Posts Tagged ‘non-profit organizations’

Christmas Gift Suggestions

December 21, 2010

I would suspect that my family is like most at Christmas time.  We give each other a list of things we would like to receive as gifts.  These lists are never created out of selfish, wanton desire; but simply suggestions to get the creative juices of the gift giver going.  But have you ever had to shop for that one person who seemed to have everything?  What do you give them?

My cousins and I faced this challenge when it came to my grandfather.  Grandpa was a man who really did have everything – especially the things that mattered most.  So we granddaughters decided to go outside the box one year – literally, and it was an idea that really fit.  During that year, Grandma had passed away after losing her battle with cancer.  We made a donation in her honor to the local chapter of the American Cancer Society.  Grandpa was deeply moved by our act.  We were reminded that a gift isn’t always about the thing, but the thought and meaning behind it.  This was the perfect gift.

Unfortunately, there are many other families who have a completely different challenge.  How do you create the feeling of Christmas and participate in the exchanging of gifts when the budget has nothing left to offer in the way of Christmas shopping, let alone any type of lavish meal?  Thinking outside of any boxes seems to fit here too.  Gifts that aren’t about things, but ones that have real meaning and permanent value.  Gifts that aren’t about writing a check, but ones that offer the gift of you. 

I’m talking about giving your time, your abilities, and your expertise.  Our Awareness Works 4 U program has introduced us to many non-profit organizations.  Some are more formal in their structure; others are simply the result of a couple individuals.  But all of them can be described as passionate people, called to champion a cause.  Most of whom are volunteers. 

Non-profit organizations need monetary contributions to keep going, but they also need help to get the work done.  Think about the amazing gift you could give by donating your time.  Think of the impact you could have on your community.  Think about the values you could be teaching your kids.  Think about the fullness your own heart would feel.  Christmas is the season of giving.  But no one ever said that gift had to come in a box.

The Awareness Works 4 U program and You

April 19, 2010

As you read our blog or visit our website you hopefully get a sense that we really do have a passion for helping others.  We want our company to look far beyond the bottom line and at how we can strengthen our communities.  We feel the most effective way is to support organizations that are already doing that.

Our Awareness Works 4 U program is very simple.  When we close a home loan, we make a $250 donation to a non-profit organization that our client chooses.  The idea is to create a complete circle of support.  We make a donation to an organization to help them continue their work.  The organization continues to touch lives making positive impacts.  Those involved with the organization (as a volunteer or member) connect with us to help them with their home loan needs; and more donations to the organization are made.  The cycle is endless.

The obvious question that many have asked is how we really do this.  Where does that $250 come from?  What portion do our clients pay for?

The truth?  Our clients don’t pay a dime for this program; it comes from us and our profits.  We could use this money for large corporate offices in high rise buildings, but we don’t.  We could use this money for elaborate advertising campaigns, but we won’t.  We could use this money for lavish yearly bonuses, but that just doesn’t seem right. 

The saying that, “to those that much is given, much is expected in return,” seems to fit.  We have found that there is huge reward in helping others.  And when we do, the benefits are always returned.  This is not just our program, but yours as well.  Do you have a favorite charity?  Tell us about them!  We are licensed to handle home loans in 5 states, but we have supported organizations nationwide. 

Help us continue to support your communities by referring your friends, relatives and co-workers that might need our help to purchase or refinance their home and keep the circle of support going. You’ll be glad you did, and so will the people you ultimately help.

Non-Profit Spotlight: American Red Cross of Greater Grand Rapids

February 8, 2010

If you have ever done a general search of non-profit organizations in any given area, you will find hundreds of groups that all work to better the communities we live.  Some focus on families as a whole; others on specific needs of individuals; and still others work to better the areas that impact our lives, our pets, our neighborhoods, our schools.  Despite knowing that many of these groups exist, how much to do we really understand about what they all do to better the lives they touch.  Here is the focus of this post.  (Check back for more groups in the future.) 


