#GivingTuesday: Why Your Support for the Annual Fund Matters

Thank you for joining us in our #GivingTuesday efforts in support of SNF’s Annual Fund. Our 2015 Giving Tuesday drive was a big success, and we are counting on you to help us do it all over again! We are asking all of our members to make a donation to the Annual Fund this Giving Tuesday to show your support for your school nutrition colleagues.

The Annual Fund was established in 1964 to provide SNA members with financial support for education and professional development, as well as to support research and offer scholarships. When you donate to the Annual Fund, your contribution is used to assist fellow school nutrition professionals with the skills, the knowledge, and the insight required to meet the challenges in providing nutrition and in developing healthy habits so that students are well-nourished and prepared for success in school.

To help us illustrate the importance of your donation to the Annual Fund, we reached out to some of our 2016 State Ambassadors to ask them why they have volunteered their time to help raise awareness of the Annual Fund with their fellow SNA members.

Sandy Kramer, Director: Yankton School District, South Dakota

Sandy Kramer has been a school nutrition director for 33 years, and a member of SNA from the beginning of her career; she is the Child Nutrition Supervisor for the Yankton School District and 2016 Ambassador for the state of South Dakota. If you’re a longtime reader, you may remember Sandy as one of our 2014 School Nutrition Heroes. When we reached out to ask Sandy why she signed up to be a School Nutrition Ambassador, her answer was simple: “Because I believe in what the Foundation stands for, and what it does for our membership.”

One way Kramer has raised awareness for the Annual Fund was to bring the fundraising straight to her state conference. Her goal—to put the “fun” in “fundraising”.

“I told our attendees that if they wanted to have a little fun—and irritate Janelle, our state president, at the same time!—that every time they donated they could ring my cow bell. I knew Janelle hated cow bells, so during our food show I set up a booth and a bowl. Every time someone came by they would donate and ring the bell! Janelle—who was a great sport—played the part perfectly. I had people coming to find out what the bell-ringing was all about. We raised $224 in just a little over an hour, and had lots of fun at the same time. Since Janelle was such a good sport, we donated all of the money in her name. I had others donate in memory of someone, or a past member, or retired industry person.”

Raising money for the Annual Fund will help individual members achieve their goals, says Kramer, but it also advances school nutrition as a whole—and the benefits to the profession can’t be overstated.

“I have personally seen how the Foundation has helped our membership,” said Kramer. “The scholarships alone for our members is such a wonderful benefit. I have seen members go back to school and advance their careers; even if they don’t advance their careers, I see them grow as a professional. For years I watched and encouraged members to go back to school and apply for a scholarship. Finally, I took my own advice this year and went back to school. I also applied for a scholarship, and was so excited to get it. Going back is not only scary, but you do not want to burden your family with debt for something you are doing for yourself. Receiving the scholarship also reminds me that someone believes in me and it pushes me toward my goal. Yes I am not far from retiring and some people might think I am nuts doing this, this time of my life. I may retire from this job but this will help achieve other goals that I plan to proceed forward on. When you are in this business for this long, it is because you love it and leaving has to be a gradual process.”

Mark Bordeau, Senior Director: Broome-Tioga BOCES, New York

Mark Bordeau is the Senior Director at Broome-Tioga BOCES in New York, and an SNF scholarship recipient. (Read Mark’s scholarship story here.) When we asked him why volunteering to be the 2016 Ambassador was so important to him, he said it was an opportunity to give back to the Foundation that helped him pursue a degree in business administration from Empire State College.

“I just feel very strongly about the Foundation,” shared Mark. “They helped me tremendously at a time when I was looking for money to continue my education, and they gave me a lot of support. Now it’s my turn to give back to an organization that gave so much to me. Helping school nutrition professionals get the professional development and [education] they might not be able to get otherwise is just a great cause, and I felt the need to get involved and help in any way I can.”

Mark has taken his message about the Foundation and the Annual Fund to state conferences, where he shares his own scholarship story with other SNA members to help inspire them to both give to the Annual Fund, and take advantage of the resources available to them through SNA and SNF.

“I have the opportunity to talk about my experience—the application process, the approval process, the claiming process, and how the Foundation supported me throughout,” said Mark. “And it’s a way to encourage your employees; if you’re talking about potential growth, moving up the ladder, encouraging them with this potential opportunity, you can point them to these resources. As a leader you always want to look around to see who could take your place, so I tell my folks about the Foundation scholarships. I feel strongly about helping to plan for my retirement—four or five years from now—and to think about who will take my place.”

Donations to the Annual Fund go far beyond the simple act of giving, says Mark.

“As child nutrition professionals, giving is part of who we are. That caring for children, for their education—we’re in the education field ourselves. Donating to the Annual Fund is a natural fit for SNA members, to support their peers and staff members. That ten dollars, or twenty dollars, goes a long way, and it’s a lifetime investment for someone. That education is for life, and that $10 donation is worth thousands more in the long run.”

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