Katie Collins Boosts Fundraising Efforts for Note in the Pocket

Professional Fundraiser Katie Collins is using her skills to give Note in the Pocket a fund development boost. Katie has earned her nickname as “The Ultimate Fundraiser” through her many years of experience working the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Fidelity Charitable. About Katie Collins A recent transplant from Boston to Raleigh, Katie likes trying out new restaurants around the area in her free time, considering herself a ‘true foodie’. She also loves helping out the community, and knew volunteering with Note in the Pocket would be a good fit for her right from the start. Working with Note in the Pocket has been a tremendous opportunity for me. The staff and volunteers are an inspiration. As a professional with fundraising experience, I welcomed the chance to work with Note in the Pocket to help them augment their existing support from donors to build a solid foundation for additional fundraising efforts. After learning about Note in the Pocket’s important mission and work, as a mom, a resident of Wake County and a nonprofit professional, I felt a strong commitment to volunteering my time to help them in any way that I can. About Note in the Pocket Note in the Pocket provides clothing to impoverished and homeless children in Wake County. The organization believes that no child should suffer in their educational and social development because they lack sufficient appropriate clothes for school. Through varied community partnerships, Note in the Pocket clothes children with dignity and love. The organization started with one family that saw a need in the community and took it upon themselves to provide coats free of charge for children who were impoverished....

H.T. Major Improves the Online Presence of PLM Families Together

Harmony “H.T.” Major, otherwise known as “The Prez”, is volunteering her web development and online marketing skills to help PLM Families Together improve their online presence. About Harmony “H.T.” Major Harmony is the owner and founder of ExcellentPresence.com, where she advises established, minority-and women-owned small businesses on how to strategically use their web presence to get more clients from the Internet, and grow business consistently. Harmony started her first successful Web business in 1998, converting it to full-time in less than one year — all before her 20th birthday. Harmony has found several volunteer opportunities through Activate Good in the past, but when she came upon the project for PLM Families Together, she jumped at the chance to help. Harmony felt this was perfect match between her web-development skills and a cause she is passionate about helping: To provide some insight, I was homeless as a young child… so their mission truly struck a strong chord. I first volunteered professionally for PLMFT one evening last year, and found myself fighting tears when I learned about how they do what they do, and the enormous impact they seek to make. Being so personally connected to the depth and importance of their work, it was a true honor to activate Excellent Presence to help PLM Families Together in their all-important quest to rally even more volunteers… to help change more lives. We’ll be excited to hear their results! About PLM Families Together PLM Families Together helps homeless families reach independence by providing housing and supportive services. By advocating for families to receive adequate and affordable housing, as well as offering ongoing support to...

Tim Geary Creates Meaningful Artwork for Me Fine Foundation

Freelance artist Tim Geary, otherwise known as “The Pastel Wizard”, is volunteering his skills as an artist to create meaningful artwork for the Me Fine Foundation to give to families that have lost children due to terminal diseases. About the Me Fine Foundation The mission of the Me Fine Foundation is to provide hope to critically ill children treated by children’s hospitals in North Carolina and their families through financial assistance, emotional support and necessary resources, regardless of race, diagnosis, religious affiliation or economic status. Tim’s paintings represent a “Perfect Day” for the family, and embody the legacy and spirit that the child left on this world. Tim specializes in pastel portraits and caricatures, and is excited to be able to put his skills to use for such a great cause. I am, indeed, thrilled to be part of your partnership. The honor of commemorating the life of a lost child – a lasting image in a single snapshot is both humbling and daunting. I can only hope that my small contribution brings a little joy or comfort to the families involved. Creating Meaningful Art for Families in Need Me Fine believes that no child or their family should have to go through treatment for a critical diagnosis alone. Joey Powell, Executive Director of the Me Fine Foundation, recognizes how these works of art bring meaning to the families affected by the tragedy of losing a child: Perhaps one of the toughest parts of our work is when we lose a child. Seeing families wage a gallant fight against disease, only to have their little one succumb despite monumental efforts, often...

