Posts Tagged ‘charity’

Laura Compton

September 8, 2010

So many times people think “it’s just me…I won’t make a difference”.  Whether it’s helping a charity, a stranger or sticking up for what you think is right, one’s voice or action can make a difference.

In my neighborhood, we have a water problem.  Everyone liked to complain about it, but no one wanted to take the bull by the horns and do something about it.  They all felt that they would not get anywhere with the government bodies.  Since my property was affected the most, I couldn’t stand by and not do something.  My father always said, “If you don’t like something, then do something about it; otherwise you have no right to complain”.

So I went to countless Township meetings, took pictures, got other government agencies involved, walked the neighborhood and got signatures for a petition.  A plan is in place to install a drain in our neighborhood to alleviate the water.  It has been a long process, and my work isn’t done yet until that drain is installed.  I was one voice for the neighborhood and accomplished what others didn’t think was possible.

The same holds true in every day life.  Your actions don’t have to be large…many times it’s the small gestures that have the most impact.  The elderly lady who is a dollar or two short to pay for her groceries; the single mom down the street who could use a couple of hours for herself but can’t afford a babysitter; the lonely neighbor whose family is all gone or moved away…give the dollar or two or more so the elderly lady can eat; offer to watch the single mom’s kids so she can have a break; visit the lonely neighbor and brighten up their day.  There are so many ways to help people, whether it’s supporting a charity or just helping a neighbor.  You may not feel that these simple gestures will do much, but you would be surprised to know how much it meant to the person receiving it. 

Give of yourself and in return, life will give back to you.

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Forget Football in America! We’re Talking Football in the Office!!

September 1, 2010

It barely reaches 14 inches tall yet its stature is staggering.  It weighs in at less than a pound yet the power it yields is overwhelming.  The prestige of it is so great that it is kept heavily guarded in a top-secret vault somewhere in northern Kent County, Michigan.  What is it?  This can only be none other than the World Famous Traveling Trophy.

A moment of silent respect please ….

Every year at this time our employees enter into the fiercest of competitive events: the Pigskin Pick-Em’s.  Each week participating employees select which football teams they have determined will win their respective match ups.  Each week, when the results are revealed, one victorious person within our company receives the dubious honor of displaying this icon of power and posterity upon their desk for all to gaze upon.  The respect this trophy beholds is so great that no one dare touch it unless they have already been bestowed with the honor of winning any week’s picks.

Now before you think we have all totally lost it, let me assure that we are not a complete bunch of nuts.  We are just a little competitive during this season where bragging rights give us great personal satisfaction and cheap entertainment.  Hey we don’t get out much; we’re handling your home loans with the utmost focus.

But admit it.  You want to play now too don’t you? 

Unfortunately this game is just for us employees, but we are developing one you can play!  Each week you can visit our website and select your winning picks and we will post the winning player on our Facebook page.  Of course after the above description of our antics this seems a little lackluster.  That just won’t do.

So let us introduce the AHF Charity Gridiron Challenge!!  This will soon be up on our website for your enjoyment, bragging rights and competitive urges.  Each week you will play for a $50 gift card to a national chain restaurant.  But wait, there is more!  You will also be playing for your favorite non-profit, 501c3 verifiable charity.  (Sorry our legal department insisted that part be added.) When you win, your charity does too with a $100 check!  But that’s not all!

After 17 weeks of nail-biting, hair-raising intensity the charity that has ‘won’ the most weeks will also win an additional $2500!!  Now here is where the real fun begins.  Your involvement in getting others to play is critical because in the event of a tie between charities, the organization with the most number of supporters playing will be the winner.  Whoa! 

The game will be up and running on our website by September 7 along with complete rules and game details.  Act now, operators are standing by! 

Not really, but we do hope you have as much fun as we do.  Game on!!

Let’s Practice!

May 19, 2010

We have been telling you how easy the Awareness Works 4 U program is to implement.  We have explained that every time we close a home loan – purchase or refinance – we donate $250 to our client’s favorite non-profit organization.  We have made sure to tell you there is no cost, nothing to monitor, or new programs to launch.  The only step is to introduce us to your friends, relatives, co-workers and supporters of your favorite charities.

So let’s practice!

We are going to share some information with you, something very exciting.  This is news nearly everyone will be interested in hearing about.  This is knowledge you will want to share.  Once we give you the details, all you need to do is pass it along.  Do you Twitter?  Tweet this tidbit.  Do you Facebook?  Post this thought.  Do you text?  Send this message.  Do you still send emails or even converse personally on the phone?  Send it, speak it, share it. 

Ready??

