Originally posted to ACT.org November 27, 2018
On this Giving Tuesday, an international day of giving to commemorate the start of the holiday season, I feel especially fortunate and proud, as I reflect on the good work being done by team members across ACT to serve others. ACT’s rich heritage of helping others is evident in so many ways, from volunteerism in our community to philanthropic efforts that benefit areas such as education; social and community improvement; culture and the arts; and disaster relief.
The ACT Corporate Giving Committee, which awards funding to nonprofit organizations for projects or events that align with our organization’s mission and values, donated funds to benefit a variety of causes this year, which included:
- supporting adult education for English learners preparing for the U.S. Citizenship Exam;
- funding youth writing projects; and
- delivering critical educational materials to underserved learners in Puerto Rico, as they recovered from Hurricane Maria.
The Corporate Giving Committee also sponsored the Iowa City Pride Parade for the first time this year, and I was honored to join other ACT team members who walked in the parade in solidarity with the LGBTQ+ community.
Many of our ACT team members joined activities organized by the Volunteer Services Committee (VSC) to benefit causes in our local Iowa City area. These included:
- a campus-wide Heart Walk and potato sack race to raise funds for the American Heart Association;
- Big Brothers Big Sisters of Johnson and Washington Counties’ annual fundraising effort, Bowl for Kids’ Sake;
- a back-to-school backpack and supplies drive to benefit families in the area who need us the most;
- a canned goods drive to benefit University of Iowa students who are food insecure; and
- a food and supplies drive to benefit three local animal shelters.
Of course, these events were in addition to our annual United Way Week activities to support United Way of Johnson and Washington Counties, an organization that impacts one in three community members through a variety of support services.
Finally, we kicked off our year-long celebration of ACT’s 60th anniversary with a significant education-focused initiative in our hometown of Iowa City. We made a three-year financial commitment to support the Iowa City Community School District’s implementation of the Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) program, an innovative classroom-focused initiative designed to improve college readiness for all students, particularly low-income, minority, and first-generation students pursuing higher education. When we give back to our communities, we strengthen the bonds that unite us as human beings. There is no shortage of good causes to give to, or people in need of love, help, and support, but it is encouraging to see the progress that is made and the joy that is spread when we seek to do good together.
In 2017, ACT Cares was introduced to create brand ambassadors who inspire and motivate others by promoting a culture of caring for our communities, our customers, one another, and especially, our mission. The ACT Cares effort allows us to do more with our dollars, our time, and our commitment to serving the common good.
Know of a worthy cause that ACT might support? Apply for a Corporate Giving Grant, so we can spread more joy and cheer, next year.