Have you ever stopped to think how we can better serve our children through the relationships each of us already has? Are you a member of a volunteer organization who hosts needs drives or fundraisers for underserved children? Does your Sunday school class “adopt” children at Christmas time? Are your children affiliated with an organization that needs community service hours? Are there members of your family who are passionate about giving back to those in need? By sharing the needs our children have and how Canopy Children’s Solutions makes a difference in the lives of those we serve, we can cultivate powerful partnerships with our local communities.
From the Hearts of Babes
Magan Williams, Canopy’s North Regional Office Site Manager, was discussing Canopy’s constant needs for our children and families with her sister Heather Prather. In response, Magan’s sister and nephew started “Luke’s Project.” Heather decided for her son’s monthly community service project that he would donate a few backpacks to Canopy thinking more specifically about foster children.
Heather decided to write a few social media posts about “Luke’s Project” and Canopy. In the first 48 hours of her posts, she received enough donations to purchase 50 backpacks and to fill each with hygiene items. She is continuing to ask for more donations from individuals and local businesses. She has also contacted Colgate Company to donate dental products. A Luke’s Project Facebook page was created to promote the drive.
Two year old Luke has personally helped pack each bag. He would exclaim, “I did it,” after each one. Luke and his mother delivered their first batch of 108 bags to Canopy’s Tupelo office in March 2017.
A Direct(or) Connection
The Mississippi Information Technology Symposium wanted to support a local non-profit with a gift for technology. Kevin Hankins, a member of Canopy’s Board of Directors and the symposium’s advisory board, nominated Canopy as the gift recipient for the symposium’s inaugural meeting.
On May 11, Canopy was presented with a gift of $3,000 from the group. The Chief Information Officer for Ergon, Inc., also presented Canopy with a matching gift to support technology needs. These contributions will allow tablets and electronic learning and communication aids to be integrated into the Autism classroom at the CARES School Hattiesburg. The Autism classroom at the CARES School Jackson has piloted the use of electronic learning tools throughout the school year with great success thanks to a similar grant from another local organization in 2016.
Engineered to Transform
Each year during the Christmas season, Gresham, Smith & Partners (GS&P), an international architecture, engineering and design firm with an office in Ridgeland, Mississippi, seeks local opportunities to give back. Margaret Whiticker, a member of Canopy’s Accounting Department, suggested to her husband, Ranzy that GS&P should sponsor Christmas for the children served by Canopy over the holiday season. GS&P employees donated art and recreation supplies for the Jackson PRTF campus. This began a beautiful partnership.
In April, leading to its 50th anniversary, GS&P held a company-wide “Golden Anniversary Giveback” to support local charities nominated by individual branch locations. Each chosen benefactor would receive a minimum $500 with a possibility of being awarded additional gifts through a friendly competition between offices. Following a positive experience at Christmas, GS&P’s Jackson office nominated Canopy Children’s Solutions as its benefactor.
On May 15, Canopy was presented with a gift of $900 from GS&P to help support local programs.
You Can Too
These are just a few ways Canopy employees and affiliates have helped connect the needs of our children and families with those in the local community.
Do you have a relationship with an organization looking to transform lives?