Whole Food's Market West Hartford has a goal of raising more than $50,000 for the Whole Planet Foundation, and this week the store is hosting a party to help achieve that goal.
"Last year, our store raised over $30,000 from register donations and our Whole Planet Party, and this year we are trying to raise over $50,000!" said Marketing Team Leader Kristin Arslan.
The store is also taking donations at the registers through March 31, Arslan said. "A dollar goes a long way, but we hope to raise a lot of the money at the Whole Planet Party," she said.
Last year Whole Foods had a party at the store, but this year the team decided to host the event in the Town Hall auditorium which has space for more attendees as well as additional activities.
Those activities include music by The Kings and Glenn Roth, face painting, henna and stick-on tatoos, caricatures, a silent auction, and door prizes. Food will be provided by Whole Foods as well as Genji Sushi, Yosi Catering, and Cafe Spice. There will also be a table where donations to the Whole Planet Foundation will be collected.
The Whole Planet Foundation is a private non-profit organization established by Whole Foods Market. According to the organization's website, its goal is to help alleviate poverty by providing microcredit loans – which require neither collateral nor a contract – to impoverished communities throughout the world.
The focus of the lending is in communities that supply Whole Foods with products. "Most of the loans are given to women to create or expand a home-based business, providing an opportunity to lift herself and her family out of poverty," said Arslan.
"The best part about this organization is Whole Foods Market covers all administrative costs so every dime that is donated goes directly to the microlending programs dedicated to alleviating poverty worldwide," Arslan said.
The Whole Planet Party will take place on Thursday, March 7, from 6 to 9 p.m. at the West Hartford Town Hall Auditorium. Tickets purchased in advance at Whole Foods, including on the day of the event, are $7 for adults and $3 for children. Tickets at the door, which must be purchased by cash or check, are $10 for adults and $5 for children.