To move forward you have to give back. ~ Oprah Winfrey
TPG Trade Show and Event Marketing team members are not only incredible event professionals, but highly involved in their communities and favorite charities. This holiday season, we would like to pay tribute to our kind and generous staff who contribute time, energy and money to their special causes all year long.
Jan Kovaleski. Our founder is a prolific giver. Kiva International is one of the more interesting charities she supports. From her Kiva account she gives small loans to entrepreneurs in third-world countries. When they succeed, they pay it back. It’s like GoFundMe except payments made on the loan are placed back in her account to lend to others.
Jan also sponsors the education of a woman from Afghanistan. Women for Women International was founded to help women from war torn countries receive education and training that will sustain them. This charity is close to her heart, since TPG is a Certified Women Owned Business.
Through Jan’s main charity, World Vision International, she sponsors children and gives throughout the year. Christmas gift giving is made easy at www.worldvisiongifts.org You can give farm animals, from ducks to cows, to help families and change their lives. Jan exclaims, “It’s the best charity ever”!
Other charities TPG gives back 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 two children through Save the Children and volunteering with their two girls is high on their list. They also contribute to KIVA, mentioned above. Additionally, they help package meals for the homeless as a family, and 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. We also clean out our linen closet and donate anything old to the animal shelter. Finally, this year we are participating in the Great Bedtime Story Pajama Drive and a number of food and clothing drives benefiting our local community as well.”
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. She also donates $900 per year to the ASPCA, an organization that works tirelessly to prevent animal abuse and neglect.
But it gets better. This year, TPG held a charitable giving pitch contest where employees were asked to create a two-minute pitch about a non-profit organization of their choice. Employees got creative by producing and sharing videos, slide shows, poetry and personal stories. In the end, Mary Kemmer was announced the winner and $2,000 was given to the ASPCA, Mary’s chosen charity. Donate here!
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!”
Most Christmases, 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. Last year we raised over $1,100!” Lucky dogs!
Mike Bedard. The Bedard family organized five separate 2018 pickups of households goods this year for the Vietnam Vets organization, providing services to our veterans. Mike and his wife Susan also donated significantly to the United Way, and ASPCA. In addition, Mike’s wife is the chairman of her company’s United Way campaign. This year they raised over $84,000 using creative auctions and other activities.
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.”
New for C.C. this year is her charitable donations to the Swedish Cancer Institute in Seattle, WA. “I am concerned that cancer patients don’t go through their treatment alone. So, my donations are specific for patient services, such as transportation to and from their treatments or a friendly companion to sit with folks who are by themselves.”
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!
Peter gives to many other causes close to his heart. Among them are: Wikipedia, GoFundMe, Marquette University High School, Dartmouth College and Second Harvest Food Bank.
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. Yet this year, much to everyone’s surprise, her daughter selected a four-year-old boy! Kim states, “It’ll be a fun change looking for the requested tractor toys!”
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.
Hunger is a huge issue in our country. In Chicago, the Lakeview Pantry distributes food to those who are hungry as well as services to help them be more independent. What stands out for Larry and Robin is the dignity with which they offer help to those in need and it is what prompts them to support their food and coat drives.
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. All of us at TPG have been blessed in our lives and sharing is one way to express our gratitude. Giving doesn’t have to be monetary. It 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. Merry Christmas everyone!