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Our Team’s Nonprofit Picks for Our 3rd Annual Charitable Giving Program

Jeremy Lopatin | January 11, 2022 | Company News

The Climb team is proud to have continued our tradition of making charitable donations to nonprofit organizations for the third year running. As part of our Charitable Giving Program, each team member at Climb selects one or more 501(c)3 organizations to receive a portion of Climb’s annual profits.

This year, we’ve given a total of $20,000 – a 66% increase over our 2020 donations, and a 400% increase over 2019.

Below, each Climb team member tells you a bit about who they chose for their portion and why:

Jeremy Lopatin – Shelter Association of Washtenaw County, Food Gatherers, United Way of Washtenaw County, Washtenaw Literacy, Peace Neighborhood Center, and Girls Group.

With the continued hardships caused by the pandemic throughout 2021, the disadvantaged among us keep suffering the most. For that reason (and because these organizations are simply excellent), I’ve continued to direct much of my charitable giving to the Shelter Association of Washtenaw County, Food Gatherers, and the United Way of Washtenaw County. This year, I also added Ozone House to the list for the same reason.

I also felt compelled to direct the remainder of my charitable giving this year to organizations that nurture and cultivate the potential of the underserved in our community – particularly youth. There are many among us who risk being left behind as the pandemic exacerbates the inequities of our society. Washtenaw Literacy, Peace Neighborhood Center, and Girls Group all do an excellent job helping members of our community here in Washtenaw County thrive.

 

Robbie Bolog – United Way of Humphrey’s County, United Way of Kentucky, Maple Built

It has been a rough year weather-wise for us here in Tennessee with a major flooding event over the summer and a series of catastrophic tornadoes that stretched across four states in early December. These events often make headlines for a few days, but it takes months & years for those affected to recover & rebuild. I’ve directed a portion of my charitable giving towards the United Way of Humphrey’s County, TN and the United Way of Kentucky to hopefully make a dent in the recovery.

A random Craigslist purchase this year lead to the discovery of my other selection. Maple Built is an organization offering woodworking apprenticeships to at-risk youth in Nashville. They provide employment, job-training, and mentorship opportunities for local youth with few other options. I had a great conversation at their shop with the founder and was really impressed by what I saw! I hope Climb’s donation can help close the skills gap in our country.

 

Taylor CaldronThe Southern Poverty Law Center

The SPLC’s Hatewatch and Hate Map projects form a cornerstone of our own efforts to defund hate and misinformation through Google Ads placement exclusion lists. While our exclusion lists pull in data from many sources, the SPLC’s analysis was and remains our starting point for identifying organizations to ban from receiving funds from our ad campaigns. We’re incredibly grateful for their leadership in combating hate and misinformation in our communities.

 

Kristin Coleman – ALK Positive

About 2.5 years ago, my very dear friend was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer – specifically ALK-Positive Lung Cancer. This is a type of cancer with no known cause and no known cure, particularly once it spreads to other parts of the body. My friend is now part of an incredible non-profit, patient-driven organization called ALK-Positive. This group of patients and caregivers is dedicated to improving the life expectancy and quality of life for ALK-Positive patients worldwide. Through their foundational online support group, they are able to support each other and share information to become empowered patients & advocates. The organization directly supports high-impact research that improves patient outcomes and has the potential to transform ALK-positive lung cancer into a chronic (and maybe someday, cured) condition.

 

Celeste Hill – Live Love Nashville, Community Resource Center of Nashville, and Volunteer Equine Advocates

Live Love Nashville is a wonderful organization that focuses on making sure children in Nashville feel loved. They do this by selling ‘Live Love Nashville’ items and taking donations where 100% of the proceeds go to necessities that local children need. Recently, they have been fundraising to assist families affected by tornadoes.

Nashville and surrounding areas have experienced catastrophic tornadoes. These storms brought unimaginable damage that left many families homeless and without basic essentials. I felt it was important to support CRC’s work in TN to ensure that our community was cared for.

As someone that grew up with horses, the Equine Advocates are near and dear to my heart. This Nashville non-profit focuses on helping abandoned, abused, and neglected horses. They are small in size and the donations support each and every horse they have in their care. I hope this will make an impact in their care, especially going into the winter season.

 

David Oltean – Ferndale Cat Shelter, Detroit Dog Rescue, and Forgotten Harvest

Probably to none of my coworkers’ surprise, I elected to donate to the Ferndale Cat Shelter again this year. The Ferndale Cat Shelter is a private no-kill cat shelter dedicated to elevating the standards of cat guardianship and adoption in the Detroit region, and I’ve been volunteering with FCS since 2015 before being elected to the Board of Directors in 2018. My wife and I also adopted a kitten from FCS in 2021 and are currently fostering a litter of four that have taken over the upstairs of our home.

I’m a total cat guy, but rescue dogs need love and support too. Similar to the Ferndale Cat Shelter, Detroit Dog Rescue is a no-kill shelter dedicated to rescuing, vetting, and adopting out injured, impaired, or hard-to-adopt animals. DDR is in the process of building out a new shelter space on Detroit’s west side to ensure their rescue dogs have a safe, comfortable space to wait for their forever home and meet-and-greet potential adopters.

With the pandemic still looming large, it felt timely to support an organization dedicated to addressing hunger and food insecurity. Founded in 1990, Forgotten Harvest has grown to become one of Southeast Michigan’s largest food distribution nonprofits – serving up over 30,000,000 meals annually throughout the Metro Detroit region.

 

Riley DuncanRetrieving Independence, NeedLink Nashville, and Raphah Institute

I was thrilled to again support two of my Charitable Giving program picks from last year, Retrieving Independence and NeedLink Nashville.

Retrieving Independence is a Nashville-based nonprofit organization that trains and places service dogs. Uniquely, they partner with local prisons to create a program in which inmates learn to train service dogs. My wife and I volunteer for this organization by taking the dogs out on furlough on the weekends, and seeing the impact that Retrieving Independence has on inmates, volunteers, and service dog recipients has been really special. Our first furlough dog, Dash, graduated in 2021, and we know he’s making an awesome impact with his recipient.

NeedLink Nashville helps those most in need by providing financial assistance to those whose water, gas or electricity are at risk of disconnection. Especially in the cold, winter months, the work NeedLink is doing supporting these folks in our communities is fantastic.

A new selection for our charitable giving this year is Raphah Institute, a former neighbor from our time previously spent working in Center 615. Their Restorative Justice Diversion program is an exciting, inspiring way of disrupting the cycle of social harm in our communities. I’m excited to support their vision as they help Nashville pursue healing and justice more effectively.

 

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