By Victoria Mendonca
The Plumfund Story: A Legacy of Holiday Giving
From a young age, my mother and role model, Fernanda Amaral, instilled a strong desire in me to help those less fortunate. As a child I would join her at the Mississauga Basket Brigade, a volunteer organization run by Joanne Chrobot, in association with the Anthony Robbins International Foundation. I ran around with other kids while my mom and other volunteers lovingly prepared holiday baskets for families in need.
A decade later, I had a much more significant opportunity to help those in need once again. In 2015, as a mortgage agent with Platinum Financing Solutions, my mother (and now boss) decided it was our turn to help and asked me to organize a fundraiser sponsored by our company. Thus, the Plumfund campaign "100 Turkeys for 100 Families" was born. We committed to purchase 100 Thanksgiving turkeys for the Anthony Robbins Mississauga Basket Brigade. Through an organization called United Achievers, located in the Greater Toronto Area, baskets were delivered to singles, elderly couples and families with up to eight children. United Achievers located and called families to offer the meal baskets for the holiday season. If the family agreed, a date and time were provided for home delivery. A few weeks before Canadian Thanksgiving, I hosted a small fundraiser at my office to raise funds for the turkeys, I started the Plumfund for those who couldn't attend.
Plumfund Giving in Action: 156 Families Fed
With so much pride and joy I am happy to share that we beat our fundraising goal! With all of the generous donors, especially Ann Barta from Scholastic Canada, we raised more than $2,000 and bought 112 turkeys and 40 pies for families. We were thrilled! Joanne then put me in charge of the many groups of volunteers willing to help -- everything from unloading and building boxes to filling baskets, to wrapping and delivering. The energy in the room that day was like no other I have felt. Having so many people come together for the good of others brought me such happiness.
Each family received a turkey, a bag of potatoes, and a box of non-perishable food items such as cereals, canned items and crackers, along with a basket of fresh fruit and vegetables. With trucks and cars jammed packed, the volunteers delivered food to 156 families in total!
Next year, we aim to raise even more, serving more families with more food items to make this holiday a happy one for all. Our goal is to help as many people as possible in hopes that one day, when they can, they will help another family in need.
This post is part of a series produced by The Huffington Post and Plumfund, in conjunction with Giving Tuesday. In the series, we'll feature inspirational stories of giving and receiving from users and friends of Plumfund, the free crowdfunding site. You'll find one post every weekday in November leading up to Giving Tuesday. To learn more about this campaign or start your own, visit Plumfund.com.