Waterford School District Teacher Of The Year

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Originally published on David T. Fischer’s website.

With a job as demanding as teaching, seeing a teacher give their all day in and day out really emphasizes just how much they are dedicated to their job. When it comes to teaching, a truly passionate and committed teacher puts in the time and effort necessary in order to do the best for their students.

Nichole Rinehart is one of these passionate and committed teachers! She is a teacher at Grayson Elementary School where she works with over 50 fourth and fifth graders. If it isn’t evident by her relationships with her colleagues that Nichole is a respected and cherished part of her teaching community, it should be clear once people see just how beloved she is by her students.

Nichole loves what she does because there is not a day that goes by where she doesn’t feel rewarded by her students. She says, “I get rewarded when someone understands something that they’ve struggled with. I get rewarded when they’re having fun learning. I get rewarded when they make me laugh.”

After reading through all the comments that people wrote about Nichole after they nominated her, we knew that we found our Waterford School District Teacher Of The Year in Nichole Rinehart. On April 13th, Nichole was presented with her award in front of her colleagues and students, as well as her husband, Jeff, her parents, and her three sons. Suburban Ford of Waterford Sales Manager John Duley was there to represent The Suburban Collection in giving Nichole her prize. As you can see in the pictures below, Nichole was ecstatic as she was recognized for all of the time, energy, and dedication that she puts into her students and her job.

Immediately after the ceremony, Nichole and her family were taken to Suburban Ford of Waterford, where Nichole picked out her new car: a 2017 Ford Mustang! She is so happy with the new addition to her home.

We are so honored for the opportunity to recognize these teachers for all that they do for the development of our children. We t want to extend our congratulations to Nichole once again for being an outstanding teacher!

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American Heart Association’s Go Red For Women Luncheon

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Originally published on David T. Fischer’s website.

The Suburban Collection is very passionate about being involved in the community. We sponsor, participate in, and support a variety of events and organizations that are all aimed at making a difference on both a local and global scale.

Last month, we had the honor of being one of the Gold Sponsors at the Go Red For Women Luncheon, which was put on by the American Heart Association. The mission of the American Heart Association is focused on encouraging individuals to live their healthiest life possible, free of stroke and cardiovascular disease. Their Go Red For Women Luncheon specifically puts an emphasis on providing women with knowledge and strategies in order to build a healthier life for themselves, as well as their families.

We were one of 600 other attendees at this event that happened at the beginning of March. At the luncheon, we were educated on the importance of heart health and just how significant of an impact the American Heart Association and Go Red For Women has had on heart disease prevention up to this point!

What many individuals don’t realize is that a high percentage of cardiovascular diseases are actually preventable and implementing certain lifestyle changes can prove crucial in allowing you to live a longer, happier life. The more people who are aware of this, the more we can all come together to support one another in taking action against heart disease and stroke.

It was exciting to see such an immense turnout at the luncheon. Here are some pictures from the event:

To help show our support for this event, we put an INFINITI Q60 in Dynamic Sunstone Red on display for all to see. We used this opportunity to catch the attention of the people walking by who stopped to look at the bright red color of the vehicle to also educate them about the American Heart Association and the importance of raising awareness.

If you would like to support the American Heart Association, visit this link. You can learn more about possible events you can attend, how you can support them financially, and how you can become a sponsor of an event they are hosting.

Novi School District Teacher Of The Year

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When you think back to high school, you most likely remember that one teacher who made school worth it – the one who pushed you to do better, the one who opened up your mind, the one who introduced you to a hobby you are still passionate about today.

Today’s educators do so much for their students, but many times those efforts go unnoticed. But at The Suburban Collection, we believe these teachers deserve to be recognized. For the past 15 years, we have been honoring stand-out teachers from the surrounding areas with a Teacher of the Year Celebration. It is our way to give something back to the men and women who have done so much for the success of our future generations!

These amazing teachers are awarded with a free two- or three-year lease on a select vehicle from one of our dealerships! They are so deserving of this prize for all of the hard work they put in before, during, and after every school day.

On Monday, March 27th, we had the opportunity to name Jodie Sikaitis, High School Special Education Teacher from Novi High School, the Novi School District Teacher of the Year! When we presented her with her prize, Sikaitis was absolutely speechless. There is something so rewarding in witnessing someone’s face light up after seeing their students and colleagues come together to watch them being recognized for their efforts.

Jodie Sikaitis has been with this high school for over 19 years now and has not only won the hearts of her students over every year, but is a model employee as far as her colleagues are concerned. You can learn more about Jodie and about the event online.

