Monday, November 15, 2010

My Day With Three Remarkable Non-Profit Organizations

Some days really are remarkable. Last week I wrote a Webconsuls' post about a new on-line community for non-profit organizations - 501 Mission Place. In my post I commented:
"Let's face it; we are all touched by not-for-profit 501c organizations. Whether you serve on a board, work behind the scenes as a volunteer, or benefit from their continued and varied efforts - eventually not-for-profit 501c organizations impact our lives."
Last Saturday I had the pleasure of coming face to face with three not-for-profit organizations and I am here to tell was a remarkable day.

Meet Amherst College. Amherst is my husband's Alma Mater, Class of 1968. Saturday, November 13th, was Homecoming and they played their long time rival Williams College. This was the 125th time these two colleges came face to face on the football field. It is a long tradition and on Saturday we were invited to watch the game with alumi from both Amherst and Williams. While I can take or leave football (no offense @mackcollier), it is remarkable to sit with Amherst gentlemen from the class of 1950, to meet three young women all Amherst alums now University of Arizona Ph.D. candidates or to enjoy lunch with William Foster, Ph.D. (Williams Class of 1982) who is a fourth generation Williams' graduate. His great grandfather was Williams 1887! Yes, Amherst College is a not-for-profit entity: "Students graduate from Amherst with no debt. Since the 2008-09 school year, students are no longer required to take out student loans as part of their financial aid awards. Amherst is among only a handful of colleges and universities in the country that do not require their students to acquire student loan debt in order to pay for their undergraduate educations."  Think about that!

I really couldn't sit still to watch the whole game (Williams 31 Amherst 16), so I decided to walk over to a little boutique called The WEST. I spotted this store as we were finding our way to the Skybox Restaurant. The window displays were filled with holiday decorations and it caught my I visited The West and found really wonderful items that were on sale. Then upon check out I learned more about The WEST. The West (Womens' Exchange Specialties of Tucson) is a volunteer-run 501 (c) 3 corporation - "each year the profits from our store are given as grants to other local charitable organization, with an emphasis on those supporting women and children."  Since 1981 over $2 million has been granted to more than 42 different Tucson agencies. Think about that! 

On Saturday evening we were invited guests to enjoy Arizona Opera's production of CARMEN. Arizona Opera performs in both Phoenix and Tucson and we were introduced to Scott Altman, the General Director, by the Costumer Designer, Patricia A. Hibbert. We have known Patty for years, but had lost track of her and she found us in Tucson via FACEBOOK!  It was a wonderful evening of opera and we were happy to learn:
"Arizona Opera is a professional opera company, which produces fully-staged opera performances, concerts, an in-school touring production and education and outreach programs that reach over 35,000 school children and adults annually. Founded in 1971 in Tucson, the company has grown to become one of the few companies in the United States to serve multiple cities."  Think about that!

As I said earlier: eventually not-for-profit 501c organizations impact our lives.

How about you? Do you work with or for a non-profit? I would love to get your input.What is your favorite non-profit organization?
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Malik Moosa-Soomar said...

Seems like you had a good weekend with not-for-profit organizations.

I attended the Partnership Walk yesterday November 14th and have been contributing time, donation, and attending the Walk every year. Granted I do not contribute my time like I use to anymore but always support the cause for helping others in need.

I think it's great that we have these organizations and most (if not all) teach us to be humble and giving.

Judy Helfand said...

Thanks for sharing the information about Partnership Walk, they have a great mission, really a global mission, right?
You are correct...humility is powerful.

Anonymous said...

Judy, I wholeheartedly agree that so many non-profit organizations touch our lives. It's why I like to refer to them as social-profit organizations.

As you know, I work with many arts non-profits so my hat gets taken off for all the little community/volunteer organizations that work so hard to bring arts into their communities. Everywhere!

Judy Helfand said...

That is a great AKA for non-profits, Social-Profit Organizations. I know for sure the three I talked provide plenty of social profit.
I know you work with arts non-profits, as Dennis and I have over all these years. Great ideas, great missions and powerful visions.


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