Earlier this month I had the chance to participate in a MobilePack™ event at Incarnation Lutheran Church in Shoreview, MN. It’s become an annual tradition for me and my family.
Since I also make a monthly financial contribution to Feed My Starving Children on behalf of my clients, it’s also a great opportunity to see my investment at work, actively participate in this event and help assemble the packages of soy, rice, vitamins and veggies that will be distributed to children around the world.
The theme for this year’s event was “All Hands On Hope”. To paraphrase Pastor Gary Medin, Senior Pastor at Incarnation, if you contributed financially to this event or to the church’s capital campaign or volunteered to help assemble meals, you have a hand in making this possible.
To that I would add, if you are a client of mine, you too have had a hand in supporting the life giving work of Feed My Starving Children. Thank you for your continued support and for your part in making this event possible.
Below is a “repost” of an article I posted last year describing this event. This post has been updated with current stats and facts.
“A Small Investment With Big Returns”
Years ago I used to provide clients with a year-end gift during the holidays. Like most financial advisors I would order dozens packages of cookies or nuts and ship them out to clients as a holiday treat to let them know how much I appreciated them and their business.
These gifts were expensive, took a lot of time to box up and half my budget went to the Post Office to pay shipping costs. What’s more, I don’t think anyone really cared.
And I don’t blame them. How many packages of cookies, tins of popcorn or baskets of stale snacks do you need at the end year anyway?
I thought I was making an investment in my business and doing something nice for my clients, but the more I thought about it the more I realized my investment and efforts probably weren’t really making a difference to me, to my clients or to anyone.
As with any unproductive investment, I decided to switch gears and try something else.
Making a difference
Several years ago I dropped the cookie campaign and began partnering with Feed My Starving Children to help feed hungry children around the world. Instead of paying to send cookies to clients who didn’t need or want them I decided to use those resources to make a contribution to FMSC on their behalf instead.
In the past few years, my family and I have increased our commitment, making not only a financial contribution but also contributing our time to this important cause.
Of course, we are not alone. Other friends and family including members of my team, and an army of volunteers across the country and even a few clients have chipped as well. A few hours out of a week isn’t much in the scheme of things, but when you work together with a common goal, the hours add up.
At this year’s MobilePack™ event, we did our part to help pack over 750,000 meals to help feed over 2,000 hungry kids for a year.
Volunteers at MobilePack™ events around the country, like the one held recently at Incarnation Lutheran Church in Shoreview, helped produce over 333 million meals last year.
A small investment with big returns
The basic premise of investing is to take a small amount of money and turn it into something bigger over time. Usually with some type of long-range goal in mind, we choose to sacrifice, save and invest to make a difference in our future; to make a difference in our life and the lives of others.
For less than the price of a postage stamp, a meal can be provided to a hungry child – in fact, for the price of a standard U.S. postage stamp you can feed two kids and have change to spare.
For less than what it costs to provide 4 cookies to 10 clients, FMSC can feed a dozen kids for a month.
We manage our investments with an eye towards maximizing returns, keeping our expenses low and being prudent. We invest with faith in the long run, confident (ok, sometimes not so confident) that our investments will be successful.
Providing financial support to a charitable organization isn’t any different.
If you choose to invest a portion of what you have with a charity or other organization, you should take the time to research how far your dollar goes, and how it is used.
Charity Navigator is a good place to start. There you can learn more about the charitable organizations you wish to support and make a well-informed choice when it comes to how your charitable dollars are used.
Consider the following stats regarding FMSC:
- $80 feeds a child for a year
- 91% of total annual donations is spent directly on meal production
- 99.8% of meals shipped have safely reached intended locations
Few organizations can claim that level of efficiency. Not bad for an organization powered by a million volunteers in hairnets.
Every year I note in my holiday letter to clients that I made a contribution on their behalf to Feed My Starving Children. I am sure that most of my clients think, “that’s nice”, and probably never give it another thought.
I just wanted to give you a mid-year update on where this “cookie money” was going and the difference it is making in the world, and to say…
Thank you so much for making this possible!