Thankfully, we were able to capture some great images from this event! Below, you will see Retail Operations Manager, John Timmington from Suburban Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram of Farmington Hills and a happy Jodie Sikaitis holding her prize.

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Her proud students also couldn’t wait to get a picture with her after she was officially awarded with her new car (not pictured).

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The 10th Annual Suburban Collection Blood Drive

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This post was originally published on David T. Fischer’s website.

For the past 10 years, The Suburban Collection has partnered with the American Red Cross by sponsoring a blood drive open to our employees and the public in an attempt to collect blood to be used for those in critical need.

We have had amazing participation in the past, but decided to extend the drive his year to two days. Extending the drive by one day increased the amount of blood we were able to donate by over 39 percent – 138 more units than we collected in 2016!

Over these two days, eleven of our dealerships served as donation locations where both employees and the general public could help in our philanthropic efforts. To make things even more fun, those who attempted to donate, were entered to win some amazing prizes. Five won an early sign-up bonus of $100, three won a 50” HD TV, two won a Fitbit Charge 2, one person won an Apple TV, and one won an Amazon Tap for donating! Everyone who participated was given an insulated tumbler.

We’re so grateful to all of those who came out for our event. They really helped to make a difference in our community. Contributions totaled up to 488 life-saving units of blood, which was able to benefit around 1,464 people who were at a critical moment in their life.

So, to all of our employees, our friends, and our families who gave up some of their free time to do something that will have an impact on someone else, we thank you. As the years pass, we have only seen more people make it a point to come out and volunteer their resources – this year is no exception.

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Because we have had such a promising event in 2017, we can’t wait to see what is in store for next year’s event! We look forward to seeing the familiar faces of this year and previous years, as well as all of the new people we will be able to meet as you spread the word of this event around.

If You Can’t Give Your Money, Give Your Time

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This post was originally published on David T. Fischer’s website.

One of the most common misconceptions about charitable giving is that the term “giving” implies a financial contribution. But that couldn’t be farther from the truth.

Of course, financial contributions can make a tremendous difference for a cause, whether that’s helping individuals directly in need or by donating to an organization that will, in turn, help those in need through more substantial means. But not all of us have the budget to freely give of our finances to fund the endless demand of charities that give back. Never view helping charities as a competition; you will always feel inadequate if that is your approach to giving back. Just as charities need money to thrive, they also demand a volunteering of time, which is something that anyone can afford to give.

In a previous blog, I discussed 3 ways that you can give back at no cost to you, but I wanted to expand on this topic further because there are so many other options available to you if you have a strict financial budget. Here are an additional 3 ways that you can make a difference by just volunteering your time or resources:

Donate Your Clothing

We all eventually grow out of our clothing. Seasonal trends change and we replace what we have with updated styles, sizes fluctuate and we can no longer wear some of our favorite pieces, and sometimes there are outfits that get lost in our closets that we don’t touch for years. Dedicate an afternoon to sorting through your closet and filling bags with clothes you don’t wear anymore. Not only will you benefit from less clutter, but you are giving those who have little financial stability an opportunity to get clothing to wear that they can pick up for free or at a discounted rate.

Volunteer For A Local Charity Event

We all live productive lives, but we often fill parts of our days with activities just to have something to put on our schedules. Seek out charity events that are happening locally and sign up! You can skip a morning session at the gym or an afternoon coffee trip for an event that holds more significance. These events range in size and the necessary tasks will vary depending on the specifics of the event, but do your research and find something where you can use your skills to give back.

Become An Organ Donor

Only 42% of the population in the United States are registered organ donors. Your part in this is simple and requires such a small time commitment, but its impact is outstanding! After you pass away, your organs will live on inside an individual whose ailment is affecting their way of life. You can literally become a lifesaver.

Charity is not about how much you can give, it’s about your passion to make a difference. Your contributions are no lesser just because you can’t contribute money. In fact, giving of your time is equally as important because it fills the gaps that money can’t touch.

3 Strategies To Foster Employee Giving

david t fischer employee giving blogLast week, I wrote a blog that spoke to how 2017 is predicted to be a generous year for charity. There are many reasons for this, but the increased philanthropic spirit on the individual, foundation, and corporation levels are what will truly drive a new year focused on giving back.

For this blog, I wanted to take the corporation’s role in charity and explore in more detail how companies can make more of a difference. First, it is important to clarify that at the heart of a company’s charitable efforts is their employees. Without employees selflessly giving their money, time, and resources, a corporation would not be able to give back as much. The more engaged and involved employees are, the more businesses can do on a local or global level.