Let us personally introduce you to the American Red Cross of Greater Grand Rapids.  They have a long and rich history than spans over 93 years.  The Greater Grand Rapids chapter was founded in 1917 during World War I in response to a call to action to support the war effort.  They offered assistance with hospital services in France as well as to military personnel passing through Grand Rapids, MI.

In the 1920’s and 30’s, Veteran assistance services were added that also expanded to include preventative health education programs.  The health programs were a direct result of needs arising during the massive flu epidemic of the time.  Services expanded again during the Great Depression to include food and clothing distribution.

When World War II broke out, the Grand Rapids American Red Cross chapter again rose to the call for help with nursing, lifesaving, and water safety training.  Transportation and youth services were also added during this time.

The 1960’s brought the Civil Rights Movement, and in keeping with their commitment to community, the chapter’s social awareness and activity also increased.

From the 1970’s to the 90’s more services and community assistance programs were added again.  This time programs were in the areas of CPR and first aid training, accident prevention, pet emergency training, childcare education classes, HIV/AIDS education, and diversity training.  The Gulf War and area disaster relief efforts were also an ongoing focus for the chapter.

 Throughout the years and various changes in size and scope of services offered, the vision of the American Red Cross of Greater Grand Rapids has consistently been to offer compassionate volunteers committed to helping others.  That has never changed. In the past fiscal year (2009) over $1.9 million dollars of support went out in various forms to better the lives of residents in Barry, Ionia, Kent, Montcalm and Ottawa counties.  The work of the local Red Cross impacts more than 70,000 individuals annually in this area.  This is one tightly run ship with only 9¢ from every dollar received going to operational expenses.  Keep in mind the chapter also supports projects on a national and international basis.


Locally the chapter’s current focus, as always, is disaster assistance.  This time of year often brings calls for help from victims of home fires.  The cold weather can force residents struggling to make ends meet look for alternative heat sources that often create unsafe situations resulting in house fires.  The American Red Cross of Greater Grand Rapids is ready and able to help.  They also offer an ongoing service of free transportation for elderly and disabled persons who need to get to various appointments or errands and do not have or cannot afford other means of transportation.  For example, getting to a doctor appointment, a dialysis treatment, or even picking up a prescription.  If you are in need of transportation assistance, simply call the Greater Grand Rapids Chapter at (616) 456-8661 one week in advance.  One of the 70 volunteer drivers utilizing one of 11 vehicles will be happy to assist you.

Nationally the Greater Grand Rapids Red Cross chapter remains focused and ready to assist with disaster relief in cases of hurricanes, tornadoes, floods or whatever tragedy may occur.  With the goal to always be ready, the Grand Rapids chapter offers a thorough training series for disaster services volunteers.  The training focuses on mass feeding, sheltering, mental health support, driving emergency vehicles and logistics.  The purpose of the training is so that when disaster strikes, an army of volunteers are ready to go into action and know how to act to avoid chaos.  One key component to the training is that it is exactly the same in every chapter across the country.  Teams can quickly be assembled from all over the United States and every member will be able to effectively offer help and assistance when needed.

On the international front the focus now is obviously Haiti.  One important point here is any funds donated locally for Haiti relief will be channeled to the national Red Cross for aid and assistance.

So how can you help the Red Cross? 

  1. The first level of response from the community is always funding.  Since this is solely a donation funded organization, financial support is needed to keep the services going. 
  2. You can volunteer.  Currently they have areas of opportunity in IT support, reception and as disaster managers.  Every other Wednesday, the American Red Cross of Greater Grand Rapids offers Life Savers Tours that will introduce you to the chapter and their work.  Call (616) 456-8661 to sign up for the tour that also includes a free lunch.  The date of the next tour is February 17. 
  3. This is the Red Cross, so you can always donate blood.  As you know a single donation can be used in many ways to help many people.  This month blood drives will be conducted locally on February 16, 23 and 26. 
  4. Increase your support.  The reason Awareness Home Funding has partnered with the Red Cross is because of our program to support non-profit organizations.  We donate $250 every time we close a home loan.  Maybe you are not in the market to purchase or refinance a home, but someone you know may be.  When asked, let us know you would like this donation to support the American Red Cross of Greater Grand Rapids.

