Friday, November 30, 2012

A Picture Says A Lot

As usual I watched The Today Show this morning and they had an interview with a police officer and a photographer that was cool.

Turns out that this NYC cop had been walking his beat on Times Square and had seen a homeless man wearing no shoes on a cold night in the city.  The officer then went into a nearby store and purchased shoes and socks and then came back out and helped the homeless man put them on.  A tourist photographer captured the shot on film and apparently it has become an Internet juggernaut.

You can see it here
Warms your heart, doesn't it?
Every day at CPD we meet children who need so much.  And just like this wonderful police officer, the CPS caseworkers of Dallas County are there to comfort these kids and help them fit their little feet into new shoes and socks and more. 
But because of donors like you, the caseworkers no longer have to dip into their own pockets to provide these essentials.
Thanks for helping Community Partners of Dallas provide 20,000 invisible photos this year.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Thanksgiving with Joe

I am on vacation for Thanksgiving with my best friend Joe's family. They are a large and hilarious group of people -- from 4 month old twins to 83 year old peeps.  I really enjoy being with them and they treat me like family, so I'm blessed.

Here's what I've learned so far:

  • Never turn down an offer to watch a episode of South Park with Joe. He loves it so much that it makes you happy just to see him guffaw. 
  • Clark Edwards is a stud. Let him tell you about it.
  • Always ask if you can help prepare the meal. I've learned lots of great tips from cooking with Clark's!
  • The kitchen is the center of the house -- leave it rarely, or risk the talk turning to you...
  • Always hold a baby when you get the chance -- sing a little too because the baby thinks you're Pavarotti.  You Are My Sunshine is always a winner.
  • Make every moment count with those you love -- the days are long, but the years are short.

We love you, Angela.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

The Syndrome No One Talks About But We All Know

We had a board meeting today.  I was dog tired when the board members arrived here today and I'm even more tired now, but now I'm also hopeful.  Let me explain.

Our board members at Community Partners of Dallas are really great.  They care about our kids, they are willing to put messages on their FaceBook pages to promote us, they laugh and they cry with me.

Today at the meeting I told them about how hard this time of year is for the staff and how difficult it is to make all of the speeches, and meetings, and events, and wish pick-ups, and well, just and, and, and...

NOTE:  I know that the AND AND AND Syndrome (My new catch phrase -- use it in a sentence today!) is not just for CPD employees or even just for non-profit employees.  Everyone is busy and stressed in November and December.  We're just like you.

So I started my CEO remarks at the end of the board meeting complaining about the hell that is upon us and then told them about our kids here at CPD -- specifically about a 12 year old boy who was tortured by his parents and was forced to sleep in a dog crate and shot in the feet with a BB gun and was beaten and was spit upon, and more.  And about his 5 year old sister who thought all boys slept in dog crates.  And about the toughest caseworker in the unit who was driven to sobbing uncontrollably. 

All of a sudden, my AND AND AND is nothing.

And when I look into the eyes of our board members and see their resolve to continue their support, I'm hopeful.

Thanks for listening, CPD board members.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

3 Myths About Business and Charity

Tomorrow is the day that we give away coats for the kids at Community Partners of Dallas.  As you may know, CPD works with kids who are involved with the Child Protective Services system – so our clients are abused and neglected children who have open cases with CPS.

I have been here as CEO for almost 11 years and the coats we give out have pretty much single-handedly been supplied by the employees at Fidelity Investments for every one of those years – and even more years could be tacked on to the total from before I came here.  I don’t know how our relationship with Fidelity began, but we are surely blessed because of it.  I have no idea what we would do without them, as Fidelity delivered more than 1,500 coats to us on Monday morning – volunteers are sorting and counting them in our warehouse even as I type this post.

  1. MYTH:  Corporations donate a lot to charity.  Some corporations do, but for the most part very little charitable dollars come from corporations.  In the US, charitable giving statistics are as follows:  Individuals, 73%; Foundations & Bequests, 22%; Corporations, 5%   NOTE:  At CPD we are very close to the national averages, as we are 71%, 25%, 4%
  2. MYTH:  It is easy to raise funds from businesses.  If you have ever been in a meeting where people (aka board members/event volunteers/lay leaders) are brainstorming about how to raise money, invariably someone will pipe up and say “Well, you just need to call <insert name of big company here> and get them to give us some money.”  NOTE:  Notice that I used the word “you” in the “YOU just need to call” – that was on purpose, people.  Corporate money is the hardest money to raise in any economic environment and even more so in this kind of economy.  In fact, corporate giving declined 3% in 2011 and who knows what it will be like in 2012…
  3. MYTH:  Money is all corporations give to charity.  Businesses do give funds, but many give in-kind donations that are worth thousands of dollars.  Corporations also provide volunteers to help charities and some even pay their employees to do volunteer work.  NOTE:  Working with corporations takes a lot of follow up and follow through.  If you are a charity who wants to “go for” corporate funds, be sure that you know this and plan accordingly.  Lots of emails, phone calls, and personal contacts are vital.  Corinne Karp, our Director of Corporate Development, does an outstanding job at this, so feel free to call her at 214-624-7588 to get your company involved today.

Thank you to everyone at Fidelity Investments for your huge gift to CPD.  You are champions and myth busters!

 P.S.  My #FundraisingFriday gift is going to CPD.  If Fidelity employees can do it, so can I.