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Saying "thank-you" by helping others

You are our strength. You, means you, our customers.

One of the many ways we've tried to show our appreciation is through flowers and gifts. Flowers and/or gift cards from merchants such as Starbucks are sent to customers as a thank-you note for their referrals. We were as surprised by the reactions of those of you who received these thank-you's as you  were to receive them. Needless to say, we both were surprised and delighted.

We changed this slightly in the recent months. Instead of flowers and more coffee we donated in the customers name the same amounts to help purchase chairs and teaching supplies for the Pointes-aux-Chenes Elementary School in Pointe-aux-Chenes, Louisiana.

Again, we were as surprised and delighted by the responses from customers to this way of saying thanks as we believe the customers were to discover it.

Now we're in a quandary. Everyone  loves the surprise of receiving flowers at work; everyone loves knowing in their name we're helping others. What to do. Which one to choose moving forward.

We're choosing both. We'll alternate each month. On alternating months we'll either send flowers/gift cards or donate to a specific project in the name of you, the customer, who generously helped us  grow our business with a referral to our company.

The school in Louisiana is up and running. And if that changes we'll resume helping them.

But other projects, projects of our customers, deserve our attention. We've chosen three for the remainder of 2006. ( And we want your suggestions for similar projects starting in 2007.) The three projects we've chosen to support with donations in the name of customers who send us referrals, in lieu of flowers, are:

* Opportunity, Inc. (August, 2006)

Opportunity, Inc. was chartered in 1976 as an Illinois not-for-profit corporation to help people with disabilities develop to their fullest potential by working in a viable business enterprise that provides its customers with the best possible quality, price, and service.

* The Hunger Project (October, 2006)

THP offers successful, low-cost, people-centered strategies for the sustainable end of hunger — the silent killer that takes the lives of 20,000 of our fellow human beings each day.

* Free The Slaves (December, 2006)

There are 27 million human slaves in the world today...more than at any time in history.

Every referral sent to us during their respective months will generate a donation of $50.00 to that organization. Each referral sent to us during the month of August, 2006, will generate a donation of $50.00 to Opportunity, Inc.; and to The Hunger Project for referrals sent us during the month of October, 2006; and to the Free The Slaves organization in December 2006.

And we'll continue this in 2007. We want your ideas for deserving organizations. Send us your suggestions, even your own organization, for participation in this project.  Leave your ideas in the comments field.

We can't change the world single-handedly. But we can help. We can start walking in that direction and hope others come along or offer a ride or start their own walk towards a better world. It's a thousand miles; Here's the first steps.

July 17, 2006 in Customer Profiles, Philanthropy | Permalink

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