Locals get creative with holiday giving of goods and services

5 Feb

Published in 83 Degrees Media, 12.4.14

It’s the season of giving, which means opportunities abound to help those less fortunate – from toy drives to adopting a family to volunteering at a food bank.

Tampa Bay businesses are no strangers to philanthropy, and this holiday season is no different, with businesses adopting families in need or hosting events with other companies to maximize impact.

A few companies have gone a step further and found creative ways to use their talents for good. Below are 3 examples of creative gift giving.

Handstands for Cans

Inspired by the ALS ice bucket challenge, St. Petersburg-based Kobie Marketing is challenging the community to do a handstand and/or donate canned food to the St. Petersburg Free Clinic.

Kobie specializes in loyalty marketing, or programs that help customers connect with brands through ongoing communication such as point of sale, email and other media. The company has been in existence for 25 years and has become more involved in philanthropy as their employee base has grown.

“We wanted to be a larger part of the St. Petersburg Community,” says Ashby Greene, VP of finance and administration.

The Handstands for Cans program goes well with the competitive company culture, where employees often break into teams and create competitions to see who can have the most impact with their giving. Last year’s community project brought in over 21,000 pounds of food for the Clinic, and they are aiming for 28,000 this year.

Donations can be made online, and most people are choosing to do the handstand in addition to donating. The goal is to raise continued awareness, not only for the Clinic but for food banks across the nation.

The campaign, which started in early October, ends December 12. Kobie is also hosting an event at Ferg’s Sports Bar and Grill December 4.

Day of Beauty

A cancer patient will receive a day of beauty to help life her spirits this holiday season.

Tampa’s Dr. Adam Scheiner is a world-renowned laser eyelid and cosmetic surgeon, specializing in facial rejuvenation and the treatment of Festoons, or bags and swelling in and around eyelids.

“He’s decided to lift somebody’s spirits for the holidays,” says Sharon Fekete of the Doctor Whisperer, a consultant who works with Scheiner.

To help identify someone in need, Fekete contacted Women With Purpose, a nonprofit organization in Pinellas County that helps cancer survivors and other women who special needs with financial obligations, food and other assistance.

Scheiner selected Maggie, a wife and mom of two in Tampa whose husband lost his job just three days after her cancer diagnosis. Maggie will be able to select from an array of options including facials, aesthetics or microdermabrasion.

“Dr. Scheiner is well known internationally, so it was important that he gave back to his own community,” says Fekete, who believes all physicians should use their talents and resources to help those in need.

Year of Lawn Care

An individual or family in need will receive a year’s worth of free lawn care from GreenPal.

Affectionately described as “Uber for lawn mowing,” GreenPal serves as a broker of sorts, allowing customers to receive bids from companies that meet their needs. Customers provide basic information online, such as their address and the date they want their lawn mowed. They then receive give bids from rated professionals in their area and complete the transaction entirely online.

The company was founded in Nashville in 2013 and recently expanded to the Tampa Bay area as its second market outside of home base. Tampa Bay was selected because of the diverse demographics and year around market for lawn services.

In an effort to give back to its new market, GreenPal is allowing the public to nominate a deserving family who will receive a year’s worth of lawn services.

“We want to give back to the local community. We’re still a local business and want to get the word out,” says Bryan Clayton, CEO of Greenpal.

The online nomination form requests details about the individual or family’s hardship, and the company will then make a selection based on the nominations. The deadline to nominate is December 20.

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