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Local

Very Merry Meijer winner purchasing gifts for homeless

Meijer held its fourth annual Very Merry Meijer event across all 235 Meijer stores in the Midwest on Dec. 16. The event consists of each store picking an unsuspecting customer and surprising them when they reach the cashier by paying for their entire shopping cart.

Diana Wood of Elburn was the lucky winner at the St. Charles Meijer that December day.

“I was already in line, putting my items on the belt, and a gentleman with a Santa hat on approached me and told me I was selected as the store’s Very Merry Meijer winner for the day,” Wood said. “I was very surprised and excited.”

Wood just so happened to be shopping for toys and other items to donate to the Lazarus House in St. Charles, which she has been doing for the past several years. Lazarus House helps people in need connected to Batavia, Geneva, St. Charles and western rural Kane County find the shelter, food and other support services they need to get back on their feet, according to its website.

“I probably had nearly $300 in toys in my shopping cart that day,” Wood said. “It was such a blessing to have it all paid for by Meijer. I am a loyal – there once a week – and it’s wonderful that they support the people who shop there during the holiday season.”

According to a news release, the Very Merry Meijer event started in 2014 to help make the holiday season brighter for randomly selected customers at each of its 235 stores across the Midwest and results in tens of thousands of dollars in gifts to Meijer customers each year.

“Every store participates on the same day – Dec. 16 this year – and each store manager picks their one customer who will receive their purchases free,” Meijer’s public relations manager Christina Fecher said.

According to the release, the cashier checking out the Very Merry Meijer winner at each store received a $100 Meijer gift card as well.

“We are very appreciative of our customers and team members and wanted to find a special way to wish them a very Merry Christmas,” Executive Chairman Hank Meijer stated in the release.

“The St. Charles story about Diana Wood and her donation is a unique, heartwarming story that we learned after it happened,” Fecher said. “We are pleased and excited she was selected.”

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