If you've read my blog in the past, you know that we typically pick a different organization to send a donation to each month. It's fun to research charitable pursuits and find ones we really believe in. In October I decided to change my approach, and I'm ready to share the details! Instead of sending smaller monthly donations to a charity of our choosing, we are going to switch to a quarterly schedule. My company has a wonderful matching gift policy, and the minimum donation amount is higher than what we've been sending to our monthly selections. So, we will now pick one organization a quarter to support, and then submit proof of our donation to my company for matching. This will help our donation go even farther. It's silly not to take advantage of an opportunity like this! If your company has a matching gift program, I strongly encourage you to participate, even if it means rearranging the timing of your donations so the amount meets the minimum necessary. It's free money that goes to a good cause!
For the last quarter of 2009, we have chosen to support the North Texas Food Bank. From their website, "The North Texas Food Bank (NTFB) is a nonprofit hunger relief organization that distributes donated, purchased and prepared foods through a network of feeding programs in 13 North Texas counties. The NTFB supports the nutritional needs of children, families and seniors through education, advocacy and strategic partnerships. Close the Gap is the NTFB’s 3-year initiative to unite the community to narrow the food gap by providing access to 50 million meals annually." A dollar donated to the NTFB represents 4 meals. Based on Charity Navigator's research, the NTFB only spends $.02 to raise each $1, so they utilize donations efficiently. They are very focused on ensuring the funds they raise support their mission.
There are other ways to support NTFB besides just donating money. You can volunteer your time, donate food directly, or sponsor a canned food drive. In just a few days, I'll be volunteering in the warehouse with my coworkers. My company has graciously allowed us to take time off from work to help this worthy cause. We'll be boxing and sorting food for distribution to the NTFB's 260 member agencies. If you aren't available to participate in something like this, I encourage you to take part in a canned food drive. There are numerous companies, hospitals, grocery stores, and schools holding them right now. Take a moment to imagine what it would be like to be hungry, and then help put an end to that problem in someone else's life! Have a great Thanksgiving.