12 Days of Giving: Let the Giving Spree Begin!

Thank you to everyone who took the time to submit a charity to be considered for our 12 Days of Giving campaign. I really enjoyed reading all the submissions and the impact these organizations have had on your local communities. With so many nominations, it was a very tough task to select 12 organizations to receive a $1,000 Random Act of Kindness (RAK) check.

With Bob’s stores from coast to coast, I’m loading up my bag with 12 RAK checks that I can’t wait to distribute!

Day 1: The first worthy recipient has a name I love: Bobby! I swear we’re not related! Bobby might be a “Big Guy” but his efforts to help the “Little” dogs of the world just melts my heart!

Big Guy Little’s World Sanctuary (Maryland)

At Big Guy Little’s World Sanctuary, Bobby Humphreys and a dedicated team provide support for neglected, abandoned, and abused chihuahuas as well as chihuahuas combating serious health issues such as seizures and auto immune deficiencies. Since its inception, the sanctuary has since grown provide temporary, and at times indefinite refuge to chihuahuas in need. His long-term goals include finding a unique experience for chihuahuas in need across the country where they can live out their days without fear of being euthanized, kenneled, or rehomed. Bobby and team are also developing a line of dog food related health products to combat such issues as parasites, anxiety, and immune strengthening through a better diet.

Keep up the great work, Bobby!

Bobby surrounded by his little buddies.

Day 2: One down and 11 to go! I’m grabbing my big stack of RAK checks and heading halfway across the country to a state that’s got a great wintery-shape to it: mitten-shaped Michigan! Whew! I’m already starting to wonder how ol’ St. Nick does this!

Our next 12 Days of Giving recipient supports veterans – a cause I care deeply about.

West Michigan Veterans Assistance Program (WMVAP) (Michigan)

West Michigan Veterans Assistance Project (WMVAP) helps veterans across five counties with expenses that other programs cannot meet. Examples include bus passes for job interviews, fuel cards, medical co-pays, dental and eye exam expenses. WMVAP also runs a food pantry to support qualified veterans and their families with up to three days of food.

Thank you, team, for all that you do!

Volunteers at West Michigan’s Veteran Assistance Program’s Food Pantry.

Day 3: While I’m in Michigan, I might as well take my Bobby boat for a cruise across Lake Michigan to neighboring Wisconsin to deliver the next check to a very purr-thy, I mean worthy cause:

Second Hand Purrs (Milwaukee, Wisconsin)

Second Hand Purrs is a no-kill cat shelter run exclusively by volunteers and operates solely by donations. They are a smaller shelter, which enables them to spend quality time with each individual cat. They were nominated by one of my customers who loves four-legged friends as much as I do. In fact, close to 40% of nominations this year were for animal-related causes!

A curious and thankful client at Second Hand Purrs in Milwaukee, WI.

Day 4: Our first three recipients for the 12 Days of Giving helped veterans and animals, which are two very important groups. My next recipient helps a group near and dear to our team’s giving mission: children and families. I especially love this group because they make kids feel at home, which is what I’m all about.

Foster Love Project (Pittsburgh, PA)

Foster Love Project provides “love in action” to kids impacted by foster and kinship care through the provision of goods, services, and support. Practical needs are met through their programming such as a free shopping center and back to school program. Additionally, Foster Love Project meets social needs and provides support to families caring for foster children. The organization launched with a goal to have the basic needs of new blankets, clothes and toothbrushes provided for children who change living situations with little to no warning. These simple comforts can make all the difference. 

A Foster Love Project volunteers brings two children on a shopping trip to pick up items.

Day 5: Day 5 brings me to one of my newer markets: Cleveland, Ohio. And while Bob’s has only been in Cleveland for a few years, our next 12 Days of Giving recipient, The City Mission, has been doing good in the city known as “America’s North Coast” for over 100 years.

The City Mission (Ohio)

For over a century, The City Mission has provided help and hope to Cleveland’s hurting and homeless. They started off focused on meeting basic human needs of food, shelter, and caring, but with the help of many, they’ve been able to give so much more. They empower men, women, and children in crisis to overcome their unique, complex paths to homelessness.

A Cleveland youth stands in front of mural near Laura’s Home, a women’s crisis center run by The City Mission.

Day 6: While I was in Ohio, I hitched a ride with one of my Bob’s drivers to Cincinnati to visit our sixth 12 Days of Giving recipient: The LAM Foundation. 

The LAM Foundation (Ohio)

Lymphangioleiomyomatosis, known as LAM for short, is a rare lung disease that occurs almost exclusively in women. LAM is a progressive disease, but its growth is usually slow. In some women, however, the disease progresses at a rapid rate. Although great strides have been made in researching and treating the disease, there is no cure for LAM.

The LAM Foundation urgently seeks safe and effective treatments, and ultimately a cure, for LAM through advocacy and the funding of promising research. They are dedicated to serving the scientific, medical, and patient communities by offering information, resources, and a worldwide network of hope and support.

LAM patients at their most recent International LAM Research Conference & LAMposium in Chicago.

Day 7: As I kick-off the second first half of the list, I am heading to our third and final animal-focused non-profit: Hearts Alive Village in Las Vegas, NV! Now, I’m not a gambling man, but I’d never turn down a sure-fire way to double my money. And that’s just what we did with this donation. See, Christy the founder of Hearts Alive Village, had another giving supporter who was doing a matching fund so all donations were doubled, including ours!

