New twist on giving program has employees competing to get their charity the most votes to win a significant gift

Brooks Resources Corporation put a new twist on its giving program this year: employees actually competed against each other to get their charity of choice the most votes. Wednesday evening, several employees of the company gathered to hear presentations from six of their colleagues on why his or her charity deserved a $5,000 donation. When the votes came in, the Family Access Network was the recipient of the gift.

“I heard about this program at another company and thought it would be a wonderful way for us to not only learn what our colleagues were passionate about, but also a fun way to give back to the community,” said Romy Mortensen, VP Sales & Marketing for the company, who pitched her charity The Bloom Project to the team. “Many of us have very deep and personal connections to the charities we support and it actually got very emotional. It was a nice way to connect as a team.”

Six employees gave presentations on their charities of choice to a room of about 20 people, including the mission of the organization and how the funds would be used. Employees in attendance then voted on which charity they believed was the most deserving. Several cries of “can we choose more than one?” rose up around the room.

In the end, the Family Access Network (FAN) won the large gift. FAN advocates are located in all public schools in Deschutes County and serve families living in poverty with children ages 0-18. Advocates work hand in hand with families to connect them to food, shelter, clothing, heating, school supplies, health services, or whatever the need.

In an unexpected twist, Mike Hollern, CEO of Brooks Resources, and the Contributions Committee decided that all the organizations would receive a gift and pledged $1,000 each to the Quota Club, Waldorf School of Bend, Healthy Beginnings, Central Oregon Trail Alliance and The Bloom Project. Total money back into our community equaled $10,000.

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