Have you heard about #GivingTuesday yet? You will, it’s growing and it celebrates and encourages giving.
#GivingTuesday is a global social media campaign started in 2012 by the 92nd Street Y, a New York City cultural and community center that has been supporting the values of service and giving back since 1874, in collaboration the United Nations Foundation and a worldwide collection of influencers in nonprofit, civic organizations, businesses and corporations. This international initiative came together to promote the idea that we have a great capacity to care for one another. This idea to connect diverse groups in a common purpose is in its fourth year.
In that time, #GivingTuesday has achieved impressive numbers:
#GivingTuesday messaging began on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr and the range of social media portals favored by Millennials. But increasingly, #GivingTuesday is being promoted in standard media, broadcast and print alike. Table to Table is working with a broad range of organizations in North Jersey to promote the campaign and highlight our needs. Look for our print ad in the December issue of 201 Magazine.
Our mission is to deliver fresh, perishable foods – meat, produce, dairy and prepared foods – to over 80 agencies that in turn provide meals, or the items needed to prepare them at home, to vulnerable children, single parent families, seniors, veterans and the working poor. Table to Table trucks pick up food from more than 200 donors throughout Bergen, Essex, Hudson and Passaic counties. The food our trucks redistribute comes from supermarkets, restaurants, catering facilities – any commercial food establishment that has excess food that is still good to eat but for some reason cannot be sold. So while feeding people, in many cases the only fresh food they receive, we are also helping our environment by limiting the waste it would create. We do this completely through the generosity of local businesses, foundations and individuals, and without government grants or funds. We rescue food free of charge for the donors and the agencies, and at the incredible cost to our organization of only 10 cents a meal.
Our trucks start and finish each day empty. They are the core of our operation and in order to add more donors and agencies we need them in peak working condition at all times. The workload is fierce for both the drivers and our trucks – out on the road all day, five days a week, through all weather, road conditions and traffic. If you live in the northeast, you know all about the traffic. Think about all that driving! Consider the cost of keeping your car on the road – the gas, insurance and the maintenance Equate that to a 20’ refrigerated truck, loaded to the gills, driving 8 hours a day. Here are some figures to keep just one truck on the road for a year:
$12,000 for fuel per year
$5,000 for 12 months of service calls
$2,500 for tire replacements
$500 to cover monthly insurance costs
And now…one of our beloved trucks needs replacing. The bill, $90,000. No leather seats.
Researching this blog, I was sitting with our Director of Recipient Relations & Community Affairs discussing #GivingTuesday when she received a call that one of the trucks had broken down. Coordinated chaos ensued to get the food redistributed. It was amazing to watch, but it also highlighted the dependency and need for these vehicles. Like most, okay all nonprofits, we accept donations for operations all year long and have a number of events and campaigns that support the organization. But the additional expense of replacing a truck is too great to absorb, making our aging fleet is a major concern.
Join us on December 1st and celebrate #GivingTuesday by making a donation of any amount to help us #getbehindanewsetofwheels. All donations made on #GivingTuesday will go directly toward the purchase of a new refrigerated truck. So many will benefit and give thanks for your generosity.
From all our drivers, staff and volunteers – have a very Happy Holiday season.