The COVID-19 pandemic has caused sorrow and hardship for many, but it has also inspired acts of kindness, compassion, creativity, and generosity. The “12 For Good Challenge” is a great example. The social media campaign was created by Tim Martin to inspire people to give some or all of their $1,200 federal stimulus checks to nonprofits serving families in financial distress due to COVID-19.
The business development manager for ActionPoint, an Irish-based custom software development company with an office in Los Angeles, tells me that he and his wife decided that even though business was slow, they wanted to help those who needed the money more. Martin decided to donate his $1,200 to the Bresee Foundation, a nonprofit he’s long been affiliated with that serves families in Central Los Angeles. But after sharing his thoughts with a close friend, he decided he could do more and created the “12 For Good Challenge.”
The initial intent was to raise money for the Bresee Foundation, which kept its doors open after LA schools closed and pivoted to address the area's most critical needs, says Martin, who is vice president of the nonprofit’s board of directors. From its roots as a drop-in after school tutoring program, the Bresee Foundation today has programs for youth services, family services, and gang prevention. Since COVID-19, the nonprofit has worked with the mayor’s office and others to distribute food, financial assistance, and laptops, as well as moved to virtual tutoring to help students continue learning.
Martin first got involved with the foundation about eight years ago, when his son’s soccer team received a donation of soccer cleats that he wanted to send to kids in need. He says he reached out to the Bresee Foundation “and a hundred kids got soccer cleats for Christmas.” From there he began volunteering, started a soccer program, and eventually joined the board. “I just love everything they do. Their mission statement is to fight the effects of poverty in the inner city.”
Since the "12 For Good Challenge" started, Martin has expanded it beyond the Bresee Foundation to each donor's local nonprofit of choice, “whether you live in Sacramento, Boston, or New York.”
For both himself and his company, giving back is important, Martin says. “I wanted to build something that had the ability to let me use my time and also the resources of the company to give back. So that's always been in my DNA and it's always been in the company's DNA. Yes, we're a for-profit organization, but the basic tenet of this company was always the ability to give back. ... My dad's a pastor in Belfast [Ireland] and he started a nonprofit that my sister and brother-in-law run today, so it's just always been our family's kind of DNA.”
Martin is hoping the social media campaign will continue to gain momentum among his clients, partners, and peers.
So here’s his challenge:
- Post a video on your social media page of yourself either reading the script below or doing something creative (a song, poem, rap, cheer, dance, etc.) promoting the number 12.
- Paste the following text with the donation link in your post: “I accept the 12forGood Challenge and nominate 12 of my friends to also give all, or part of their $1,200 federal stimulus check to a nonprofit on the front lines of the COVID-19 response. My nonprofit of choice is Bresee Foundation (or name charity of choice).
- Change your social media profile picture and Zoom background to the attached 12 For Good Challenge jpg. Tag and challenge 12 of your friends to do the same.
Martin sums up his effort this way: “I just think there's something about doing good that makes you feel better.”
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