Communities and meals and volunteers, oh my!

We were starting to grow our senior communities. We had made the connections to school and civic groups. Could there be other areas in the senior population that we could reach? That question led to a meeting with the Pasco County Elderly Nutrition program. We wanted to see if we could provide cards to be delivered with the seniors meals and possibly work with their congregate dining centers to have seniors decorate cards for us. Our ask was met with a resounding yes and our connection to senior meal programs was born. We now provide cards to senior meal programs all over the country.

A not-for-profit can not be successful without volunteers to serve as it’s backbone. We had Linda, Renee, Diane and I, but we needed more. The most logical place to look was within our card donor base. Those that had been loyal to us in our first year and had provided so many cards. It was obvious that those people were the ones that shared the same passion that we did.

We set up a coffee date with one of our local donors in the Tampa Bay Area. We knew from the moment we met that Becky was also going to be something special. Not only had she made thousands of cards for us, but her ability to ask for things and make them happen made her a logical choice for our Manager of Special Events. She could help with fundraising, card decorating events and other needs that may arise. Check that one off the list.

Our final volunteer was another gut decision that did not let us down. Again, we had been receiving box loads of cards from a donor in Virginia. We had started to expand outside Florida and Michigan and we knew we were going to need someone to handle those mailings. Liane would go on to make and send cards to communities all over the country as the Manager of Special Mailings. Our volunteer organization was finally formed and I could not ask for a more amazing group of people.

We had the communities, we were starting to expand outside our two core states and cards were coming in from all over. We had schools and civic groups decorating for us. Word was starting to get out about our program and soon we realized that this little dream was starting to become a very big reality. Year one, 7,719 cards delivered. Year two, 18,810 cards delivered. What would year three bring?

Have a great day and remember to be the reason someone smiles.


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