From day one, there’s been a learning curve for starting, running, and informing the world about Per Diems Against Poverty. Experience has taught us that people tend to be a little skeptical of corporations, even nonprofits, who donate 100% of their donations to their cause. “You mean you’re not going to make any money, or take a percentage of donations to cover overhead costs? How does that work?” Those are questions we’ve been asked repeatedly. The answers are simple. Our only goal is to help as many Americans as possible gain access to enough food to feed themselves and their families. We know that we, in partnership with Feeding America, cannot conquer food insecurity alone, and thankfully we don’t have to. So far we’ve been blessed by the support, wisdom, and services of numerous friends, family members, co-workers, and professionals in both the for-profit and nonprofit industries. Without these individuals who have given their 3 Ts-- time, talent, and treasure-- in support of our organization, we would not have gotten to where we are today. For this reason, we’ve chosen to honor these exceptional people by donating the amount of their local per diem to our cause for 30 days.
It would be impossible to name every person who has taken time away from his or her busy schedule to help us during the past several months. We know that their time is precious and appreciate everyone who lent their ears to us during lunch breaks and offered detailed answers to all of our questions. Thank you for meeting with us and explaining the logistics of running a nonprofit and the nationwide network of Feeding America food banks. So many of our colleagues have shown their support by reaching out to their connections and spreading the word about per diems and how we're using them to fight hunger. They put their faith in us without question and lay their own reputations on the line for our mission and vision.
Since 100% of all donations go to Feeding America and we will rely solely upon private donations from individual sponsors and foundation grants to cover our overhead expenses, we’ve had to call in a favor or two. We’re blessed to have so many talented friends, family members, and colleagues who have offered their excellent professional services without expecting anything in return. Many of our honorees have been so thrilled about working with our organization that they’ve gone above and beyond our needs. From graphic design and branding to photography and accounting assistance, the work of these professionals has been exceptional. Since we can only pay you in karma right now, I’d say all of your futures are looking bright!
Although we appreciate the time and talents of many of our honorees, our list would not be complete without thanking those who have generously offered their treasure. Unfortunately, a bottom line exists in every industry, and nonprofits are no exception. While frugality is one of our Core Values, it takes funds to file government forms, have a website, and support our basic business needs. Without monetary means, we cannot operate; therefore, we cannot fulfill our mission. We are thankful for an anonymous honoree who has paid for our necessary expenses thus far out of her own pocket, never expecting anything in return. She is an inspiration to everyone who knows her, especially me. We would not be on our way to helping feed millions food-insecure people in every community across America without her support.
One unexpected lesson I’ve learned throughout this process is that, despite my own independent mindset, we all need help in order to do our best work. We’re so much stronger together than we are alone. One person cannot change the world; however, many people contributing in their own special way can and will make a difference. Although we’re showing our appreciation for those who have helped us thus far, there are always to get involved with Per Diems Against Poverty now and in the future. If you don’t have treasure, give your time and/or talent. We all have special gifts that enable us to contribute to the betterment of our country if we’ll just take the time to figure out what those gifts are. Please visit perdiems.org to use your gifts to help feed families in need.