Community relations is a very important part of Kimco Realty and its culture. Many of our team members have led and joined efforts to help the Long Island community (where we’re based), as well as the communities we serve around the country. It’s driven the creation of our KimCares program.

One of the biggest ways we support our communities is through our ongoing volunteering and donation efforts. We’ve supported several organizations in recent months to help bring a brighter future and more comfortable life to those in need. Our efforts also spark a lot of Kimco team spirit, which brings us closer together as an organization.

We thought we’d share some of the ways we’ve been giving back to individuals on the island, and around the U.S.

Marcum’s Workplace Challenge

Marcum’s Workplace Challenge brings together Long Island businesses, non-profits, and government agencies to have fun, stay fit, network, and give back to the community. The summer event kicks off with a 3.5-mile walk/run at Jones Beach State Park, and ends with a picnic celebration.

We’ve participated in the Workplace Challenge for a number of years. But we had our highest turnout at the last event, with 45 Kimco associates gearing up for the run/walk. Some 200 companies participated in the festivities, with proceeds benefitting three local organizations -- the Long Island Children’s Museum, Children’s Medical Fund of New York, and Long Island Cares.

The Workplace Challenge is a great way for us to strengthen our corporate culture. We created special T-shirts printed with our logo and the statement, “50 years running strong,” in honor of our 50th anniversary in 2011.

As with Kimco’s Weight Watchers program and the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk, the event helps us build new friendships around the company and support one another. It also lets us create new connections with other businesses in the region.

You can flip through our slideshow for some photos from the last event.


MercyFirst is another great organization in our backyard. It provides residential and after-school programs for youth in need who have experienced trauma in their lives, with the goal of giving the children a foundation for a brighter future.

Kimco became involved with the organization in 2012 by running monthly event nights with MercyFirst children. The event nights are treated as a reward for children who have shown good behavior and progress in their social development.

About 10-15 children come to event nights, where we play sports, such as basketball or volleyball, and games, such as foosball, ping pong, pool, and video games. We also bring in a catered dinner and beverages (usually pizza and wings – which they consider a special treat).

MercyFirst event nights are a great way for the children to socialize, have fun, and build friendships. These events help them learn how to interact in social settings and be team players.

We’re proud to be able to support the children’s personal growth and development, and any Kimco associate who has attended an event night will tell you how rewarding it is to be a positive force in these children’s lives.

Military Support through Toys for Tots and Soldier's Angels

We’ve supported our military in a few ways over recent months. One way was through Soldier’s Angels, a non-profit organization that aids active and veteran military members by sending them care packages, first response backpacks, and many other items to help them feel more comfortable.

Kimco offices nationwide stepped up during Halloween to donate candy to troops and help them celebrate all the traditional sweetness of the holiday from their stations around the world. It was also a great way to thank our Armed Forces for their service to our country.

[caption id="attachment_1769" align="aligncenter" width="400"]A SWEET THANK YOU: Kimco’s Esther Kwon (a former Marine) and Jen Lynch pose with the candy we donated to troops A SWEET THANK YOU: Kimco’s Esther Kwon (a former Marine) and Jen Lynch pose with the candy we donated to troops[/caption]

Our Vista, Calif., office led a Toys for Tots holiday toy drive in December. We collected and donated 86 new toys for less fortunate children in the community.

[caption id="attachment_1770" align="aligncenter" width="400"]TOYS ON A MISSION: Kimco’s Kimberly Covino and Kathy Mortillo help two Marines gather our donated toys for the troops’ families TOYS ON A MISSION: Kimco’s Kimberly Covino and Kathy Mortillo help two Marines gather our donated toys for the troops’ families[/caption]

Nicole Clark, Legal Assistant, and Nina Beiswenger, Office Administrator, from our Vista office headed up the collection. They have also coordinated food drives for local organizations in the past as well. Our corporate headquarters in New Hyde Park, N.Y., also organized a Toys for Tots drive. After the toys were collected, representatives from the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve paid us a visit to pick them up.

[caption id="attachment_1771" align="aligncenter" width="400"]TOYS FOR TOTS: Kimco’s Nicole Clark, Cecilia Griffith, Thalia Mousavinia, and Bridgette Hill get into the holiday spirit posing with donated toys TOYS FOR TOTS: Kimco’s Nicole Clark, Cecilia Griffith, Thalia Mousavinia, and Bridgette Hill get into the holiday spirit posing with donated toys[/caption]

Hurricane Sandy relief

We came together in the wake of Hurricane Sandy to collect clothes, non-perishable food, blankets, household cleaners, toiletries, gift cards, diapers, and formula for displaced and affected residents on Long Island.

We told you about some of our relief efforts in November, and since then, our donations have been distributed by local organizations, including Island Harvest, Long Island Cares, the Interfaith Nutrition Network, and the American Red Cross.

Our corporate office was the collection hub for the 100+ bags of clothes that were donated by our regional and local offices. The clothes were then donated to local charities, including Red Cross Relief, Vietnam Vets, and Big Brothers Big Sisters, which were working in connection with local relief efforts.

We also dropped off over 250 pounds of food to Island Harvest. We’re continuing our year-round Island Harvest food collection efforts for those in need on Long Island.

Blood and bone marrow donations

Mostly recently, the New York Blood Center came to our headquarters for a day this month to collect blood donations and register volunteers to participate in the National Marrow Donor Program.

Both types of donations are crucial to helping patients in our area, and beyond. Nearly 2,000 people in our region are needed every day to give blood, as stated on the New York Blood Center website. And bone marrow transplants are often the last hope for patients with leukemia, Hodgkin lymphoma, and other fatal blood diseases.

By the end of the day, 44 Kimco associates had registered as blood and marrow donors, 39 were whole blood donors, seven registered as bone marrow donors, and five deferred donation, because they had been travelling outside the U.S. within the past 12 months or were sick. The New York Blood Center told us afterward that it was very happy with how everything went and again thanked all participants.

Much kudos goes out to everyone who has joined in our community, volunteering, and donation events. We hope our efforts are making and will continue to make a difference in the lives of those in need.