Pay-It-Forward Mission: This video says it all!
When !MPACT Training opened in February of 2012, it was our hope to make a difference in our community. Through proper nutrition and cutting-edge training, we are helping to transform people’s lives . . . But that is not the only reason we opened.
When you own a business in town, you can become a platform to do good . . . to do things for those who are less fortunate, right in your own community. You can create programs that will benefit others and make you feel good. Below are just some of the Pay-It-Forward programs we ran since we opened, along with some simple instructions on how we accomplished it. Hopefully, these ideas will get you thinking of how you can make a difference. And if you have an amazing pay-it-forward program that you’ve already done, please contact us, and we will be happy to consider adding it to our website under “Pay-It-Forward Ideas from Others”. You can email your ideas to: Michael@ImpactTraining-NJ.com . . . Scroll to the bottom to see the ideas we’ve received from others 🙂 If we see enough of this Pay-It-Forward activities going on, it will spread . . . help us to spread the news.
Please click on the link below to view our new video on Paying-It-Forward – we’re so proud to share it . . . Thank you to Kristyna Barbella (videographer: kbarbella.com) for helping to produce our video and understanding our vision. This is all our Pay-It-Forward events and fundraiser we did over the last year. It is our hope we inspire others to start thinking of how to give back too. Maybe there is something you are doing that we haven’t thought of yet. You can log onto our website to share your Pay-It-Forward programs, and we’ll add you to our site. Just go to the home page, and under “Media” you can click on “Pay-It-Forward”. Thank you! Here is the link: http://youtu.be/4j48JCJQthU
!MPACT’s Pay-It-Forward Programs:
Healthy Ziti for the Needy: At !MPACT Training, we wanted to gather some of our clients and friends to have a social event where we could get more involved to do something for our community. We knew there was a local non-profit organization for the homeless called S.H.I.P. (Samaritan Homeless Interim Program), and they have an RV/Camper that they drive around to areas in Somerset County, NJ, that is known to have people in need (or homeless). They drop off hot meals on specific days, and most of the time it is food which is donated. Most of the time, food that is donated is mostly carbs (since it is less expensive). So we decided to collect donations to make several trays of “Healthy Ziti for the Needy” and it was a delicious variation of baked ziti — and it used ground turkey, protein pasta, part-skim cheeses and Italian marinara sauce or gravy. We were really excited that we received so many donations of the ingredients we posted, as well as aluminum trays to transport it in. On top of that, we reached out to a local church in Hillsborough, NJ (Neshanic Reformed Church) because we knew they had a big kitchen so we could work effectively. Pastor Dave Hill was wonderful, and let us borrow their kitchen. We are a small business, and with all the donations, we were able to create 22 trays of “Healthy Ziti for the Needy” and we dropped it off for S.H.I.P. to serve to the homeless. Just Google homeless shelters in your area, and I’ll be there is an organization that would LOVE this healthier version of baked ziti. For a copy of the recipe, click here:
Regular Food Collections for our Local Food Pantry: We do it on Thanksgiving, but we also did it a few times during the year. We post flyers letting people know what kinds of foods we are collecting, and we create a bug gift basket to give to our town food pantry. All you have to do is call your local municipal building and they should be able to give you information about where you can drop off donations in your town.
Drive-Thru Difference: This is an idea we copied from Star 99.1 Radio station. You pay the tab for the person in the car behind you at the drive-up window. You simply ask the cashier for the balance due for the person behind you, and then hand the cashier a note to give to that person when they drive up to pay. We created these great little !MPACT Training cards that tells the recipient: We are treating you to a cup of coffee or breakfast with the hope we brighten your day. Sometimes a random act of kindness is just what people need in order to put a positive spin on their day. So if you are stressed out or worried about anything, we hope this reminds you that there is good in today’s world . . . God is good 🙂
Back-Pack Challenge: In June, we contacted DYFS (Division of Youth & Family Services), because we knew they collected back-packs every year for foster children in need of school supplies. They provided us with a list of the items the children needed (based on ages and gender), and then we started advertising that we were collecting. We advertised it in our July and August Newsletter along with flyers around town. We also advertised a date where we would be holding a “Back-Pack Assembly Party”. We wanted to get the children in our community involved — with the hope they would feel fortunate for all the school supplies they had — and would want to help make a back-pack special for a child in need. With all the items people were dropping off (by the bag!!), we were able to assemble 22 fully-equipped backpacks. And we had so many donations that we were able to make up an awesome backpack for a high school student right in our own town. This student named Stephen lost his mother to breast cancer so he lives with his Grandmother. Unfortunately, a recent fire destroyed their home and they lost everything. We were able to give Stephen everything he needed to start his junior year at the high school, along with a Staples gift card for anything else he might need. At out Back-Pack Assembly party, we also finished off by playing some organized dodgeball in our training facility for all the children who donated their time to assemble the back-packs. It was a great night. DYFS came with a van to pick up the back-packs at the end of August — right before school started — and this was another great pay-it-forward event checked off our list. We plan to do it again every year!
