Jimbo's cashier Kaleigh Colford quite literally "whistled while she worked," recently earning about $1,800 for a San Diego-based foster youth charity by singing Disney tunes while ringing up customers.
Colford, 24, said she has always enjoyed singing the songs for children in her checkout lines. She found an extra special reason to continue the hobby in May, when the Jimbo’s grocery store at Del Mar Highlands Town Center set out to raise money for Promises2Kids, which offers support for current and former foster youth.
"It's just such a great cause helping kids that normally are only able to help themselves, on their own time," said Colford, who has worked for Jimbo's for about a year. “It was kind of inspirational seeing that, even in San Diego, we still have these issues we need to fight for."
During the week-long fundraiser, Jimbo's successfully raised about $10,000 for Promises2Kids. Colford was responsible for earning nearly 20 percent of that money by attracting customers with songs from Disney movies like "Moana" and "Frozen."
Colford said she always loved performing the songs at her register as a way to help comfort the kids, who may be tired from grocery shopping, but discovered it was also a good way to raise money for the charity.
She considered the fundraising "easy" because it supported a charity that resonated with a lot of people.
"When I was talking about Promises2Kids, I just told parents what the foundation was about," she said. "I didn't so much ask for money; I just told them what was happening. The foundation really speaks for itself. ... It was amazing to see how much the community was able to rally together to help out. $10,000 in a week is huge, especially asking for small donations here and there."
Growing up, Colford said she remembered Jimbo's as the place where she first learned how much of a positive impact people can have on others.
As a child, Colford often participated in the store's "wooden nickel" program, in which Jimbo's donated five cents to a charity for every grocery bag brought in.
In the future, Colford said she'd like to raise money for more charities, adding that her work for Promises2Kids showed her potential.
"I didn't know I had it in me to help out, but it's something I'd like to do moving forward," she said.
Tonya Torosian, CEO of Promises2Kids, said Colford's and Jimbo's donations will go toward continuing the program and its scholarships for former foster youth.
“Our community partners make a huge difference in the lives of hundreds of foster children here in San Diego," she said. "Jimbo’s has been a key partner of Promises2Kids and when I heard that Kaleigh was responsible for raising $1,800 of that, I was shocked. For one person to inspire others to give so much, was a reflection of her excitement about our mission and her commitment to creating a brighter future for foster children.”
For more information about Promises2Kids, visit www.promises2kids.org.