Young, Moore, and Henderson Provide Legal Consultation for SEEDS

The team at Young, Moore, and Henderson, P.A. is using their legal know-how to provide legal consultation for Triangle nonprofit, SEEDS! About SEEDS Located in the heart of urban downtown Durham, NC, SEEDS teaches respect for life, for the earth and for one another through gardening and growing food. Their urban garden is focused on promoting principles and practices of sustainable agriculture, organic gardening, food security, and environmental stewardship. The Pro Heroes team, comprised of Brodie Erwin, Bob deRosset, and Chad McCullen, bring experience in estate law, civil litigation, employment litigation and more. According to Brodie Erwin, seeing the SEEDS operations first-hand was an eye-opening experience for the team: I was most impressed with their methods of teaching children how all parts of the eco-system work to make a garden thrive. Their tarantula made a big impression on me. Young, Moore, and Henderson Volunteer Legal Skills to Help SEEDS SEEDS’ current programs include after school and summer camps for children where children learn to grow and use their own food, leadership development through Durham Inner-City Gardeners (DIG) where youth learn business skills in addition to managing food production and working for food justice, and providing access to plots and support for community members to help meet their food needs through gardening. SEEDS relies on volunteers to achieve its mission, so the Triangle nonprofit sought ways to beef up its volunteer liability strategies and processes. The Young, Moore, and Henderson team stepped up to offer their expertise, ‘despite not having a single “green thumb” between them’. According to Bob deRosset, who has collaborated with Activate Good on past Pro Heroes projects and served as Peace...

Jessica Griffin Volunteers Event Planning Skills for Wade Edwards Learning Lab

Jessica Griffin, otherwise known as “The Social Planner”, is volunteering her skills to help Wade Edwards Learning Lab (WELL) create a plan for their 20th anniversary campaign and fundraising event. Boosting Education with the Wade Edwards Learning Lab (WELL) The mission of Wade Edwards Learning Lab (WELL) is to provide the student community with opportunities for achievement, enrichment and service, in preparation for personal and academic success. Approaching its 20th anniversary, WELL hopes to engage the community in a year-long effort to celebrate their work and recognize past supporters. With hopes for a spring event and campaign to rally support for expanding its services in 2016, WELL needed a passionate event planning pro to make the vision a reality. Local young professional, Jessica Griffin, was eager to be of service. According to WELL’s Foundation coordinator, Elizabeth Ruf: Working with Jessica has been great. She has an incredible vision and the technical skills to help us piece together a successful event strategy. Jessica is so kind and enthusiastic about helping us achieve our goals. I’m truly excited to see what she comes up with and for the ability to take a vision, run with it, and then seeing the end results. Jessica Griffin, Triangle Nonprofit Champion Jessica is long time resident of the Triangle and with eight years of experience working in nonprofit development and event planning with organizations like Planned Parenthood and the NC Bar Organization. Jessica believes that everyone should contribute their time and talent to give back to the community and is excited about the opportunity to help WELL advance their mission through Activate Good’s Pro Heroes program: Working with the staff at...

Ruth Peebles Bolsters Band Together

President and founder of the INS group, Ruth Peebles, joins our 2015 Activate Good Pro Heroes program line up as “The Innovative Solutioner”. No stranger to the local nonprofit community, Ruth is using her skills and volunteering to bolster Band Together‘s grant writing strategy. About Band Together Band Together’s tagline says it all: “Raise funds. Raise awareness. Raise the bar.” Created after September 11, 2001, Band Together’s mission is to build capacity for Triangle-area nonprofits by amplifying their impact on the community in which we live, using live music as a platform for social change. Each year Band Together chooses a partner charity with the potential to reach a major milestone with funding support. To do this, Band Together itself must build its funding resources. Enter: Ruth Peebles, The Innovative Solutioner. Using Professional Skills to Provide Solutions Ruth is a veteran in the nonprofit industry with over 26 years of experience in providing innovative solutions related to nonprofit management, resource development and grant writing. Ruth’s grant writing consultation will help Band Together diversify its funding base, build its own capacity and ensure long-term sustainability. I first learned about Band Together’s innovative mission to support nonprofits and the Triangle community about 14 years ago while I was serving as Development Director of Prevent Child Abuse North Carolina. With her extensive experience and long list of past nonprofit clients from Loaves and Fishes Ministry to Communities In Schools of Wake County, Band Together Executive Director Matt Strickland thinks Ruth is the perfect professional to help Band Together “raise the bar”: I have been so impressed by the ease and professionalism of our Pro...

