A BIG thank you to everyone who nominated their favorite nonprofit organizations to receive a Random Acts of Kindness check in December. It warmed my heart to see all the nominations and to read the stories. I selected six charities that were nominated by customers and the other six from employee submissions. Here is a recap of the organizations that were selected to receive a donation from us.
Day 1 – New Soles Inc.
I’m so excited to begin my 12 Days of Giving with a RAK check to New Soles Inc., based in New Jersey. New Soles Inc. is a non-profit organization based in New Jersey, focused on providing at-risk & underprivileged youth with new soles (footwear). The organization is dedicated to building the self-esteem of at-risk & underprivileged youth by presenting positive life experiences. The goal at New Soles, Inc. is to empower the youth by showing them that there are people who care about their well-being.
Day 2 – Center for Grieving Children
Thank you to Kate, a sales manager in Maine for nominating the Center for Grieving Children for a RAK check and for sharing your story.
The Center for Grieving Children is very special to myself and my family. On May 19 2018, my husband of 20 years passed away. He left behind our 2 children who were devastated at this traumatic event. Their father passed away very suddenly and traumatically. We began going to the “Center” shortly after his passing. The ” Center” is a place where children of all ages and families can be around other people and grieve. You don’t feel awkward, you always feel special, there are people around you that know what you’re going through. The facilitators are amazing, kind, loving and understanding. The Center is truly committed to helping families all over the state of Maine in grieving the loss of a loved one.
Founded in 1987, the Center for Grieving Children is a nonprofit organization that encourages and supports the safe expression of grief and loss. With locations in Portland and Sanford, ME, the Center for Grieving Children provides completely free-of-charge services for children, teens, young adults, and their family members throughout southern Maine. The Center welcomes people from all backgrounds and has served more than 66,000 children, teens, and their families.
Day 3 – Shea Center for Therapeutic Riding
Thank you to Matt, a human resource director in California for nominating the Shea Center for Therapeutic Riding.
Established in 1978 and located in Orange County, California, the J.F. Shea Therapeutic Riding Center serves people with disabilities who can benefit from therapeutic riding and activities around the horse. The Shea Center offers clients a variety of programs that include physical, occupational, and speech therapies and therapeutic riding. Accredited at the “premier” level by the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International (PATH Intl.), The Shea Center is internationally recognized for its excellent therapeutic equestrian programs. It is also a therapeutic riding training facility drawing interns and students from around the world.
Day 4 – Misericordia Heart of Mercy
Thank you to Brian, a delivery manager in Chicago, Illinois for nominating Misericordia Heart of Mercy for a RAK check and for sharing your story.
My 25 year old daughter Cortney was born with Cerebral Palsy with many disabilities. Cortney became too hard for my wife and I to take care of she aged out of all the programs at 22. My wife put her on the wait list for Misericordia while at the age of 10. We volunteered and donated as much as we could finally after a 11 year wait they had a home for her. What a remarkable place and also a big relief for my family. Cortney has 24 hour care, all her therapy, dental, hair and nurses are on the Misericordia Campus. They take her on field trips and have her lead the most normal life she can with her peers. She lives in a home with girls and boys with the same disabilities and has 24 hour care available. Misericordia is short after state funding $18 million dollars a year which they depend on the private dollar through fundraising. My family and friends give as much money as we can. Each family that has someone at the home is expected to work four charity events a year and has a goal to raise $10,000 a year. This donation from Bob’s would really help! It is so hard to ask people every year for a donation on my daughters behalf. Getting my daughter in this home was life changing for my family one of us would have had to stay home with her meaning my wife who is a school teacher would have had to give up her 20 year career as a teacher. Getting a care giver to take care of my daughter was very difficult meaning my wife and I could barely get a night out by ourselves. Misericordia has been a blessing.
Misericordia offers a community of care that maximizes potential for persons with mild to profound developmental disabilities, many of whom are also physically challenged. By serving society’s most vulnerable citizens, Misericordia also serves the families who want the best for them, yet cannot provide it at home.
Through a spectrum of residential options on its 31-acre Chicago campus and in the community, and with a wide variety of programs, Misericordia currently serves more than 600 children and adults residentially, from diverse racial, religious and socio-economic backgrounds. Twenty percent of the residents either come from poverty families or have no families and are wards of the State.
Misericordia offers a continuum of care to meet their diverse needs and aspires for each individual to live as independently as possible in the highest level of community integration feasible.
Day 5 – Gift of Hope
Thank you to Carrietta, a showroom manager in Calumet City, Illinois for nominating Gift of Hope for a RAK check and sharing your story.
