December 1st was a beautiful Saturday here in the Valley of the Sun. As usual, I headed out to the Phoenix Mountain Preserve for a hike. I started thinking about the people in New York and New Jersey who were affected by hurricane Sandy. Having never been through anything like it, I cannot begin to imagine what they are going through. Here I am hiking in 75 degrees under clear blue skies, looking forward to our company holiday dinner that evening and thinking about where and how I might find an ugly Christmas sweater for our party on Wednesday.
One Thought Leads to Another
As usual when I am hiking, one thought led to another. How are those poor people going to get through the winter without homes, reliable heat, food, clothing, etc.? Hmmm, maybe we need to make another donation to the Red Cross? Then I started to think about the kids. And Christmas! How in the world are some of those families going to even have a Christmas? Every kid should have Christmas! (Yes I am fully aware that not everyone believes in Christmas – but I do, and I love the holiday.)
I talked to my wife about it. By Sunday night we came up with an idea on how we could turn our ugly sweater contest at work into a charity event. Vertical Measures would donate to a charity based on people participating in an ugly sweater promotion. I started researching charities where I could be assured the donations would help get Christmas presents to those families hit by hurricane Sandy. That was not easy. On Monday I asked our awesome team for help in figuring this all out. By Wednesday we had a plan in mind. Yesterday morning we met and finalized it. We would donate monetarily to a charity which would benefit children during the Christmas holiday.
The Toys Will Make It To The Kids!
Sarah discovered that Toys For Tots had a program in place to get toys to the exact area where I wanted them to go. Coincidentally a good friend of ours at Terralever contacted us to see if we wanted to participate in a toy drive they were doing. Everything started to fall into place – and fast. Our creative team came up with the image for us to post on Facebook. In the early afternoon our post went live. Vertical Measures would donate $5.00 for every person who shared the image, with a cap of $2,000.00 in case it went crazy. We spread the word a little to get the ball rolling and received a very favorable response.
@ArnieK check your DMs 🙂 and be careful what you wish for. I think I maxxed out your donation in about 4 minutes… lol
— Rob Woods (@robdwoods) December 7, 2012
The tipping point seemed to be when Rob Woods shared our image on the Black Friday website. We started receiving 100 shares every five minutes. Five hours after we launched the campaign we blew past our stated $2,000 limit (400 shares) with more than 1,000 shares. A few hours later we were over 8,000 shares and I decided to write this blog post. Obviously we are a small company and cannot cover $5.00 for every share at this point. But maybe this amazing community can help. If any of you are willing to make a contribution to this worthy cause, we will collect the money and add it to our donation on December 12.
Please Help Increase Our Total Contribution
If your organization makes a donation of $500 or more, we will add your logo with a link to this blog post. Plus we will add you to the Facebook post where this all started. If we receive $3,000 in commitments from other organizations, Vertical Measures will increase its contribution to $3,000. Just get in touch with us in the comments, email, DM or however, to let us know you want to participate.
We a owe a big thanks to these additional contributors, who have joined us in our efforts to bring some holiday joy to children this year! Through our partners below and VM’s increased contribution, we have raised more than $5,000 for Toys For Tots! Also, a big thank you to all of you who made individual donations. We couldn’t have made this happen without you!
So how about we all join in to help make a nicer Christmas for all those kids whose lives have been turned upside down by Sandy?! Just hurry, we need your commitments by the end of the day on December 11.