Update: Backpacks of Hope

Written by: Patrick Keiser, Corporate Trainer & Recruiter 

An organization’s core values can sometimes be seen as nice words, but unreflective of the company itself. However, when OneCoast speaks into a desire to make a difference in the community, this is truly embodied by the company and its employees.  This summer’s Backpacks of Hope initiative was a perfect example of how an organization working together can make a tremendous difference in a community.

Through the Backpacks of Hope initiative, OneCoast worked with Ethel Kight Elementary school in LaGrange, GA, Nathan Adams Elementary in Dallas, TX and Wendell P. Williams Elementary in Las Vegas, NV to provide backpacks and school supplies for the schools and students.  While backpacks, pencils, markers and glue can seem like basic necessities within a classroom, they are often not provided by the school, and are the burden is left on the teacher or student to provide.  In many areas, this means the classroom goes with basic school supplies.

The response to this year’s initiative was absolutely incredible.  In addition to receiving extraordinarily generous donations from our vendor partners DEMDACO and C.R. Gibson, OneCoast employees donated thousands of dollars of supplies at each show. This year, we also set up an online Wishlist which people could purchase from and send items to our showrooms. In creating this, we figured this would allow people to participate without worrying about filing up their luggage when they traveled to the show.

What we didn’t account for, and were blown away by, was the number of people who typically don’t attend one of the shows, but still wanted to participate. This gave them an avenue to do just that.  Prior to the beginning of each show this summer, we received notifications that the donation bins within the OneCoast and DEMDACO showrooms were already full, and the showroom managers were having to store the extra supplies elsewhere. Not a bad problem to have.

With school starting back up over the next several weeks, these schools are just beginning to see the impact of our donations. When our supplies were dropped off, many hugs were given and tears were shed demonstrating the power of the donations on these schools.  Ethel Kight Elementary has since used our donations for their annual Back to School Bash to provide supplies to students. Wendell P Williams Elementary was also able to provide brand new supplies to all of their new teachers’ classrooms.  By alleviating the burden put on educators to provide supplies for their classroom, we can allow them to focus their energies on providing exciting educational opportunities for their students.  In this way, OneCoast is making an enormous difference in these communities.

Mud Pie Supports American Cancer Society with Paz▪itive Thoughts Collection

Re-blogged with permissions.

mud pieWhen Marcia Miller, Mud Pie’s founder, called on a friend facing a recent cancer diagnosis, their time together took an unexpected turn. “Nobody knows what to say to a person who has just received devastating news,” Karen Paz, single mother of two, shared with Miller. “And they absolutely don’t want to come empty handed!” Pointing to a stack of adult coloring books and jam, they laughed about the lack of creative and tasteful gift options in the marketplace designed for just such situations. An idea was brewing. Then the conversation turned to hair.

“A bad hair day is better than a no hair day,” Karen joked as she relayed the challenges of losing hers and getting insurance to cover the cost of a wig. And with that, the still simmering idea began to take shape.

In a matter of days, a collection of encouraging, inspirational and motivational gifts – Paz▪itive Thoughts (a play on Karen’s last name)- emerged. The American Cancer Society came on board to help facilitate wig distribution to patients in need. It would be a small answer to the question of “what to say or give in a difficult situation” while helping to provide comfort and assistance to cancer patients facing hair loss.

Mud Pie is supporting this program with a $100,000 donation to The American Cancer Society in honor of Karen Paz and in memory of Miller’s dear friend Debbie Sonenshine, who was lost to breast cancer in 2004.

Proceeds from Mud Pie’s Paz▪itive Thoughts initiative will help to increase awareness of The American Cancer Society’s Tender Loving Care (TLC) program and will fund gift certificates to help underserved cancer patients purchase wigs. TLC allows patients to shop for affordable wigs in the privacy of their own homes. Mud Pie gift vouchers will be distributed by ACS patient navigators who guide cancer patients to reliable information, resources and services that help them eliminate non-medical hurdles that prevent them from getting the care that they need. The pilot program launches in 2017 in select hospitals and cancer centers across the nation.

 

Note: Original article can be found here

Recap: OneCoast Gives Back

backpacks-hope-header-and-facebook

Article written by Tammy Myers, OneCoast HR Administrative Assistant

Last December, John Keiser, OneCoast CEO introduced a new 2016 OneCoast Core Value to “Make a Difference” by giving back to individuals and communities as well as inspiring goodness through organized service projects, donations and random acts of kindness.  In conjunction with these efforts, our OneCoast Philanthropy Team initiated two exciting opportunities to make a difference during the recent Summer Show season by providing donated items for our Backpacks of Hope and Helping the Homeless initiatives.  Both projects were designed to spread hope and help change lives of children and adults in the local areas of Dallas, Atlanta and Las Vegas.

Working as a T.E.A.M. (Together Everyone Achieves More), OneCoast employees, retailers and our vendor partners collected numerous boxes of backpacks and school supplies for children heading back to school soon as well as hundreds of t-shirts, hats and personal care items for the homeless.  The response was overwhelming and much appreciated by the following local organizations that benefited from the donations:

  • Esperanza “Hope” Medrano Elementary School
  • Second Chance Baptist Church Homeless Ministry
  • The Atlanta Mission & My Sisters House
  • Ethel W. Kight Elementary School
  • Las Vegas Rescue Mission

A special THANK YOU to everyone that participated.  Even the smallest investment you give to someone’s future can make a difference!  Look for more opportunities to give back as we continue these and other new initiatives during the months to come.

View the full OneCoast Gives Back album on Facebook!