The Austin Team participates year-round in charitable activities, but we ramp up our Austin Gives Back initiatives during the holidays. This year, we had three main opportunities to give back to our community and spend time volunteering together.
We were very excited to participate in a new giving program this year through our friends at the Metro Detroit Chapter of the Association of Legal Administrators (ALA). They supported the CARE House of Oakland County with both cash and in-kind donations. The Austin team pitched in through a Jean Week fundraiser and many in-kind donations as well. Thanks to a matching donation by Austin Benefits Group President & CEO, Dean Austin, we raised well over $1,000.
The CARE House of Oakland County is a 501(c)(3) non-profit agency based in Pontiac, Michigan. It currently offers an array of programs focused on the identification and treatment of child abuse victims, and on child abuse prevention. You can find out more about helping to support the CARE House by visiting their website.
It’s now our third year hosting a dinner during the holiday season for the guests of the South Oakland Shelter (SOS). The South Oakland Shelter works diligently to help individuals and families from homelessness to housing as quickly as possible. They assist families with locating safe, affordable, and permanent housing in the community by providing on-going housing case management and providing short, medium, or long-term rental assistance when needed. This year, SOS has taken over the HandUp program which offers a platform for direct donations to help individuals or families with immediate, specific needs.
We adopted a family this year as our team gift to our President & CEO, Dean Austin. This year’s family was a mom, her two young boys and a baby on the way! We were very excited to put together a great group of gifts for them all. The boys were loaded up with new winter gear, clothes, and toys. Mom received some new housewares and lots of new items for her baby. Our Adopt-A-Family program was put together by the Children’s Hospital of Michigan, we were overwhelmed again with the sheer volume of generosity shown by all the participants of this program. The drop-off hall was piled full of presents for needy families in our area. To learn more about the Children’s Hospital of Michigan’s Adopt-a-Family program visit their website.
Looking for ideas to start up or expand charitable activities at your organization? Keep these three best practices in mind:
- Consider what charity you want to help. Choosing a charity can be a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. Think about what is important to you. Once you’ve identified the type of charity you want to help, you can use GuideStar, a website that provides as much information as possible about IRS-registered charities, to find nonprofits that support the causes that are important to you. You can enter in your location as well to find charities that are close to where you live or work.
- Conduct a little research before you donate. Unfortunately, despite the fact that there are numerous charitable organizations, not all of them are as reputable as they may claim. In addition to researching the charity on GuideStar, you can also look up your chosen charity on a website called Charity Navigator to see how the charity spends its money and uses donations.
- Consider how you want to give. There are many ways for you to donate. Regardless of how you give or how many charities you donate to, you should keep in mind that there are processing costs associated with every donation that you make.
Thank you for your support of Austin Benefits Group and the Benefits Blog this year. We look forward to providing you with even more HR & Benefits news and resources in 2018! Have a Happy New Year!