United Way of Hancock County’s Community Gardens project has been awarded $1,000 by Staples Foundation, the private charitable arm of Staples, Inc., under a new program that lets Staples associates direct donations.
“This funding will greatly enhance our expansion of this year’s community gardens project. We will be able to finance a new garden location on Brookside Drive in partnership with Habitat for Humanity, as well as box gardens on a property north of the river,” said Heather Heilman, program and grants coordinator for United Way. Some of the new gardens will be managed by service groups who will donate fresh food to local food pantries.
The Staples grants are part of a philanthropic initiative created by Staples Foundation which allows Staples associates around the world to direct funding to nonprofit organizations that are focused on education or job skills. The program encourages local community engagement by awarding larger grants to organizations where associates are highly engaged in volunteering or fundraising – up to $25,000 per organization.
The program, called 2 Million and Change, will award funds to organizations around the world, reaching more than $2 million in grants by the end of the year. In 2012, associates globally directed more than $2.1 million of Staples Foundation grants to 470 nonprofit organizations.
“Staples Foundation is committed to making a positive impact in the communities where our associates live and work,” said Katy Dobbs, director of global community and giving for Staples, Inc. “Through our program, we are pleased to support our associates and the local nonprofit organizations that matter to them most.”
The Community Gardens of Hancock County project began in 2011 with the hope to offer low- to moderate-income families an opportunity to grow their own food. Garden plots are made available each spring, along with classes on garden management, storing garden food and more.
The Community Gardens of Hancock County began as a collaborative effort of numerous local organizations and is now a part of United Way’s Halt Hunger Initiative.
About Staples Community and Giving
Staples is dedicated to providing education and job skills opportunities in communities where our customers and associates live and work with a primary focus on support disadvantaged youth, from literacy and mentoring to career skills development initiatives. Staples supports these causes through corporate contributions, in-kind donations and grants from Staples Foundation, the private charitable arm of Staples, Inc. Through its global community and giving efforts, Staples has helped more than 6,500 organizations in local communities across 26 countries. Community and Giving is also an integral component of Staples Soul, which recognizes the connection between long-term business success and the impact Staples has on associates, communities and the planet. For more information, visit www.staples.com/community.