“If you are more fortunate than others, build a longer table, not a taller fence.” Unknown
TPG Trade Show and Event Marketing team members are not only incredible event professionals, but highly involved with their communities and favorite charities. As 2017 comes to a close, we would like to pay tribute to our kind and generous staff who contribute time, energy and money to their special causes.
Jan Kovaleski. Our founder is a prolific giver. One of the more interesting charities she contributes to is KIVA International, a lending program whereby she loans money to entrepreneurs in third-world countries and they pay it back when they become a success. Payments made on the loan come back to her account ready to loan to others. Jan started TPG with modest means, so she is always excited to lend a helping hand and expertise to budding entrepreneurs.
For the past 10 years, Jan has also sponsored a woman from a war-torn country so that she can go to school and get the education needed to become a success. This is through Women For Women International – a charity close to her heart, since TPG is a Certified Women Owned Business.
Through Jan’s main charity World Vision International, she has sponsored two children for the past 15 years. She donates more heavily at Christmastime, and has contributed to the building of a well that brings water to a desperate community in the Congo.
Other charities TPG contributes to generously throughout the year are:
- The Diabetes Foundation
- Wounded Warriors
- American Red Cross
Christina Piedlow. With two small children of their own, the Piedlow family believes every child deserves a future. Therefore, sponsoring a child through Save the Children, by donating to the annual giving fund is high on their list. They also contribute to KIVA, mentioned above. Additionally, they donate holiday meals to local area shelters for Thanksgiving and Christmas.
“Anytime we have toys coming in for birthdays or Christmas, we encourage the kids to donate toys they don’t use anymore to the Red Cross. We go through all our clothes, shoes and books, and do the same at this time of the year. Finally, we clean out our linen closet and donate anything old to the animal shelter.”
Understanding the spirit of giving and helping those less fortunate is something Christina wanted to instill in her children early on. She’s well on her way.
Mary Kemmer. Anyone who knows Mary knows she’s passionate about her work, her neighborhood and her cats! Every year she donates new towels and blankets to her veterinarian, which may be needed for surgeries or for pets housed at her vet’s office temporarily. She also donates $600 per year to the ASPCA, an organization that works tirelessly to prevent animal abuse and neglect. Plus, once each quarter, she puts her baking skills to work bringing cupcakes, cookies and brownies to the local assisted care living center in her neighborhood, and spends a few hours chatting with the residents. Not only do the seniors love the yummy treats, they appreciate the company and conversation – proving that kindness is often the greatest gift of all.
Donna Pettit. “My life passion has always been animals, especially rescue dogs! Be that voice for these animals and go out and rescue a dog. I guarantee that dog will change your life!”
Every Christmas, Donna and her husband host a fundraising event at their home to benefit a local animal rescue group. They supply all food and beverage, and ask their guests to bring a monetary donation to the group they are helping.
“Our friends look forward to this party every year. This year we raised over $1,100!”
This year’s donations went to 3rd Coast Labrador Rescue Group, a small local rescue in the Detroit area, run by two selfless women, who devote every spare minute of their time pulling dogs from shelters that would otherwise be euthanized or live their last days on a cold cement slab in a shelter. Lucky dogs!
Mike Bedard. What goes better together than trucks and dogs?! The Bedard family organized six separate 2017 pickups this year for Vietnam Vets organizations. They also donated significant clothing and household goods to veterans groups. Additionally, Mike contributes several hundred dollars every year to Paws with a Cause, a national non-profit organization that custom-trains assistance dogs for people with disabilities.
C.C. Carr. “When I heard long ago that families never receive a bill from St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital, I knew this wonderful organization was the charity for me. Nothing is more heartbreaking than a child with cancer. The work St. Jude’s does to eradicate childhood cancers and other debilitating diseases is nothing short of miraculous. Funding comes from donors, so I give throughout the year and double up at Christmastime.”
Peter Syvertsen. Peter has been a delivery driver for Meals on Wheels America for 30 years. When he started delivering meals he was the youngest volunteer by 15 years. Peter has had some wonderfully diverse experiences over 30 years – delivering meals to the very poor, to wealthy home-bound folks.
“I absolutely love doing it because I see these people face to face. If they feel like it we have a short chat – weather, baseball, whatever. We wish each other well. Human contact. Sometimes it’s the only contact they have that day.”
Peter and his wife donate to many other causes throughout the year, such as contributing to a newly built hospital in Ecuador, and a social/theater company in Honduras founded by a friend 40 years ago. Perfect, because Peter is a successful professional actor, as well!
Kim Mallery. Every year, Kim’s family select a card from the Angel Tree at their church. The card states the first name and age of a child in need and then includes a list of a few special items that are on his or her Christmas wish list. Those gifts are then delivered to the child. Kim’s daughter is the one who gets to select the card. She loves picking little girls who are wishing for dress-up clothes, dolls, toys, and books. They then have a wonderful time shopping for their unknown Christmas child.
“It warms our hearts to know that her little eyes will light up when she opens her gifts!”
Robin Bell and Larry Wyatt. Robin and her husband Larry sponsor six children and a grandmother who cares for four of those children through the Kenya Children’s Fund. They send letters back and forth and receive pictures of the kids as well as report cards. They also take care of their education, medical, food, necessities and uniforms for school.
“It has been wonderful to see these children blossom over the years and some have already completed their University studies. It’s very rewarding for us to be a part of the lives of these beautiful children.”
We hope you have been reminded of some of the wonderful charitable organizations that depend on donors like you for their survival. Or, maybe you’ve learned about a few new ones. As our colleague Robin Bell reminds us:
“All of us at TPG have been blessed in our lives and sharing is what we are meant to do. The rewards are far greater than anything else we experience. On a final note, giving doesn’t have to be monetary. Giving can be as simple as a warm smile, holding a door open for someone struggling or listening to an older relative who tells the same story a thousand times.”
But, you knew that. Happy New Year everybody!