The American Red Cross of Greater Grand Rapids, committed to helping others with compassionate volunteers.

A team approach

January 21, 2010

When you see the real impact that groups working together can have, it is impressive to say the least.  This morning we met Paula Deen, well known chef, restauratuer, and spokesperson.  She has been partnering with Smithfield meats in their effort to end hunger in the United States.  The reason for her visit was for their donation of 40,000 pounds of meat products to Feeding American West Michigan Food Bank.

Perhaps what impressed me most, was her personal connection to those struggling to provide food for their families.  She was once “there”.   As she explained the goals Smithfield and Feeding America has, she was moved to tears that this problem still faces so many. 

As a company, Awareness Home Funding is structured to help organizations like Feeding America help others.  As individuals, we may not have much impact.  But, as Paula indicated, working together we surely do.  When we are able to help you, your friend, their colleague, and that person’s family member that single donation from each loan suddenly has tremendous impact.  The power of one telling one.  Tell someone you know and let us help you help them.

Timing is Everything

January 19, 2010

Timing is everything.  When should you launch a new product?  When do you reveal the punch line of a joke?  When is the time to ask for help?  The answers to these questions have a direct impact on your desired results.

Are you looking for the perfect time to implement a new fund raiser or promotion?  Let us put your concerns to rest and assure you that now is the perfect time.  In fact, any time is a perfect time to use our Awareness Works 4U program.

We donate $250 to organizations like yours every time we close a home loan – purchase or refinance.  We give you the discretion to use the $250 based on your timing and needs.

Most non-profit organizations have 1 or 2 major fund-raisers each year they rely on to fund their annual budgets.  Our program is the perfect addition to any promotion.  Successful groups also know that they need consistent contributions throughout the year to keep programs running efficiently.  Our program is the perfect ‘filler’ between major events to keep your name in front of your supporters. 

The Awareness Works 4 U program is easy, effortless, efficient, engaging, energizing, empowering, effective and timely.  Do not waste another day.  Contact us now and start taking advantage of this innovative approach to support your goals.  Let us earn your trust.

866-98-AWARE or

Everyone Wins With More

January 13, 2010

The base of support for most non-profit organizations is comprised of two similar, yet very distinct groups.  The first group covers about 15% of your members that fund nearly 85% of your annual budget.  The second group contains 85% of your members providing the remaining 15%, an equally important part of your support.  However, what if you could empower the 85% majority to significantly increase their overall level of giving without increasing their personal donations?

Our Awareness Works 4 U program can do just that.  The only requirement to receiving a $250 donation from us is for a client to mention your name when asked.  The power of a suggestion to a relative, friend or colleague never had more impact.  You have just given anyone associated with your program a painless way to raise more money, without you having to ask for more.  Talk about a win-win-win situation!

You win because your supporters now have another reason to tell others about you. Our clients win with a great home loan experience.  The community wins because we have pooled our resources to make it a better place for everyone.

Let us give your supporters a new reason to share you with others today.  Contact us today!

866-98-AWARE or

What’s in Our Fine Print

January 6, 2010

We have a rather unique approach to helping non-profit organizations in the communities we serve.  While we are not the first mortgage company to help others, we do put a new spin on the topic.   Allow us to tell you exactly how the Awareness Works 4 U program works – the proverbial fine print details.

So let us be perfectly clear.   

  • There are no enrollment, association or fees of any kind.
  • There will be no requests for names of your members or supporters.
  • There are no crazy, complicated requirements or limited time offers.
  • There will be no extra effort required on your part.

You simply need to keep doing what you are doing now because the Awareness Works 4 U program is: 

  • adaptable with your current efforts.
  • timely with your current schedule.
  • seamless with your ongoing connections to your supporters.

The Awareness Works 4 U program offers: 

  • articles for your newsletters.
  • flyers for your mailings.
  • links for your websites.
  • ads for your emails.
  • proven pieces for you to use or something created just for you.

