Main aim of the charity
TGIF (Thank GOD It’s FREE) is an annual charity that collects donations (non-perishable food, clothing, shoes, coats, toys, furniture, and anything else in good condition) that people want to donate to help those in need. TGIF is open to the public and EVERYTHING is completely FREE of charge – and it always will be.
How the employee got involved and why
I (John Weston – First Choice Lead at the CVG Hub in the United States) decided I wanted to create a way to help as many people as possible in need. One day while driving past a self-storage business that was selling the contents of the storage units of people who had not paid their rental fees divine inspiration struck me. As I watched people looking over the items for sale I thought it would be great if those who couldn’t afford anything had a way to get things they were in need of for FREE. Simultaneously, on my opposite side of the vehicle I was driving a semi-truck passed by and I realized that I could stand outside at a truck and collect donations and store them onboard. Later that same week I mentioned my idea to some of my friends and asked if they would be willing to help. They were all receptive, so I then found a facility to hold the event and obtained the use of a truck and a trailer to store the donations. I chose to hold the charity at Christmas time as it is the season of giving, and being winter time people who are poor need things such as clothing and coats to stay warm. Through local media I publicized the need for donations and put the invitation out to the public to help anyone in need. The very first year was the most challenging. There was no way of predicting how many donations and what kinds would be received, as well as how many people would attend. The first year the amount of donations astounded myself and the other volunteers. The first year in 2009 there were 255 people helped. I am proud to say that was the smallest turnout of any of the subsequent years. To date TGIF has served 3,155 people. TGIF is a charity that is conducted by all volunteers, using all donated things from the trucks, to the facility, and to the donations themselves.
What work does the employee do for charity?
I (John Weston – First Choice Lead at the CVG Hub in the United States) do all of the planning and preparation work. I obtain the use of a facility and schedule it. I do all of the advertising for both the need for donations as well as when and where the event will be held. I obtain the use of a truck and trailer for free for a week to collect the donations. I enlist the help of volunteers to conduct TGIF. I stand outside regardless of the weather conditions and collect the donations. I unload all of the donations into the facility and set it up with the help of many, many volunteers. The day the doors are opened along with volunteers TGIF is held we help people load their vehicles with their selections. After the doors are closed, the facility is cleaned. If there are any items left over they are loaded back onto the truck and taken to another charitable organization to be given away. I am VERY proud to say 100% of all donations received go to help those in need.
What impact would winning have on the charity?
The impact on TGIF winning the DHL’s Got Heart contest would be of unmeasurable significance. The possibility of being able to present this via the contest to fellow DHL employees around the world would hopefully inspire some of them to start their own charity in their communities. If TGIF could grow by spreading to other communities this would be the greatest possible victory! The other benefit of being in the contest is that it can help to provide at the CVG Hub a greater awareness of TGIF being available to many employees and their families who may be in need as well. Any type of award bestowed upon TGIF if chosen as the contest winner could be used to help spread the event to other communities and advertise all of them.
What impact would winning have on the employee?
The impact of me (John Weston – First Choice Lead at the CVG Hub in the United States) winning the DHL’s Got Heart contest would be the honor and privilege to try to promote and help others start and conduct this charity in their respective communities. I would be able to pass on and train the valuable lessons learned through trial and error of how to best conduct the charity. I would be ecstatic to send documentation to those interested in starting a TGIF elsewhere and be a resource for them to always rely upon.