CANTON After all the hustle and bustle of shopping for gifts on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, Giving Tuesday (#GivingTuesday) has become a day to show support for non-profit organizations in a global day of giving. The power of social media fuels the cause. This year the day was held on Nov. 29
TomTod Ideas of Canton decided to celebrate the day with a bit of a twist. Instead of asking the community for donations, they celebrated and gave back to their sponsors.
TomTod’s Executive Dreamer Joel Harris said his organization has received so much support from companies and individuals in the area, he wanted to use the day to say thank you.
"Employees and board members of TomTod are spending the entire day delivering balloons, food trays and a swag bags with magnets, notebooks, sticker and pens to our corporate sponsors as a way to say thanks for their continued support," Harris said.
The group started out at 8 a.m. with Deli Ohio (Canton). Next up was Hall, Kistler & Co. (Canton), followed by Four Kids Coffee (Jackson Township), DeHoff Realtors (North Canton), Ramsburg Insurance (Lake Township) and Coffee and Code (Akron).
"Most of the non-profits who participate in Giving Tuesday use the day to ask for donations. We decided to go another direction. We will also present each sponsor with a special thank you plague that commemorates their generosity and willingness to help us fulfill our mission," Harris said.
Manager of Four Kids Coffee Lindsey Myers said the coffee shop doesn’t do nice things for the glory or any special kind of thank you, but she said TomTod’s thank you made a difference.
"It was surprise because it wasn’t something we were looking for," Myers said. "All of our employees here donate our tips all year to TomTodd. The organization does a great job and we want to help support their mission."
The group went on to surprise Linda DeHoff at her office at DeHoff Realtors. The group filled one of the conference rooms and waited for DeHoff to come into the room. She was surprised and appreciative of the gesture.
"We should be thanking you because we love what TomTod does and really see the value the group provides for the kids who attend," DeHoff said.
TomTod stands for "tomorrow’s ideas today." The goal of the TomTod is to provide a way for middle school students to learn about their community and then take an assessment of its needs. They are then tasked with coming up with ideas to address some of the challenges in the community.
The three primary programs students can get involved with include Camp What If, What If 101 and What If You Could. The first is a weeklong summer camp for creative, thoughtful middle school students. The students spend time on field trips to learn more about the area. The second part of the week is used to create ideas.
What If 101 is an in-school program that walks students through the process of creating new ideas for the common good. What If You Could asks students to submit ideas to TomTod. If the idea is selected, the student is involved with making the idea a reality.
The organization uses mentors from around the county to work with the students. Harris said they work with middle school students because it’s a pivotal time in their lives where they are beginning to explore who they want to be.