If you missed the story in Wednesday’s edition, Ace Hardware is sharing some profit margin with the local nonprofit organization whose central cause represents the collective message of about 20 member agencies, programs and special services.
Over the Labor Day Weekend, which starts today, Ace will donate to United Way 5 cents of every $1 purchased by Ace Rewards Card customers.
Through this holiday promotion, Ace management is accomplishing several goals.
One, and certainly the most important from a civic perspective, the company is supporting an agency that helps thousands of area residents each year — especially those who need help the most. Clientele of United Way agencies and special services includes the young, the old, the downtrodden, those living without hope for a better day, the diseased, the homeless, the grief-stricken, those victimized by natural and unnatural disasters, the uneducated, the jobless, the indebted whose money woes came through no fault of their own, the emotionally distraught, the hungry and so many other saddening cases of our neighbors struggling to overcome lost faith, abandoned will and forgotten dreams.
Two, the endearing message of United Way and the heartbreaking cases of hearts in need that anchor the agency’s foundation are being told over and over ... every time a purchase is made during this holiday period. Another word for it is awareness. When people are aware, things happen. Knowing, and understanding, an organization like United Way helps us to better appreciate the plight of its programs’ recipients.
Three, in a smaller form it’s an economic stimulus. A business benefits from the increased patronage and the hearts of those patrons grow a little warmer knowing that the hardware they’re buying is not only helping their home project, but also the people projects made possible by United Way.
One dollar isn’t a lot to spend for most. Five dollars doesn’t cause much of a flinch. Even a $10 purchase is regularly taken for granted. Now look at it from this view. During this United Way promotion, the $10 you spend is providing 50 cents to the nonprofit’s operating budget — money that is used to support the invaluable people-first programs and services that bring hope to those fighting through hopelessness.
Other businesses have supported United Way through this kind of practice. Ace Hardware was probably one of the first — at least, in this community — because this is the seventh consecutive year of the humane program. Others have benefited shoppers’ appetites, namely through the taste of pizza and barbecue.
We thank Nancy Casson — arguably this community’s hardest working volunteer and certainly one of the most exuberant — for her leadership in growing this three-way partnership between United Way, Ace Hardware and the people of Cleveland and Bradley County. She has served as a devout United Way supporter — and served in most every conceivable volunteer role with the nonprofit — but she also pours out her heart to so many other causes like Junior Achievement of the Ocoee Region, the Museum Center at Five Points, the Cleveland Bradley Chamber of Commerce and so very many others.
But this Labor Day Weekend promotion is not a Nancy show.
It’s not an Ace show.
And it’s not a United Way show.
It’s a people show, a step forward by people who have in support of people in need.