Battling crowds on Black Friday. Finding unique gifts on Small Business Saturday. Hunting for bargains on Cyber Monday. There's nothing relaxing about Thanksgiving weekend and spending all of that money can leave even the happiest of souls feeling disheartened. To boost your spirits and to support some great causes in our state, we decided to use all of that shopping power for good this year.
We decided to donate one penny from each debit card transaction you made over the big shopping weekend to a local non-profit. So now you can feel good (or at least a little better) about those extra purchases you made for yourself. Once we tallied the number of swipes made over the weekend, the Lake Trust Foundation added $15,000 to the donation amount for a total of $22,210.50. But who to give the money to?
Making the Choice
There are so many great causes out there so it was hard to narrow down our list of non-profits to four. In the end, we selected IHN Alpha House of Ann Arbor, a shelter that helps struggling families. Humble Design of Pontiac, a non-profit that furnishes homes for families emerging out of shelters, and Howell Nature Center, a wildlife conservation and rehabilitation center, were also picked. Greater Lansing Food Bank was on the list as well.
These four humanitarian organizations are all based in communities that we serve in Michigan.
Using Their Voices
Since our members did all of the hard work using their debit cards over the weekend, we wanted them to decide where the money should go. Since Giving Tuesday is a global day dedicated to helping others, we wanted to involve the entire Michigan community in this effort. Non-members, members, friends, and community partners cast their votes online for which non-profit they wanted to see the donation go to.
After a fierce online voting battle with the help of their passionate supporters, the Howell Nature Center emerged as the winner. As the largest wildlife rehabilitation center in the state, the $22,210.50 donation will be put toward maintaining the facility and improving the current educational offerings.
"A few things that we need desperately to repair, maintain, and enhance would be our rehabilitation facilities, flight pens, and also the wildfire park enclosures for our educational ambassadors," said Dana, the Wildlife Director at the Howell Nature Center.
Giving Tuesday was a great reminder of how much good we can do in the world when we work together. We try to live out the idea of social purpose every day and we're sure you do too.