Clearing any doubt, we hope you have found something fine in our print.  Contact us today (866-98-AWARE or  We look forward to partnering with your organization and helping your supporters reach your goals.

The Latest News

December 17, 2009

With a flurry of activity always a happening this time of year, we’d like to let you know about the latest news with a couple of the organizations we are partnered with. 

Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services

They are a unique organization that provides communication, human services and education to deaf, hard of hearing and hearing communities with the goal of inclusiveness in Western Michigan.   With services that range from interpreters to career development to sign language and lip-reading classes,  they have gained a reputation for excellence in the deaf and hard of hearing community. 

A current promotion assists those who are in need of a smoke detector in their home specifically designed for a deaf or hard of hearing person.  If you are in need of one please contact DeafHHS at 616-732-7358 (v/vp) or stop by their office to pick one up.  They are working in conjunction with the Grand Rapids Fire Department to help you with the installation if needed at no cost.  The Fire Department also had traditional 9-volt smoke detectors available if needed. 

Gilda’s Club of Grand Rapids

Recently we had the opportunity to support Gilda’s Club Grand Rapids with a donation made possible by one of our clients.  Gilda’s Club offers free cancer support for children, adults, families and friends.  With the holiday’s, many members rely on them for help in handling the extra emotional and social demands that this season can bring for support and “normalcy”.   Check out their website to learn more about this organization and the many activities they have happening.

Guiding Light Mission

Our friends at Guiding Light Mission have recently launched their new website that squarely focuses attention on homelessness and the needs of the homeless.  They provide “food and shelter while equipping men with social, emotional, spiritual, and intellectual skills, thereby preparing them to serve.”  We are proud to be a partner with them and their efforts to strengthen the community as well. 

A Zest for Life

December 15, 2009

Presentation of $250 Donation

Today Awareness Home Funding had the distinct pleasure of meeting John Mulder, Vice President of Medical Services, and John Norden, Vice President for Development from Faith Hospice.  We were also able to tour their Trillium Woods facility.

Based in West Michigan, Faith Hospice strives to help their patients experience all the joy, hope and fulfillment of life possible while dealing with a life-limiting illness or condition.  The Trillium Woods location is a fully staffed, in-patient facility.  In their primary role they are not so much an organization that focuses on dying, but on living through the last phase of a loved one’s life.  They partner with a patient and their family to increase understanding with compassion.  Having had first-hand experience, Faith Hospice really does embrace an entire family through what can be a very difficult time.

However, they also help patients with serious ailments with treatment options often unavailable in traditional medical settings so that they can return to their lives again.  John Mulder stated his purpose this way, “As long as there is still air in [a patient’s] lungs, they have life yet to live.  I intend to help them to live that to the fullest.” 

It was also a pleasure for us to be able to donate $250 to this non-profit organization to help them continue their work in the community.  To learn more about them and their services click here.

All The Time!

December 11, 2009

What if you could only use something that you heavily relied on for a limited time?  For example, what if you only had access to your car two times a year?  You would plan and organize your schedule to make the absolute most out of that limited opportunity.  However, when you need something on a continual, consistent basis, having access to that only a couple times a year does not make the most sense.  Isn’t it ironic then that most fund raising campaigns are structured this way?

As a non-profit organization you need financial support on a year round basis.  Most fund-raisers have your oganization racing full speed for that seasonal push of support.  Unfortunately, other organizations like yours are doing the exact same thing, at the exact same time.  The competition for donation dollars becomes exceedingly fierce.

Enter the Awareness Works 4 U  program.  Our program faithfully works for you every day of the year.  There is no agenda to plan or organize, no staff to coordinate or schedule.  Forget about food to order, venues to book or promotions to execute.  Every day the Awareness Works 4 U program keeps your organization and your cause in front of supporters and their contacts.  How many fund-raisers can do that for you?

This is where we make a real difference.  Allow us to partner with you to provide ongoing, continuous support.  Send us an email at or call us at 866-982-9273.