift from the kid’s wish list.
We recently concluded our annual Warm for the Winter Coat Drive, but the need for clothing, shoes and other essential things is greater than ever. Consider other ways to help by contacting a local Volunteers of America office, and learn more about Brookfield Properties’ efforts to help our local communities.