Saturday, April 24, 2010

Vote Now for Your Favorite Durham Non-Profit

Last week we launched a "contest" in Durham that would serve two purposes: to help us better get to know the Durham community and to help support the causes that are near and dear to the hearts of people that live in Durham. We asked Durham non-profits to send us an overview of their organization, so that we could narrow down a list of "finalists" and ask the people of Durham to vote on their favorite. We planned on holding a dinner event at Tobacco Road to raise money for the chosen non-profit (this plan has changed a little, more on this later in the post). The list of finalists is posted in the poll on the right side of this page. Read more about each organization here. The voting ends this Friday, April 30.

Narrowing down the list.
We couldn't believe how many emails we received, which is part of the reason why I am late in making this post. I have been reading through the emails and more about the incredible organizations in Durham that work in so many different ways to make the community stronger--whether its people or even its preservation of history and the landscape of Durham. I have had a difficult time narrowing down the list to the finalists which we are now asking the people of Durham to vote on.

I was especially blown away by the sheer number of organizations that have been launched to support the youth of Durham. The city of Durham certainly has embraced the "it takes a village to raise a child" concept. The programs were impressive not only in number but in the creative ways that they work to help kids, from programs to provide academic support, build skills and confidence to ones that serve the equally important purpose of giving kids the extracurricular opportunities that many of us enjoyed and (if you're like me) probably took for granted--like going to camp and learning how to ride a bike.

Submit your vote! 
I don't believe that any organization that I read about is more "worthy" than another. So, when we ask you to vote we are not asking you to try to decide which one is the most deserving. I actively support a number of organizations that help improve the lives of animals through providing protection, care and hopefully, homes where they can live out the rest of their lives being loved and well taken care of. Someone once suggested to me that this is not really a cause worth the time or money as long as people are still struggling for the same things (food, care, a home). I disagree. I don't think that animals are more important than people, but I also don't think that is a reason to not try to help them. Or maybe you will look at the list of non-profits and you will feel strongly that some are more deserving than others. That's fine too. Whatever your reasons, we welcome your vote and your thoughts.

So, what does the winner of the poll get?
Like I said, we planned on hosting a dinner before we opened in which we'd provide a free dinner and the non-profit could take donations or even charge a fee for the dinner which they would keep. But, after a long week of training exercises, we are almost upon our opening date (Tuesday) and out of time. So, we have an even better option. We signed on as a sponsor of the Durham Bulls. As a part of our sponsorship we are donating $50 for every home run that is hit by the Bulls. In addition, the Durham Bulls will match this number. At the end of the season we'll write a check for the total amount to the organization of our (or really, your) choice. Based on last year's home run tally, the total amount donated is expected to be around $7,000.

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