GTPulse: Local Business Launches #AllThemSmiles Campaign to Raise Money for Father Fred

Last Christmas realtor partners Abby Sierputowski and Matt Hodges wanted to utilize a trailer they had purchased for work.

“Me and my business partner started our own group during this pandemic back in April. We purchased a trailer to help our clients move.”

After a tough year, they were ready to do something to spread some cheer in the Traverse City community. They decided that the biggest impact could be made by supporting Father Fred, a local nonprofit organization dedicated to keeping members of the community fed, clothed and cared for throughout challenging times in their lives. A big function of Father Fred’s is providing a community food pantry. Those in need can shop items through their pantry that’s laid out like a small store. The pantry is stocked with perishable and nonperishable items.

“We love Father Fred and wanted to do some sort of something. So we thought it’d be fun to do a fill the trailer event. We went to a couple of places downtown Traverse City and it did so well in a short amount of time.”

In just four hours they had raised nearly $1200. The gangbuster event inspired Abby to want to do more. While brainstorming goals for 2021, she realized that she could do an event to help raise donations for Father Fred every month. Giving back had done so well in December, what would stop it from doing well all year long? From there, the #AllThemSmiles campaign was born, and with it, a monthly commitment to raise money.

She’s hosting each monthly event at a different locally-owned business to help spread the love and foot traffic around. She’s encouraging folks to participate by rewarding donors with a chance to win a gift card from the local business hosting the campaign for that month.

“Every month we’re going to be at a different location, solely raising money for Father Fred and giving gift certificates away from that small business in hopes to support their establishment.”

The first event held this year was last month outside of Nolan’s Cigar Bar in downtown Traverse City. Outside with their trailer, coffee, and hot chocolate, they raised $600 in two hours. And while their monthly donation goals for Father Fred are $1000, it’s a great start considering COVID and the bitter cold. 

“Money’s always good because they can buy perishable goods, which they don’t get as much of as nonperishable goods.”

They’ll be hosting these #AllThemSmiles events until October, where everyone who donated something at some point in the year will be entered to win a trip to Florida provided by Abby and her business partner’s realty business Kultura when the event comes to a close in November. Each donation of at least $10 counts towards an entry, including donated items.

Though cash donations are ideal, 10 nonperishable items are being accepted as an entry too. Abby is trying to accommodate those donations better by reaching out to Father Fred on a monthly basis and seeing what nonperishables they’re running low on. 

“Every month they give us a new list of their top needs and we put that out there to let people know that they’re really in need of canned chicken or canned tuna, always canned vegetables and things like that.”

The next event is being held tomorrow at the Leland Lodge from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Head over for a cup or hot coffee or cocoa and more. They have a sledding hill, and they’re offering 10 percent off dinners if you come out there during the event. Stay updated on their upcoming donation locations through their Facebook event page.

“What started as a way to help out during the holidays has turned into a whole 2021 thing. We’ve been having a lot of fun with it, and we hope that it brings smiles for other people like it has for us.”

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Categories: GTPulse