Hearts Alive Village (Nevada)

Hearts Alive Village is the only all-in-one animal rescue in Las Vegas with a vet clinic, adoption center, fostering service, rehoming service, rehabilitation program and more. It all started with the vision of one woman and her daughter. After they rescued two dogs in need there was no holding back. Now the pair helps Las Vegans while supporting their mission: to nurture a compassionate society where pets are supported in their homes and on their journey to find a new home.

Photo Caption: Hearts Alive Village Cat Cafe manager, Lynn Eldridge, cuddles one of their tiniest clients.

Day 8: Day 8 of our 12 Days of Giving brings me to my newest market in California: Fresno to honor Live Again Fresno.

Live Again Fresno (California)

Live Again Fresno started out of the trunk of their founder, Richard Burrell’s family car. In 2012, Richard met over 30 children living at a hotel called The Fresno Inn. The children living there were surrounded by challenging situations including hunger, filth, and lack of enrichment outside of school. Richard and his partner Roxanne found a way to connect with the children by bringing food. The relationships blossomed into an onsite after-school program, with the hotel even donating a room to Richard and Roxanne to run their program out of.

The program flourished in the years that followed and had a uplifting impact on the surrounding community. While The Fresno Inn no longer exists, Live Again Fresno’s commitment to building relationship and consistency among Fresno youth continues.

Live Again Fresno volunteers (center: Richard) work on a beautification project.

Day 9: As I head a little further south to San Diego, I met Jerry Troyer who is doing similar work uplifting members of his local community. Jerry is the founding board member and Director of Relationship Development for Urban Street Angels, our ninth recipient.

Urban Street Angels  (California)

Urban Street Angels provides bridge housing, employment referrals and life skills training to transitional age youth, ages 18 to 25, living in San Diego. Currently more than 120 youth have a warm and safe place to sleep because of one of their programs, conducted in three facilities. Keep up the great job Jerry and team!

Local youth enjoy a Christmas meal together alongside Urban Street Angels volunteers.

Day 10: It’s time for me to leave California and head to St. Louis to honor an amazing program run by the Urban League of Metro St. Louis called Save our Sons.

Save Our Sons (Missouri)

The Save Our Sons (SOS) program seeks to help economically disadvantaged African American men living in the St. Louis region find jobs and have the opportunity to earn livable wages.

This program completes these objectives by assisting the participants in obtaining post-secondary education and job training. SOS teaches imperative career and life skills as well as work ethic to help youth become successful employees in today’s workforce.

Leadership from Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis pose with Save Our Sons participants.

Day 11: After a whirlwind tour across America, if feels great to head back home to the East Coast for the holidays with a stop in Pennsylvania! Not too far from the city of “Brotherly Love,” Grands Stepping Up is an organization dedicated to grandparent/kinship love. There’s no welcome home like the open arms of a grandparent!

Grands Stepping Up (Pennsylvania)

Grands Stepping Up provides aid to grandparents/kinship guardians who are raising children. The organization serves residents of Pennsylvania where more than 200,000 children live in households headed by grandparents or relatives. Grands Stepping Up provides financial, psychological, legal and social support to those providing a parental role for youth. Additionally, Grands Stepping Up works to educate entities like school districts and primary care physicians about the complexity of grand/kinship families’ needs. Grands Stepping Up supports the belief that children will thrive in a loving, safe, familiar family environment.

A Grands Stepping Up volunteer processing a formula donation.

Day 12: It’s hard to believe I reached my final stop of this amazing 12 days of Giving spree and I’m so close to home in Massachusetts! Bob’s Headquarters in Connecticut is just a hop away from The Learning Center for the Deaf where I will make the last RAK donation! Just like Bob’s, The Learning Center for the Deaf has been serving communities for decades, recently celebrating their 50th anniversary!

Learning Center for the Deaf (Massachusetts)

The Learning Center for the Deaf is a pioneer in education and support services for the deaf and hard of hearing. Established in 1970, the center employed revolutionary teaching techniques to serve the needs of its learners. A leader since its inception, The Learning Center for the Deaf is the first school in the United States to have adopted the ASL/English bilingual, bicultural model in a K-12 educational setting. Today, the center boasts services for infants to adults, including two schools, wraparound Behavioral Health, an outpatient Audiology Clinic, Public School Partnership Program, and Interpreting and Communication Access services.  

Encouragement and excitement are part of the learning environment at The Learning Center for the Deaf.

What an adventure! Thanks to all of you, twelve amazing organizations have a little more support this holiday season and I was introduced to many more through your nominations. Now, I am headed home for some holiday cheer, and before I know it, I will be asking guests and employees to help me make next year’s 12 Days of Giving list!

Wishing you a safe and happy holiday season from me and the entire Bob’s team!

About the author / Bob

I consider myself the luckiest spokespuppet ever because I get to talk about the thing I love the most everyday – furniture! Tufted headboards, rustic finishes, the difference between a sofa and a couch (yes, there is a difference)… I could go on and on. Oh, I just love furniture and I’m SO excited that I have this blog to share my passion with you! It may take me a little longer to create posts – have you ever tried typing with clay hands – but I look forward to talking furniture with you!

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