The holidays are always the worst time of year to be in need. The question is, how do we help? With some great suggestions from the Futurelooks Team, I was able to narrow down my search to just a handful of charities. We obviously wanted to help as many people as possible while ensuring that as much of our donation went directly to making a difference. Though all the charities on the shortlist did great work, we finally settled on the Greater Vancouver Food Bank Society.
"The Greater Vancouver Food Bank Society (GVFBS) was established in 1982 when many small organizations, church groups and concerned citizens joined together in response to the hunger crisis during the economic recession in 1981. The purpose of the GVBS was to be a temporary social service provider; however, because the number of those suffering from hunger problems has continued to increase, the GVFBS has become one of the most important non-government funded food assistance providers in Canada. In 1982, the GVFBS assisted 200 people..."
"(Today) The GVFBS helps feed more than 9,000 people each week in 18 depots located in Burnaby, New Westminster, Vancouver and the North Shore. Additionally, the GVFBS aids over 100 agencies within these areas, providing help to another 16,000 individuals weekly."
The GVFBS has a 3:1 leverage ratio when it comes to food buying power. That means that for every dollar you donate, they can turn that into a $3.00 purchase. According to a recent Radio interview, GVFBS' cost for feeding a family of four is $5.00 so for your two dollar donation, you've just bought a whole family a meal. That is very cool! Because it is a local charity, I can see how our contribution is affecting people. Even though Futurelooks operates in the World Economy, we have to help out at home as well.
In addition to the immediate need of feeding the hungry, the GVFBS also runs a program called Basics for Babies that supports families coping with the challenge of raising a young infant by providing them with needed food, formula and diapers. A supplement of this program is the Kids Picks program that provides preschoolers aged 18 months through 5 years with a supplemental bag of healthy, ready-to-eat snacks that will ensure they receive all the essential vitamins and minerals needed for proper growth and development.
Finally, as a technology publication, I was most impressed by the Think-Food Program. The program recycles used printer cartridges and cell phones to derive additional funds for the food bank to leverage their 3 to 1 buying power with. Not only does this help feed more people, but it also helps clean up the environment by reducing waste and promoting recycling.
So to Brice, Alex, Peter, Cecil, Scott, Amanda, Harold, Kelly, Catherine, Carrie, Patrick, Dave, Ken, Tyler, the new people, our freelancers, our loyal readers. Thanks to all of your hard work and support this year, we were able to make a donation of $350. This means that the Greater Vancouver Food Bank Society, with its 3:1 buying power, will be able to purchase over $1050 worth of food. This translates into over 210 families of four that will get fed. Way to go Team Futurelooks!
Because we started a bit late this year, our goal next year is to at least DOUBLE our donation for next year. In order to make sure we make that goal, Kelly has volunteered to be Futurelooks' Director of Philanthropy. Her job for 2007 will be to find ways to help Futurelooks leverage itself to make an even bigger contribution for next year by making charity an integral part of our operations.
If you haven't made a donation already, now is the time do a bit of research, choose a charity, and write a check. This goes out to all the other websites as well too. It's not cool not to give! Even a man as evil as John Chow donated. You have no excuse. Happy Holidays!