Thrivent Financial + Operation Warm
The Greater Charlotte Group of Thrivent Financial is partnering with Operation Warm for the second time in 2017 with their “Wrapped in Love” campaign. To provide a coat to every child in a local international elementary school, Thrivent recruited the help of several local businesses and a non-profit to launch their program.
This Thrivent Financial branch engaged a non-profit, a youth football team and another commercial business to provide an international school with brand-new winter coats.
3 Local Partners
780 Coats Donated
100 Employee Volunteers
Greater Charlotte Group of Thrivent Financial supports Operation Warm through…
Thrivent Choice® Dollars
Thrivent Action Team Funding
“When the children were putting on their coats for the first time, I felt so humbled and incredibly blessed to serve the students in this way. To feel their gratitude, warmth, and love to us... strangers... was a feeling I'll never forget.”
wrapped in love: thrivent financial reaches out to kids in need
In October of 2016, Thrivent Financial – Greater Charlotte Group employees, along with a series of community partners and Operation Warm, experienced a true gift of love and warmth by giving new winter coats to over 700 low-income students.Read Their Story
Why Thrivent Financial Supports Operation Warm
Adrienne from Thrivent Financial Explains Why Giving New Coats to Kids is So Rewarding
Why did you choose to work with Operation Warm?
Operation Warm has a strong national reputation. They are not a “coat drive” program; Operation Warm works directly with manufacturers to develop high-quality, beautiful coats to give our poverty-stricken children.
I could not believe the direct communication and support my team received from Operation Warm to help make our project successful. Brandon Smith from Operation Warm was assigned to our project and was our biggest cheerleader. He helped set up our customized Operation Warm fundraising webpage to better our fundraising efforts and market our project; he responded to emails in a timely matter; and gave us best practices to enhance our project. The icing on the cake – Brandon and the Executive Director of Operation Warm came to our project on the day we delivered the coats to the kids. Wow! It is because of the service we received from Operation Warm that we’re so excited to work with them again this year for another successful project. We know we our children in Charlotte will receive the best coats and best experience.
What was the most rewarding part of your coat program?
From a committee perspective, this was a great project because everyone on our committee had a role to play. Whether it was marketing, determining outreach partners, fundraising, creating day-of logistics, executing day-of logistics… there was something for everyone. It was a project our committee was proud to share with their churches, friends, families, and other groups of influence.
Also, the immediate impact. How many service projects do you participate in where you see the immediate impact of the service? For my committee and our 150+ volunteers, we were able to see the face of every child who received a coat… all 731 faces : ) These moments were incredible and humbling. The coat not only provided warmth for the winter, but it provided dignity, security, value, and love. What a gift to give.
What did you learn from this community service project?
From an organizational perspective, I learned a lot about the development of a strong communication and marketing plan, the importance of buy-in from your committee and stakeholders, and the value of having a “yes” principal at the school you’re serving. The ultimate success of our project was having a passionate committee of “do-ers” and a principal who wanted to partner with us. We took a few months to develop the relationship with the elementary school and the principal before committing to doing the project with them. Once the relationship was established, the planning was fluid.
What advice would you give you give other Thrivent Financial locations interested in starting a coat program?
- Have a consultation with Operation Warm before you start.
- Is the school or organization you’re trying to serve a “yes” organization? Have you established a good relationship with them?
- Start early. Most Operation Warm projects are executed in the fall/winter months. To ensure Operation Warm will have all the coat sizes you need, the earlier you order the better.
- You’re not only fundraising, but you recruiting volunteers as well. Think about different groups/COIs who can provide one or the other well, or do both well for your project.
- Thrivent Choice Dollars – the most effective way to encourage the distribution of Choice Dollars for your project is to have an FR directly ask his/her member. For your project, do you have a group of FRs willing to talk about your project and make it part of their practice over your fundraising months?