We have two tickets to this year’s Indianapolis 500 Race!  To enter the drawing, visit our website and complete the simple registration form.  The link is located in the left panel.

Registrations will be accepted until 12:00 midnight EST on Tuesday, May 25, 2010.  We will randomly draw one winner to receive both tickets on Wednesday, May 26, 2010.  Sorry, but the tickets may not be exchanged for a cash prize and employees of Awareness Home Funding or it’s parent company, Polaris Home Funding are not eligible to enter.

Go!

By the way, if you would like to know about future events, promotions and news sooner, visit our Facebook page and “like” us.

Paying It Forward

March 5, 2010

You may recall the 2000 movie, “Pay it Forward” directed by Mimi Leder.  It starred Kevin Spacey, Helen Hunt and Haley Joel Osment and was based on the book by the same name written by Catherine Ryan Hyde.  The storyline is that a young boy was inspired to make the world a better place after his teacher challenged his class to come up with an idea that would improve mankind.  The student came up with the idea to ‘pay it forward’.  The concept was to do a good deed for three people who then in turn did good deeds for three other people creating a ripple effect of good will and generosity.

While this movie may have pushed the idea into the limelight, the concept of helping someone else is as old as time.  Helping someone else not only benefits the recipient, but also benefits the giver.  Think about the feeling you had the last time you did something for someone else for no other reason that to just be helpful.  That feeling is empowering.  Most often the deed done for another is something very simple.  The thought counts here and it’s because you put someone else’s needs before your own.

Examples of genuine kindness and compassion are all around us.  Like a soccer game some years back between Australia and China.  Two Australian players had collided leaving one lying motionless on the ground.  As soon as China noticed the injury they kicked the ball out of play, so the trainers could tend to the injured player.  When the ball was put back in play, Australia threw the ball to a Chinese player. 

What about something very current like the reality show, Extreme Makeover Home Edition.  Every week residential construction companies rally huge teams of contractors to build a brand new home for a family facing hardship.  Families are selected because they still try to help others in the midst of their own struggles.

Okay, too big?  What about stories of average kids raising money with lemonade stands to support victims of natural disasters?  What about someone in the drive thru lane paying the bill for the car behind them?  What about a child ‘filling’ a box with blown kisses for a parent before they leave on a business trip?

The point of paying it forward and random acts of kindness isn’t about how big or noteworthy.  The point is that we have all been blessed in a multitude of ways and can use those blessings to help someone else.  You may not be blessed with money, but are you blessed with love and support that you could brighten someone else’s day with a kind word?  Occasionally you need to ‘empty your hands’ of what you have been given so that you can receive more.

Our company has taken this approach with our program, ‘Awareness Works 4 U’ It’s really very simple.  When you give us the opportunity to help you with a home loan, we ‘pay it forward’ with a donation to a charity of your choice when your loan closes.  The charity uses this money to continue their efforts to support the people they reach.  Those involved with the charity live, work and interact in their communities knowing they have a full circle of support.  And on the ripples of support go on. 

We would appreciate your help in letting others know about our efforts.  Alone, acts of kindness are often just single events.  Working together we can create a wave of generosity that betters mankind.  What organization would you like help supporting?  We’d love to help pay it forward.

The Envelope Under the Tree

December 12, 2009

Do you know someone who always seems to have a story to share?  That person who can turn the everyday occurrences of life into an event that must be shared?  That would describe Harry.  He is one of our Loan Officers and has seemingly a million stories that always have an underlying moral.  Perhaps that’s part of the allure.  Anyway, this is one of his stories.  I hope you enjoy it.

“The year I turned nine, everything about Christmas changed for me. That year my Mom and Dad simply exchanged envelopes in place of the usual gifts. The content created the most joy I had ever seen on my parents’ faces. They each had selected a charity to donate in the name of the other.  The details of the donation were packaged in a simple envelope that lay under the tree. I don’t remember exactly what my Dad received but I do remember my Mom’s gift that year. My Dad had taken some of my Christmas “stuff” and added to it for gifts to children who might not have received anything for Christmas. He presented my Mom with a list of the children and the gifts they received.

‘Each year the exchange of Christmas envelopes continued. The creativity and generosity continued to increase over the years. I remember years when a particular family was the recipient of one of the Gifts. Another time our church’s youth group was involved in spreading the joy by helping with the delivery. It was never a question of who could spend the most, the goal was to do the most possible to spread the Christmas message while staying within the budget. As I got older, I was enlisted to help. Sworn to secrecy until Christmas morning, the experience of helping with the Christmas exchange profoundly influenced my own thinking.

 ‘The best part of any worthwhile tradition is the opportunity to pass it on to the next generation. This is one I intend to continue.”