As the Community Manager at Daffy, I have the pleasure of connecting with hundreds of our members and hearing their inspiring stories of generosity and kindness. It's stories like this one that make my job so meaningful. Last year on Giving Tuesday, I had the pleasure of awarding Daffy member Jared Carr, an Educational Systems Data Analyst at Columbus City Schools, $10,000 from our #BeMoreGenerous campaign. Married for 15 years to his wife, Bethany, and with two children of their own, his #BeMoreGenerous story is a reminder that every little bit counts when it comes to giving back to our communities.
By keeping our hearts and ears open to the needs of those around us, we can make a significant impact, one person (or organization) at a time.
Here's how Jared Carr used his prize money to better his community in Columbus, Ohio.
Giving to Local Organizations He's Passionate About
One of the first ways Jared used his $10,000 prize money was for organizations that he felt personally passionate about. The first organization was actually a reminder from the past. Two years ago, an organization called Sanctuary Night met with Jared’s church group so that as a group, they could support the organization's work of providing a safe space for vulnerable women on the streets of Columbus, enabling them to find safety, rest, and connection.
“Covid happened and we were hunkered down for a couple of years and we lost touch with the organization. I saw this as an opportunity to reach back out to Sanctuary Night and give them a bigger donation. I wanted to plant the seed again,” Jared Carr.
Jared was also passionate about meeting the practical needs of his local community, so he turned to his high-school best friend, Jeremy Lile, who runs a church called City Hope Akron. His donation allowed City Hope Akron to provide warm clothes like coats, gloves, and hats to community members.
Jared's generosity even extended itself to helping man's best friend at the Columbus Humane Society. When he learned that 21 golden retrievers had been rescued by the Columbus Humane Society, Jared donated $10 for each dog to help them receive the care they needed.
His generosity didn’t end there. He also made a point to continue tithing at his local church, X Church, as an expression of his faith but in a much more significant way. Jared’s donations serve as an important reminder of what it means to give back through meaningful connections and personal beliefs.
Donating to Organizations for Youth
Jared not only donated to organizations he was passionate about, but he also invested in the future of his community’s youth. He generously contributed to two organizations that directly impacted the lives of children: Bloom Carroll Youth Football Association and Mouth of Wolf Productions. Jared's donation to the Bloom Carroll Youth Football Association was particularly meaningful, as it came shortly after Buffalo Bills player Damar Hamlin suffered from cardiac arrest. Jared’s daughter being a cheerleader for the team, he heard parent’s concerns regarding the safety of their kids who played football, and even though Jared’s kids don’t play football, with just one donation Jared bought the team an Automated External Defibrillator (AED).
And like many kids, Jared's children have diverse interests, including theater and performing arts, and his daughter's additional involvement with Mouth of Wolf Productions, a local theater organization, inspired his next generous donation. The organization was formed by Jared's friend, Tina Gleason, who stepped up to create a space where children of all backgrounds and abilities could participate. After attending their winter play of the Grinch, Jared was so moved by the organization's impact that he pledged to match the funds they raised from that night.
Managing a $10,000 donation is a huge responsibility, but Jared's decision to invest in the future of his community will have a profound and positive impact on the lives of so many children.
Tapping Into His Coworkers for Suggestions
Jared also did something that we’d never seen before but was so inspired by. He sent each member of his team a $100 Daffy Gift.
The biggest reason I sent out Daffy Gifts to everyone is I have such a diverse team and I wanted to get a feel for what people really value. It gives me kind of a sneak peek into their heart and soul,” Jared Carr.
With a team of 14 people, that’s 14 charities, both local and national, that were able to receive a donation, including the American Cancer Society, American Heart Association, Citizens for Human Action, Franklin County Charity Newsies, Humane Society of Delaware County, Kaleidoscope Youth Center, K9s for Warriors, Michael J Fox Foundation, Nami Ohio, Ohio Wildlife Center, Ronald McDonald House, Safe Haven Baby Boxes, St. Jude's, and United Way.
Jared's decision to tap into his team for suggestions on charitable organizations not only gave his team members the opportunity to choose organizations that aligned with their own values but also sparked a conversation about “creating a margin for generosity in the future. This kind of generosity doesn't have to be a one-time thing but can be a habit that is cultivated over time” said Jared. By involving his team in the process, Jared was able to start to build a culture of giving within his own organization and inspire others to have a positive impact too.
Through his donations to organizations for youth, as well as giving his team the opportunity to choose organizations to donate to, Jared has shown that even small acts of generosity can make a big difference…and even fun!
“I feel like Mr. Beast. Really in the grand scheme of things, a small amount to a handful of people just makes a huge impact. I hope and pray that it's contagious and I really want generosity to kind of catch on and be a repetition in people's lives,” Jared Carr.
His actions serve as an inspiration for us all to be more attentive to the needs of those around us and do it together. Let us all follow Jared's example and #BeMoreGenerous in our daily lives.
Feel free to share your giving stories with us on Twitter @DaffyGiving.