There is an increased push to get employees to act on their generosity during the holidays, which is great, but it’s not enough. Charitable actions should be a focus year-round. Here are three ways that you can encourage an increase in employee giving throughout the year:

1. Make it about money, time, and resources.

Not everyone is the same, which means that not everyone will want to give in the same way. Companies fail to recognize this and create an employee giving program that is centered around only one of those three categories, which decreases the amount of employee involvement.

Some individuals may have more room in their budgets to be generous with their money but others may not and, therefore, may want to exercise their goodwill by volunteering their time or giving other resources in order to help those in need.

The methods of giving could also vary depending on generational preferences. Older generations may feel more compelled to stay behind the scenes and write a check for a foundation. Younger generations, specifically millennials, are more about experiences, so they may be more likely to contribute if it involves being more hands-on and active.

2. Put a spotlight on what your employees are doing to make a difference.

If an individual is supporting an event, organization, or foundation that is important to them, they are going to want to be vocal about it. Currently, around 30% of companies encourage their employees to post updates or videos that highlight their philanthropy. As this catches on, I hope more and more companies begin to encourage their employees to do this!

The Walmart Foundation is actually a great representation of this and how it can be successful. They want their employees to be active on social media and share what they are doing to give back. They have even created an account on Twitter that serves as a platform to share these stories.

3. High-impact giving with low cost.

As technology advances, it is making giving back quicker and easier than ever before. The process of giving back should be as efficient, but corporations often struggle with how to do this effectively while also practically administering their campaigns. The solution is to find a balance in managing high-impact activities with low-cost technology. Corporate philanthropy software, such as CyberGrants, may be a great thing for your company to look into. You can pick out an organization to support and employees can choose to donate either their money or time in support of the organization through the software.

You don’t have to be a corporate giant in order to make a difference. Anything that you can do or donate to help support an event, organization, or foundation that is doing good on a local or global level will help make an impact. Use these tactics in your company to get your employees more involved in the new year! Not only will you be supporting those in need, but it will also help to foster a healthier, more close-knit community within your workplace.

This post was originally published on David T. Fischer’s website.

Philanthropic Giving In 2017

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The holidays are a time of giving. The philanthropic spirit that emerges during this time of year also often lingers well into the new year, typically bringing an increase in charitable giving with it. Whether the time of year is responsible for an fluctuation that is only temporary is insignificant, there is nothing more pleasing than seeing people take an interest in helping those in need.

The statistics of giving in 2016 can actually point to what philanthropic giving is predicted to look like in 2017. Broken down into various “groups,” these are the philanthropic patterns that are anticipated for this coming year:

Individuals

Not only is individual giving expected to rise in 2017, it is supposed to do so quite significantly – by around 3.8%! Why the sudden boost of generosity? In 2016, individuals experienced an average growth in personal income and an above average growth in household and nonprofit net worth. With more money attributed to them, there is reason to believe that the amount they give to charity will be higher in 2017.

If one of your New Year’s resolutions is to give back, I urge you to find an organization that holds meaning to you and consider giving back to them in any way you can! Many wrongly assume that money is the only form of charity that actually matters, which couldn’t be farther from the truth. There are other ways that you can give your time and resources to make a difference.

Foundations

2016 had already seen an increase in foundation giving, but that’s expected to rise to 6.4% in the new year! As more and more individuals start giving back – or begin to increase the amount that they do give – it is only going to increase a foundation’s philanthropic giving as well.

Corporations

Compared to the other avenues, corporations make up about 5% of charitable giving. This number may not seem very significant, but many people would be surprised to know that this percentage has surged over the past few years. Businesses are starting to take responsibility for their lack of giving in the past, realizing that they can make more of an impact than one individual could, so they are creating ways to get more engaged. For example, some companies are incentivizing the process by inspiring their employees to donate, promising to match whatever they give. Instead of focusing on money, some other companies use their time by organizing large groups to volunteer out in the community.

Have you noticed a pattern within these three different categories? Yes, philanthropic giving is clearly predicted to be on the rise, but it is because of you. Not only are individuals being more charitable on their own, but they are giving more to foundations and getting more involved within their companies. Giving more to foundations allows that particular foundation to give more on their end and getting more involved within your company allows your company to make more of a difference. So if you want to do something extra this year, find out ways that you can get involved! At the heart of philanthropic giving is your generosity.

This post was originally published on David T. Fischer’s website.