Posted on October 20th, 2014 and filed under OC Green Clean News
I’ve always felt that running a business isn’t just about making money. It’s important to give back to the community, as well. When I started OC Green Clean, I knew that that I wanted the company to benefit a non-profit organization in some way. After evaluating several different organizations, I’ve decided that the beneficiary organization for OC Green Clean will be Team Kids of Irvine.
Team Kids is an organization that teaches and empowers children to make a difference in their communities and in the world. I recently met with Mary, Francesca, and Haylee at their Irvine headquarters, and they
explained to me the different activities that they do with children to teach them leadership and organizational skills. One program that we talked in detail about was the Team Kids Challenge.
In the Challenge, kids develop and spearhead their own fundraisers to collect money and goods for causes they believe in. It kicks off with an assembly at a local elementary school, where local police officers and firefighters teach kids about important issues such as homelessnes, hunger, safety, and the environment. After the assembly, the entire school is encouraged to participate in a weekly challenge to collect items such as food or clothing.
In addition, the older kids in the school are invited to participate on the Leadership Team, where they brainstorm ideas to plan and run a school-wide carnival fundraiser, where they design their own carnival-style games and sell tickets to raise money. It’s like running a business! All of the money raised from the fundraisers goes directly to a charity that is chosen by the students.
Past recipients of the students’ fundraisers include the Red Cross, OC Rescue Mission, Second Harvest Food Bank, and St. Jude Children’s Hospital. Since 2001, the Team Kids Challenge program has raised over $420,000 for other nonprofit organizations!
Why Team Kids?
There are several reasons why I chose Team Kids as the beneficiary charity for OC Green Clean:
We love kids!
One of the most important reasons that people choose to use green cleaning products and try to live green lifestyles is for the safety of their children. Children are the ones who will be dealing with how we treat our environment, good or bad. In addition, children are the most susceptible to the harmful effects of toxic cleaning chemicals, as I explained in an earlier blog post. Most of us are interested in green cleaning products so that we can help the little ones. But not only does Team Kids benefit children, it also benefits many other charities, as well. Through the Team Kids Challenge, the children select a charity of their choice to donate money to. As I mentioned above, these charities have included the Red Cross, OC Rescue Mission, and others.
Charity starts locally, and I wanted to choose an organization where I could meet the founder and staff in person. Team Kids is based in Irvine and recently launched a Team Kids Challenge at an
elementary school in my home city of Tustin. So they certainly fit the bill of being a local charity! They have also organized challenges in elementary schools in other cities: Newport Beach, Palos Verdes, Costa Mesa, Rancho Santa Margarita, Long Beach, and Arlington Virginia. With most of these cities being in Orange County, OC Green Clean’s service area covers almost all students’ families who participate in Team Kids! (Unfortunately, we won’t travel to Arlington to clean homes out there…)
Small enough to make a difference
OC Green Clean is a locally owned operation – we aren’t a big company or part of a franchise. We are small but growing, and we wanted to benefit an organization where every dollar counts. Team Kids is also growing, but can appreciate every dollar that we are able to donate to them. If you have a few dollars, please donate to them, as well!
It’s an organization I wish I could have joined when I was a kid
When I was a child growing up, I didn’t know about any organization like this. I studied, got good grades, and went on to attend a good University. Leadership and ownership were certainly not things that I was taught even in high school, much less elementary school! Teaching these skills to children at such a young age will give them the confidence to become America’s future entrepreneurs and business leaders.
They have their act together!
There are many well-meaning nonprofit organizations that have more heart than organizational skills. I visited many organizations’ web sites, but saw many with links that didn’t work, poorly written descriptions, or missing images. Team Kids’ web site looked very professional and projected the image that this would be an organization that “gets it” and would be able to use my donations in a beneficial way. When I met the team, my thoughts were confirmed. The staff really showed passion for what they do and how they are helping shape children’s futures!
We at OC Green Clean are really excited to be partnering with Team Kids! Please learn more about them at www.teamkids.org.