Inspire Giving/Sacramento Metro Chamber - February 2017

The Sacramento Metro Chamber Foundation’s Inspire Giving program is a charitable fund that seeks to support and grow the spirit of giving in the capital region. The program celebrates the collective impact of individual contributions and champions the motto, A little is enough, if enough people do it. Individuals have the opportunity to become a member of Inspire Giving and combine their donation with others to create an endowment. Each year, all individuals who have invested in Inspire Giving collaboratively select, via a voting process, how the endowment’s income will be distributed to a charitable organization within the Sacramento region. In seven years, Inspire Giving has donated $75,000 in grants to seven nonprofits, leveraging an additional $950,000 in volunteer and in-kind services.

Inspire Giving generously awarded Sacramento Food Bank & Services (SFBFS) with their 2016 award, which included a monetary grant as well as extensive in-kind support towards SFBFS’ Job Smart Clothing program. “Through the Inspire Giving grant, we were able to completely revamp the space of the Job Smart Clothing Program,” said Andrea Ellinghouse, Program Manager for the Metro Chamber Foundation. “Macy’s generously donated shelving, Schetter Electric in partnership with NECA/IBEW LMCC bought and installed lightning, members of the community donated to our clothing drive and our volunteers created custom art décor. All of these contributions and renovations have helped create a warm and welcoming space for guests to come, shop, and find business professional clothing.”

Tasha Bryant, SFBFS’ Clothing Program Manager, said, “This space is a game changer and the nicest space we have. The quality of what their support did will continue on and on for a long time.” SFBFS’ Job Smart Clothing program gives clients the confidence, self-esteem and professional appearance they need for a successful interview and career. Individuals interviewing for employment or starting their first day on the job are welcome to visit the program, which is offered at no charge to clients, and work with a volunteer one-on-one to select professional, well-fitting business attire. The large majority of Job Smart Clothing clients are graduates of SFBFS’ Adult Education program and have completed job skill training, job placement counseling and coaching on interview techniques. The support of Inspire Giving made it possible for SFBFS to provide a high level of service to job seekers with upgraded infrastructure, equipment and accessories.

Phyllis Newton, a dedicated volunteer in Job Smart Clothing, couldn’t believe her eyes when she saw the space. “It will afford our clientele such a dignified experience,” said Phyllis. “I think it’s remarkable that so many donors and people came together to make this happen. It’s a great example of the spirit of the community.” Tasha shared the sentiment and exclaimed, “The Sacramento Metro Chamber Foundation is awesome! I’ve enjoyed working with them so much that I’m sad the year ended. I’m so inspired by them that I will be joining the Metro Chamber as a member. We want to continue to work with them and stay connected because they’re amazing. They’re the gift that keeps on giving.”

Andrea highly encourages others to get involved. “When you mention SFBFS, people often first think of Run to the Feed Hungry or food drives and do not always realize that programs such as the Job Smart Clothing Program exist,” she said. “However, programs like these are essential to the organization and community. We recommend you getting involved in several different ways, just get involved! First, donate and/or volunteer directly at SFBFS. There is such a need and an abundant amount of opportunities to assist with these valuable services. Second, check out Inspire Giving!”

SFBFS’ Job Smart Clothing program would not be possible without the support of community-centered organizations like the Sacramento Metro Chamber Foundation. Their support is an example of how together, we can support families and individuals on their journey to self-sufficiency and financial independence.

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