PLEASE READ THIS FULLY & CAREFULLY
You want something from me. I want something from you. Please read this.. all of it. You may not agree with me, but at least you will know my perspective.
Thank you. - Chris
I enjoy being active in and supporting our local community. I receive numerous donation requests throughout the year. It seems we receive six to ten donation request each month from a wide variety of people and organizations. While I have given to a wide variety of charitable 501(c)3 organizations and causes in the past, I have gotten laser-focused over the recent few years in the organizations who I give to.
As someone who does not have children of my own, I tend to live vicariously though my friends and customers who have kids. And, this leads my heart to do what I can for this younger generation. As a FFA participant when I was in High School, I share a sentimental bond with FFA members and their families, and I wholeheartedly agree with the approach FFA takes in teaching accountability and responsibility to today's young adults. Raising an animal is no small task. I raised chickens, ducks and guineas growing up and it required daily attention to properly care for them. This taught me many good traits as a teen and I admire young adults who sign-up for the challenge to raise an animal. The attributes they gain from this experience will pay dividends the rest of their life.
Yes, it is true. I am a Marine, and, I feel a strong bond to my fellow veteran brothers and sisters. While there are so many good, worthwhile veteran support groups that are so very needed in the veteran community, I must continually remind myself that I'm a small fish in a very big pond, and, that my donation will have a significantly larger impact to a kid raising a pig than to a multi-million dollar veterans support group. Or, any other large 501c3 for that matter.
Where I Give - Primarily, I give back to the community in the following areas.
- I buy animals (typically hogs) at our local FFA livestock sales.
- I give to school groups, such as PTOs, FFAs, athletic booster clubs, etc..
- I support the community through the Chambers of Commerce in which we are a member.
- In the past, I have also given to organizations such as the Magnolia Education Foundation, and Magnolia Rotary,and the like. I do not have the resources to vet all charities so I have given to these organizations full well knowing that they will put my money to good use.
Where I Do Not Donate - Generally speaking, I no longer give to...
- individuals... other than local kids who are active in FFA, 4H, or a similar organization as outlined above.
- non-local organizations.
Please do not solicit donations on the phone or via email. Simply hand-deliver or mail your donation request to the store.
When entering the store, I request you DO NOT do any of the following...
- Don't cause drama or a scene. Simply drop off your information along with contact info for someone within your organization.
- Don't give me the deer-in-the-headlights look of astonishment because I've never heard of your charity or cause.
- Don't stand around waiting on me to immediately write you a check or give you a gift card or a pile of clothes. This is probably the second best way to dissuade me from doing anything for you. See the first bullet item above.
- Don't come without documentation and identification which ties you to the organization. Many people have solicited donations without so much as a business card showing they are an authorized representative of that organization much less an actual member.
- And, the worst thing you can do is suggest that you might possibly tell all your family and friends that they should shop somewhere else if I do not donate to your cause. Yes, this has happened on more than one occasion, and by some well-known and established charities, including one that is tangentially tied/related to a local FFA. I wish I had thought to export the audio/video of that person's comment from the store's video surveillance system so I could share it on Facebook and YouTube to show an example of what NOT to do when soliciting donations. It was absolutely shameful and disrespectful. But, It was said with a smile.
For a variety of reasons which nearly always result in a bad outcome for me, I generally do not donate clothing or anything else that is sized. I also do not donate gift cards as this is akin to me just writing a check. If I'm going to do that, it's likely going to an aforementioned purchase at a livestock show or a school group.
Please know I pass no judgment on your charity or cause if I do not contribute to it. I applaud folks getting involved with a worthwhile charity or otherwise giving of their time and talent to assist others.
Timing - As a business owner, I must include donation requests in my operating budget. As such, all requests must be received at least 60 days PRIOR to when you need the donation. Requests received within 60 days of your event are usually passed over.
For me to consider your request, please print, complete and include the following information when you submit your donation request. Requests without this specific information are usually passed over.
EVENT : _________________________________________________
Organization Name: ________________________________________
Organization's federal tax ID number: __________________________
Event Date: ____________________________
Nature of the request - Please provide the elevator pitch for your event. No more than three or four sentences.
Contact Name & Phone#: ________________________________________
If I'm able to support your cause, myself or an employee will contact you.
Than you for reading to the end.