We kicked off the launch of The Avionté Hope Foundation with Operation See- A-Need as a surprise for Avionté employees at our Year End Party. Each employee was given a 50 dollar bill in an envelope with this message: Operation See-A-Need
Avionté Hope Foundation: Please use this $50 to make a difference in someone else’s life. The only rule is that you can’t keep the money or give it to an immediate family member. What we ask is that you have a story to tell and can communicate how this money impacted somebody’s life in a positive way. You have one week to use the money and submit your story. Go make a difference!
Below are some of the inspiring stories employees shared with us.
- Tracy brought Beth to our attention who lost everything in a flood last summer. She was bouncing from trailer to trailer with almost nothing, dealing with insurance, she ended up losing her job. About 10 other employees pooled their money together to donate to Beth.
- Bart donated his $50 to Minnesota Coalition for Battered Women. This organization is very personal to Bart and his story. 10 years ago Bart’s sister ( a NICU nurse at Children’s Hospital in St. Paul for over 25 years) was preparing to file for divorce from her husband who had been in and out of drug rehab. She had a restraining order filed against him, but on February 17th 2003, her husband broke into the garage @ 1:00 am and murdered her and then turned the gun on himself, leaving behind 4 young children. Bart and his wife adopted and raised the 4 children.
- Sachin, Tinu, Shekhar, Pradip and Suresh pooled their money and donated $250 to an organization for the blind in Nepal that Sachin’s uncle runs. This is a large amount of money for them and will go a long ways. His parents will be buying them blankets, clothes and other items they are in need of.
- Tony and Adam donated to Second Harvest Heartland, a program that provides food for families in Minnesota and Wisconsin. A $50 dollar donation provides up to 180 meals for needy families!
- Briana chipped in an extra $10 to evenly split her donation among 3 hardworking guys she met while getting her oil changed.
- Kevin donated his $50 to his server, Nadia, at Cracker Barrel. Nadia is saving to buy a new car, and with her tax return she hopes she can meet her goal.
- Malik stopped to help a man change his flat tire in the snow. He noticed his car was on empty, so he asked him to follow him to the nearby gas station. He filled up his tank, got him a car wash and bought hot chocolate for his wife and kids. The man was absolutely flabbergasted as to why this was happening, Malik just said, “Today you, tomorrow me.”
- Angela used her $50 to help a family pay for daycare for a child whose hard working parents just found out the dad has a brain tumor and are having a very difficult time.
- Josh bought diapers, pacifiers, and warm baby clothes for a young unemployed mother trying to find a job and go to school. In July 2011 Karisha Clifton was homeless and pregnant and had just lost her job working concessions at Target Field. Not content to only look for a job, she also joined a program to help young people pursuing productive academic and work lives. She attended a Customer Service class through Saint Paul College and also found stable housing. Karisha had a baby girl one month ago and is still looking for employment. She is in most need of simple material goods that you or I would take for granted.
- John and Brenda went to a grocery store with the intent of donating $50 to an employee, and $50 to help someone in need buy groceries. Instead they were touched by the story of Maureen, an employee, who tries to work as much as she can, but gets limited hours, is all on her own, walks to work and suffers from cerebral palsy.
- Katherine donated $50 to a high school student. He was left by his parents, works every day to pay for his gas, and struggles to find money to pay for lunch. Operation See-A-Need bought his ticket to his senior brunch.
- Darien donated $50 to the parents of an enthusiastic 2 year old girl suffering from Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. Due to so many hospital stays and visits, her parents are struggling to pay her hospital bills to ensure she fully recovers. This $50 will at least remind Violet and her parents that there are people out there who do care and are willing to help out in any way, shape, or form.
- Jessica and Corey pooled their money to buy Target gift cards for the homeless downtown.
- Jason G. helped to feed the poor by purchasing five pre-bagged food shelf donations at Cub foods.
- Alaric donated his $50 to Melissa, a single mother whose husband recently left her, leaving her with two very young children. She recently had to give up her home because she couldn’t make ends meet. She was ecstatic that someone, and a company would be able to help her out in a difficult time.
- Jason gave $10 to his daughter to choose how to donate. Madeline chose to buy new books for her preschool class. The other portion went to Breaking Free. Breaking Free is a non- profit organization helping women and girls escape abuse, exploitation, and prostitution/sex trafficking.
- Heidi donated $50 to a family who uses the same daycare provider she does and has many struggles due to losing a job and then a back injury that restricted the dad’s ability to work. The Dad explained that he never thought he would need something like this and was happy to accept it. They had typically always been the family that gives to others.
- And so many more. great stories..
The reaction we received from the Avionté team was amazing. This experience really opens your eyes to how many people are struggling, and how 50 dollars can make a difference in someone else’s life. We hope that by doing our part of paying it forward, others will be equally inspired.