A few weeks ago we received a check in the mail for $50,000. One we were not expecting at the beginning of this year. And, it is specifically for children’s programming and services. Along with this unexpected blessing was the opportunity to distribute over 2,000 WCA shoe cards throughout the Treasure Valley in one month. This all started in April with a few paper puzzle pieces at a Stinker Store.
On April 9, 2018, the Women’s and Children’s Alliance (WCA) launched a collaboration with Stinker Stores and five other Domestic Violence service providers for the “Piece of Hope” fundraising and awareness campaign taking place April 9 to May 6, 2018, at all Stinker locations throughout Idaho to benefit children impacted by the trauma of domestic and sexual violence.
The Stinker employees and customers embraced this campaign with enthusiasm beyond what their leadership ever expected and they are already talking about how to improve it next year. The community programs are also excited to engage with the Stinker stores in their area to build awareness and promote the campaign.
“We really want to get more involved next year. We are so very grateful for this wonderful project,” said Dolores Larsen, Executive Director, ROSE Advocates in West/Central Idaho.
The total amount raised by the customers and generous communities surrounding the 66 Stinker locations throughout Idaho during the campaign from April 9 to May 6 was a grand total of $138.571.22. With a fundraising goal of $103,715, they met this with a week to go in the campaign and closed out with a total that exceeded their goal by more than 30%. One store in the small town of Challis was the number three fundraising location and exceeded their store goal by 625%.
Nancy and Charley Jones, owners of Stinker Stores, personally covered the expenses incurred for this year’s campaign – ensuring that ALL funds raised go directly to each individual organization. EVERY SINGLE PENNY.
“This is so amazing!!! We will be able to implement children’s program activities that we’ve been wanting to add to our programming,” said Laurie Lewis, Executive Director for the YWCA in Northern Idaho.
EVEN MORE AMAZING? The Stinker Stores leadership team decided to round up each donation so the total amount given to organization will be even more than donations collected, bringing the final amount of the campaign to an INCREDIBLE $142,500.00.
“WOW…….. this is absolutely wonderful! We are ready to put this funding to our children and teen programs,” said Kim Deugan, Executive Director, Advocates Against Family Violence in Southwestern Idaho.
It is with great joy that we share with you that each of the following organizations received checks from Stinker Stores for the following amount to directly support services and programming for children impacted by the trauma of domestic abuse and sexual assault.
Advocates Against Family Violence: $15,000
Family Services Alliance: $20,000
Rose Advocates: $8,000
The Advocates: $39,000
Women’s and Children’s Alliance: $50,000
YWCA Lewiston/Clarkston: $10,500
“Wow – this is awesome. Wonderful. Our staff are super excited to have some new funds to support our children’s program and already are full of plans for a few new ways to provide services for children,” said Tricia Swartling, CEO of The Advocates in Central Idaho.
Each store had shoe cards or information cards for one of the six community programs on their counters throughout the duration of the campaign and a list of the children’s programs and services provided by each provider.
For some, the funds raised are the most successful aspect of this campaign, for others it is the impact of the awareness and education for each Stinker customer engaging in the conversation. When you put both these pieces together – you have a wonderful piece of hope for a child.
The Compassion Project: Let us be the ones who transform our world by allowing compassion to lead our action. Throughout the year, this column will feature the various ways to have compassion for others, for our specific organization, and for yourself.
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