When the founders of Avionté began to brainstorm on how they could share the success of their startup company with the local community, they launched the Avionté Hope Foundation (AHF) in January of this year. To celebrate the launch, each Avionté employee was given a $50 bill and was told to use it to make a difference, in whichever way they felt they should. From there, inspiration took hold.

Through the Avionté Hope Foundation, Avionté employees have become involved with various charities, fundraisers and nonprofits throughout the area, and in Nepal, where many of our employees reside. And Avionté encourages this involvement, giving each employee three “Hope” days in which they’re given PTO to go out into their communities and make a difference.

The mission of the Avionté Hope Foundation is to:

a)      Positively impact the lives of individuals by helping them achieve long term life improvement through financial and personal support

b)      Provide a conduit for employees at Avionté to become involved in charitable activities and start making a difference

When the Avionté Hope Foundation first launched, CEO of Avionté John Long said he was looking forward to how it could make an impact in the lives of those less fortunate than us.

“Starting a charitable side of Avionté has always been a vision of mine and I couldn’t be more excited to finally see this start to take form,” Long said.

And has it ever! The Avionté Hope Foundation has already made a large impact on the local community and on the lives of many people in Nepal. Here are some of the exciting things that the Avionté Hope Foundation has been involved in this year:

1) The Avionté Hope Foundation began at our year-end party, when each employee was given $50 through Operation: See-A-Need to give to a worthy cause of their choosing. Money was also sent to our Nepal office at this time, to help an orphanage purchase education supplies.

2) In February, we worked with Lincoln Place in Eagan – an apartment complex that provides supportive housing to young adults, most of whom are transitioning from the foster care system and are at risk of becoming homeless. We also used some of our funds in February to help a local teen boy get back on his feet after his parents moved out of state, and left him to fend for himself.

3) In March, we became aware of a fire that occurred within the home of a local family that lost everything. Without renters insurance, the fire forced them to start from scratch. So the Avionté Hope Foundation contributed by donating gift cards to Target, Kohls, and Cub Foods, and by putting together a large bin of other gifts, donated by our employees!

4) In April, we sponsored three children from the Early Childhood Development Center in Nepal, which was founded in 2005 to break the cycle of crime and poverty in Nepal. Corey Cook, the Avionté Support Manager, also participated in Feed My Starving Children with his family during this time.

5) In May and June, we continued to donate to students and the education system in Nepal. The late spring donations were centered on enhancing the educational experience for three individuals and helping a school near Kathmandu with access to computers.

6) This summer, 10 employees of Avionté Staffing Software participated in the 2012 Warrior Dash, which raises money for the St. Jude Children’s Hospital. Through fundraisers at our corporate offices, Avionté was able to raise $2,500 before the race!

7) In mid-July, a handful of employees donated their time to help build a fence and shed at St. Anne’s Place in North Minneapolis, a place that was providing emergency shelter and support services for 16 families that were experiencing homelessness in the area.

8) As the school year started, we donated over $3k worth of school supplies through the Boys and Girls Club school supply drive, and packed and delivered over 60 backpacks to the Southside Village!

9) Throughout the month of October, employees at Avionté volunteered their time to The Salvation Army Coats for Kids program, which works to provide warm winter coats to thousands of children residing in the metro area – from infants to 17 year olds.

We’ve enjoyed all that the Avionté Hope Foundation has willed us to do for our community this year and have plans to continue to do even more as we move forward.

With the holidays on the horizon, there are so many opportunities out there to help others in need this season. So I’ve rounded up a list of some of the biggest and best. Let’s get out and make a difference this holiday season, and far into next year!

Toys for Tots – The mission of the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots program is to collect new toys during October, November and December of each year that can be distributed as Christmas gifts to less fortunate children in the surrounding communities.

The Holiday Project – The Holiday Project is a national nonprofit organization that is comprised of thousands of volunteers who visit with people that have to spend their holiday in hospitals, nursing homes and other institutions.

Meals-on-Wheels – Through Meals-on-Wheels, over one million meals are provided to seniors who need them each day. Some programs serve meals at locations such as senior centers, and others deliver meals directly to the homes of seniors with limited mobility.

Make-a-Wish – The Make a Wish Foundation works to grant the Christmas wishes of children who have life-threatening medical conditions. It was founded in 1980 and has become one of the most well-known charities.

Operation Christmas Child – Operation Christmas Child is often hosted through churches, with a mission to help meet the needs of people who are victims of war, poverty, natural disasters, disease, and famine by filling a shoe box with selected gifts and sending it to a needy child overseas.

We love to see how other companies are getting involved in their local communities. Leave comments and send photos of how you plan on making a difference this holiday season; we’ll be sure to keep you updated on how the Avionté Hope Foundation becomes involved in these coming months!

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