On December 6th 2016 my world changed forever. My 4 year old passed away from complications due to a house fire and I gave birth to my only daughter the same day. What a ball of emotions to face. How do you face something like that? I remember asking God Why me ? Why my son? Why my family at Christmas time? The answer I received was he was all the time mine just sent to you to care for until I needed him back to serve a purpose on earth. At the same time it was put on my husband and my heart to allow his name to live on what about organ donation. There was a little girl in California 1 year old who needed a liver by the end of the weekend or she wouldn’t make it through. My son was declared brain dead (Dec 6th Tues) but my husband and I did not want to take him off life support until Dec 10th (Sat). When we heard of this little girl who needed a liver before the end of the weekend or she wouldn’t make it how selfish would that be not to help her. My son held the key to make it to where a child was able to make it to see another Christmas. Another parent wasn’t going to have to bury a child. We lose a child but gain two angels that day. The birth of our daughter and our little boy going to heaven. The educational resources on the importance of organ and tissue donation to me is important. To be able to spread the story and how you can be a blessing to someone when you don’t realize it is meaningful and to be to continue to educate individuals. I hurt to the core every day knowing that my son is gone forever but knowing that he was a hero to be able to save the life of child and help other people out around Christmas time brings me a sense of peace that he is still here.
Gift of Hope Organ & Tissue Donor Network is a not-for-profit organ procurement organization entrusted by the nation’s healthcare system with coordinating organ and tissue donation and providing donor family services and public education in Illinois and northwest Indiana. Since 1987, it has coordinated donations that have saved the lives of more than 20,000 organ transplant recipients and improved the lives of hundreds of thousands of tissue transplant recipients. As one of 58 organ procurement organizations that make up the nation’s organ and tissue donation system, Gift of Hope works with 180 hospitals and serves 12 million residents in its donation service area. It also is part of Donate Life Illinois, a coalition of agencies responsible for organ, tissue, eye, blood and marrow donation, as well as donor education and registration, in Illinois and northwest Indiana.
Day 6 – Around the Worlds, Around the World
This next nonprofit was nominated by not one, but two of my employees! Thanks to Brittany in human resources and Brendon in accounting for nominating Around the Worlds, Around the World for a RAK check.
Around the Worlds, Around the World is an award-winning non-profit organization dedicated to using sport, soccer specifically, as a driving force for youth development and social change. Their free-of-charge workshops are designed to not only provide underserved children with meaningful exposure to soccer but to also equip them with the necessary tools to find long-term success in the game. Through their (always) fully-inclusive programming, children from circumstance are given a childhood experience that all kids need and deserve, a safe haven devoid of all labels, and a chance to just play – as all children should.
Day 7 – John Theissen Children’s Foundation
The mission of John Theissen Children’s Foundation is to provide hospitals and child-care facilities with therapeutic and recreational equipment. The foundation also supports families with financial assistance to defray medical expenses; offers sick and needy children toys throughout the holiday season; fulfills patient’s (ages birth to 18 years old) wishlists throughout the year and assists sick and underprivileged children.
Day 8 – Hemophilia Foundation of Maryland
The Hemophilia Foundation of Maryland is a private Nonprofit Organization, which devotes its efforts to improving the quality of life for persons affected with bleeding disorders and their complications
Day 9 – Boys & Girls Club of Manchester, NH
The Boys & Girls Club of Manchester has provided quality programs and services to the children of greater Manchester since 1907. The organization operates programs at several sites throughout Manchester with its main Clubhouse located at 555 Union Street, Manchester, NH.
Services include a Before School Program, our Kids Club Program, After School and Transportation Program, Teen Center, Vacation Camps and Camp Foster Summer Day Camp. The programs center on Academic Success, Healthy Lifestyles and Character & Leadership Development. Children in grades 1 through 12 are welcome. Fees vary based on grade and program. Financial assistance applications are available. For more information, call (603) 625-5031 or visit us online at www.BeGreatManchester.org.
Day 10 – Helen Keller National Center for Deaf-Blind Youths & Adults
Helen Keller National Center for Deaf-Blind Youths and Adults is a division of Helen Keller Services, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, is the only comprehensive national program that provides information, referral, support and training exclusively to youths and adults who have a combined vision and hearing loss, their families and the professionals who work with them.
Day 11 – The Walter & Connie Payton Foundation
The mission of The Walter & Connie Payton Foundation is to take an active role in helping those less fortunate to find stability while providing positive opportunities needed to live their lives with dignity and pride.
Day 12 – Capuchin Soup Kitchen
The final RAK check was presented to the Capuchin Soup Kitchen. Thank you to everyone who nominated a nonprofit organization to receive a RAK check.
The Capuchin Soup Kitchen serves people facing challenging circumstances through its meal sites, a food and clothing distribution center, Rosa Parks Children’s Program, On the Rise Bakery and Cafe, substance use disorder program and Earthworks Urban Farm.