WNCN Community Champions Serve as Storytellers for Urban Ministries of Wake County

The WNCN Community Champions, led by Robby Thomas, Director of Marketing for WNCN, are volunteering their videography skills for Triangle nonprofit, Urban Ministries of Wake County. Pro Hero Video Skills to Help Urban Ministries The team is putting their talents to good use as visual storytellers for Urban Ministries by creating a comprehensive promotional video illustrating the needs of the community and how Urban Ministries is making a difference. Thomas and the team are invigorated about the opportunity they have to increase the impact of the nonprofit’s efforts, stating: Urban Ministries of Wake County is an amazing organization focused on some very specific and immediate issues. After meeting with their representatives, our team came away energized and eager to execute a daring plan. Our goal has transformed from producing a simple video to delivering a variety of creative assets. We hope this work will motivate the target audience into action and boost UM’s continuing efforts. Additionally, I see this creating a real opportunity for our employees to learn new skills and fuel their creative ambitions. Addressing Poverty in Wake County Through Volunteerism Urban Ministries believes that poverty is a bigger problem in Wake County than most people who live in the area realize. Their mission is to engage the community to serve and advocate on behalf of those affected by poverty by providing food and nutrition, promoting health and wellness, and by laying the foundations of home. Last year Urban Ministries served more 27,000 community members in crisis and helped families and individuals in need get back on their feet. Urban Ministries, however, lacks the professional expertise and funding to effectively communicate their mission to those who...

On the Gratitude of Receiving and the Joy of Giving

Most of my adult life, I’ve had a profound sense of how lucky I am. I strongly believe in the power of volunteerism and acts of kindness to change lives, and that is because I myself have benefited tremendously from the generosity of others. I believe that no one gets anywhere solely on their own, no matter how driven they are to succeed. If you look closely, you will always see heroes who enable the effort. For me, volunteering is my way of expressing gratitude to those who helped me. It’s my way of paying it forward.  Humble Beginnings Like many others in North Carolina, I was raised in a poor household. During times of scarcity, my family got by with help from friends and relatives who gave us their leftovers and hand-me-downs. My father is a man of service, a Vietnam veteran, and a proud, hardworking farmer. He was also fighting a debilitating mental illness that was erratic, rendering him incapacitated for weeks at a time. Without even the slightest warning, he could descend into a terrifying black hole removed from reality. During those tumultuous times, my mother worked several low wage jobs, taking the higher paying night shifts when she could, to help us scrape by to prevent the bank from foreclosing on the farm. My brothers and sister and I did whatever we could as well—harvesting tobacco, even selling pumpkins and watermelons off the back of our pickup truck. At that time, when everything seemed impossible and we were close to losing everything, I almost fell into that black hole myself. Everything seemed hopeless. In the small community...

Shawn Deena Volunteers Marketing Skills for WE PLANT it FORWARD

Shawn Deena, otherwise known as the “Social Media Sultan”, is helping the Agni Institute’s WE PLANT it FORWARD program, with their social media marketing strategy through Activate Good’s 2015 Pro Heroes initiative. About WE PLANT it FORWARD The Agni Institute’s WE PLANT it FORWARD program, is an open community network of people who passionately believe planting trees will create well being for humanity and the planet. The program holds free community events for schools, youth organizations, and more to help educate future generations about how trees sustain the natural environment. Using Professional Marketing Skills to Give Back Shawn is a self proclaimed nerd and a communications/marketing superstar with more than 20 years of experience in writing, editing, social media and PR. Shawn finds no better use of his skills than to try to make the world a better place and he believes that this particular project important to the survival of our species. It is an honor and a privilege to have the opportunity to work with the Agni Institute and the We Plant It Forward movement. This is a wonderful program that has the opportunity for national and global growth. As the environment is something close to my heart, having a chance to work with Maggie Bailey and We Plant It Forward allows me to do my part to make the world a greener and better place. Other than spending time with his one true love and his family as much as possible, Shawn enjoys playing music, exercising, and reading classic literature. Planting Seeds for Future Growth WE PLANT it FORWARD would like to grow their program, but the organization...

Why Volunteer in the Triangle? Here are 10 Reasons

It’s National Volunteer Week! To celebrate, we’re highlighting 10 awesome reasons to volunteer in the Triangle (or where ever you may be)! 10 Reasons to Volunteer in the Triangle Reason #1: To get in a good workout for a good cause! Reason #2: Because the Triangle is home. And that’s where our hearts are. Reason #3: To meet good people and have a good time WHILE helping a great cause. What could be better? Reason #4: New experiences! Learn to cook, build a roof, and meet a tiger. Reason #5: To get to know your community and be a part making it better. Reason #6: To teach your kids the importance of helping out. Reason #7: Because doing good makes for good quality time with family. Reason #8: To put your skills to good use for a great cause. Reason #9: To be a part of something bigger than yourself. Reason #10: To have FUN! Celebrate National Volunteer Week with us! Pick a volunteer activity and join us for a little do-gooding, and share your reasons and volunteer tales on social media to inspire others in your network to get involved. (Tag @activategood / Use hashtag #TriVolWeek2015 so we can find you and...