Day of !MPACT: Fundraiser bootcamp for victims of Hurricane Sandy. Because we live close to the Jersey shore, many of us were directly affected by the storm. !MPACT Training became “donation central” so people could drop off bags of groceries and clothing, and then we reached out to the Salvation Army who sort everything and would distribute to the shelters near the shore. And then we held a Day of !MPACT where we ran a bootcamp — and every participant paid $20 or more (donation). We were able to collect $1,100 in two hours. We mailed a check directly to the Durkin IMPACT Foundation — which was a special non-profit organization created by world-renowned trainer, Todd Durkin. He grew up in the Jersey Shore area — and wanted to set up a foundation so the funds could go directly to those in need without any administrative red tape. We were so proud to be part of that JERSEY STRONG fundraiser.
Operation !MPACT: Again we used our newsletter and flyers around town to collect sealed/unused protein powders and healthy supplements to send to a local army troop who was serving in Afghanistan. How did we do this? We knew of a local dad who was serving in the reserves and was called to active duty. Thanks to Facebook, we were actually able to keep in touch with him. When he mentioned how poor the quality of food was in Afghanistan — with very little protein (if any) — mostly carbs/oats, we sprung into action and mailed them a HUGE box of supplements that would help them stay lean and fit. You can probably find a local Army troop in your area — then all you need to do is ask the agency for a mailing address overseas, and start collecting.
Fall in love with a CHARITY: There are so many great charities out there . . . but we found one called Steps-Together that we fell in love with. This is a local charity dedicated to inspiring our community to paying their blessings forward and supporting families facing a medical crisis. They are New Jersey based, and we feel honored to take part in helping them raise funds. We held our “Bootcamp for Billy” back in June and raised $1100 for a Hillsborough toddler named Billy Biviano who has an inoperable brain tumor. In August we paid-it-forward to a high school student in need of school supplies. We donated a fully-equipped school back-pack and Staples gift card to a Steps-Together beneficiary who is a Hillsborough high school student who lost his mom to cancer — and then just lost his home to an electrical fire. And in November, we are holding our first annual Holiday Vendor Boutique, where vendors pay $25 for space, and 100% of the proceeds will go to Steps-Together. !MPACT Training plans on getting more involved with Steps Together in the months to come. If you are looking for a great charity to get involved with, check out their website: www.steps-together.com. Courtney and Mike Newman (founders of Steps Together) are wonderful people – dedicating their lives to helping others.
Run in a CHARITY RACE!: Besides asking around town, you can Google charity races in your area, and then get busy training. Whether it is a local 5K or 10K or some type of Mud Run, you can feel good knowing you worked hard to Pay-it-Forward.
Also, if you own a business in town, contact the organization in charge of the race. Ask if it would be o.k. to set up a table to treat the runners to a Continental Picnic Breakfast early before the race starts! Some bagels and fresh fruit are such a nice way to thank people for running in the race.
Hold a FREE Fitness & Nutrition Event for your local HEROES (firefighters/EMS/Police): If you own a fitness facility, this is an awesome event to host. We provided them with a nutrition handout and lecture so these local heroes would have a good idea of how they should be eating — balancing proteins and carbs, maintaining steady blood-sugar levels with smaller meals throughout the day, and staying hydrated. Then we ran them through a really fun bootcamp and finished off with a self-reflective exercise called “The 8 Forms of Wealth”. During this exercise, the participants were able to see where they might need to create more balance in their lives, and then they left with some motivation to do so. Fitness is such a package — including mind, body and soul. People like this with busy careers need to make sure they take care of themselves too — so it is our hope that is just what they learned that day.
Hold a FREE Fitness & Nutrition Event for Do-Good Children like Girl Scouts or Boy Scouts: We held a similar event (as we did for the local heroes) for a large local Girl Scout troop. All we had to do was ask around town to find someone who was affiliated with the Girl Scouts, and they quickly responded to a FUN and FREE event. We continue to offer these programs to scouts at a BIG discount as a way to pay-it-forward.
Sponsor a Child’s Athletic Team . . .You have no idea what a huge !MPACT you can make!: We not only “sponsored” a team, but invited them for a training session to build camaraderie and to teach them how to train safely and reduce injury.
Donate a Week of Camp — to a local child who is going through a hard time or suffering the loss of a parent: We were very sad to lose a teacher in town, who died suddenly. Not only was she young and beautiful, but she was one of our very own bootcampers. We reached out to her daughter to offer her a free week of camp that summer — and continue to offer her sporadic training for free as well. We try to make the difference in the life of a child whenever we can.
Raffle Off a week of Sports Camp to a local child . . . Just give it away! We also wanted to raffle off two weeks of our sports training camp . . . again, making the difference in the life of a child is such a great way to pay-it-forward!
Basket Auctions . . . Another great way to help out local charities and schools is to donate a basket for their annual auction. To be honest, we rarely get “new business” from doing it . . . The reason to do it is to help the charity make more money. Every year, we probably donate over a dozen baskets or basket items. We donated some awesome baskets with everything from FREE training packages to jewelry and cosmetics . . . Pay-it-Forward!
Pay-It-Forward Ideas from Others: We’d love to hear from you with details about your Pay-it-Forward event, and we’ll post it on our page along with the name of your organization and contact info. It might just get the rest of us thinking of more ways to Pay-it-Forward!