Making a Difference
Updated: Oct 6, 2021
Connex Foundation provides generous opportunities to those in need.
By Brooke Cowart, Executive Director, Connex Foundation
Connex Foundation IMPACT Charity Project
We are entering a new world: How we work, connect and live will likely change forever. Turbulence is bringing on a natural human tendency to focus on ourselves and our closest friends’ and family’s immediate needs. The dramatic consequences of the pandemic underscore what an extraordinary time this is.
Philanthropy and volunteerism consistently play important roles in ConnexFM members’ personal and professional lives. For example, in 2018, Connex Foundation held an IMPACT Charity Project for Harvest Hands in Nashville, Tennessee. Harvest Hands provides after-school programming, sports leagues, mentoring, job training and affordable housing to the children and families of the South Nashville neighborhoods. The facility badly needed rejuvenation. Our members stepped up to freshen this safe haven for children by painting and landscaping the facility. In 2019 Connex Foundation held an IMPACT Charity Project for a Volunteers of America (VOA) Family Motel in the Denver area. The VOA Family Motel had served 1,481 families, veterans and respite care guests and is a fully operational facility with 40 rooms for families and individuals. Similar to Harvest Hands, the VOA Motel needed repairs and updates. ConnexFM members accepted the challenge and provided parking lot striping, painting, cleaning and basketball hoops for the children at the motel to enjoy. Many industry professionals have personally witnessed the immense impact this program has had on people, and the team is inspired to continue this program and serve as many communities as possible.
Since the spread of COVID-19 globally, and with its current impact in the U.S., charity and giving back have taken on a new meaning. It is no longer just about “feel-good” moments but about taking decisive action that will create short- and long-term change for our future together. Amid this crisis, here is how charity will continue to push forward:
Most donors plan to maintain — or even increase — the amount they donate to charity.
Volunteer activity is likely to dramatically decrease due to the pandemic.
Most donors do not plan to shift their giving to different organizations in light of the pandemic; they will stay the course by continuing to support their favorite nonprofits.
Donors are most likely to support domestic charities over international charities.
Connex Foundation used this data and created an IMPACT Charity Project during the summer of 2021 to support food banks across the U.S. and Canada. During the first months of the pandemic, roughly four in 10 people visiting food banks were seeking help for the first time. Food banks have adapted to this new level of need with most serving over 55% more people than before the pandemic began. The Connex Foundation IMPACT Committee knew summers were hard on families who depended on school lunches, and was compelled to make a difference. In the first week of the IMPACT Food Bank Challenge, 42,242 meals were provided by monetary donations, food donation and volunteer time. At the end of the challenge, thanks to an amazing multi-site facilities network, 152,961 meals were donated to communities across the U.S. and Canada!
As the world continues to dig out of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is important to remind people to keep supporting the charities they care about. Share local volunteer opportunities and guidance about where people can give to help those impacted. Seeing examples will help individuals in local communities realize that they can take action, too. Even during a crisis that requires us to keep our distance from others in our community, we can support each other throughout. Connex Foundation is rooted in giving back, and we challenge all multi-site facilities professionals to give back and make a lasting impact.
Connex Foundation Scholarships
As the philanthropic entity of ConnexFM, Connex Foundation continues to make dedicated efforts to provide support for the multi-site facilities community by awarding scholarships to U.S. and Canadian individuals pursuing a career in the industry. This year, Connex Foundation uniquely positioned itself to marshal resources to help make a difference for more individuals by providing four scholarships: two U.S. and two Canadian.
The purpose of the Connex Foundation Scholarship is to assist individuals who are exploring the study of skilled trades or multi-site facilities management with the end goal of advancing their career in this field. The scholarship serves to promote the multi-site facilities industry by attracting students of any age into the field of study and encouraging their pursuit with financial support. The scholarship is open to U.S. and Canadian citizens (or permanent legal residents) who will be full-time students in their career of study.
Scholarship recipients received a one-time $5,000 USD scholarship. In addition, scholarship alternate winners received a one-time $1,000 USD scholarship. Scholarship winners and alternates are encouraged and able to apply in subsequent years for an additional scholarship.
Connex Foundation will open its scholarship application process for 2022 in late fall of 2021. A U.S. or Canadian citizen (or permanent legal resident), full-time student, with a cumulative unweighted GPA of 2.5 or higher can apply.
U.S. Scholarship Winner
Madison Area Technical College
Intended Career: Plumber
U.S. Alternate Scholarship Winner
Intended Career: Construction Superintendent
Canadian Scholarship Winner
Intended Career: Plumber
Canadian Alternate Scholarship Winner
Intended Career: Carpenter
More information on Connex Foundation Scholarships can be found at connexfoundation.org/scholarship-opportunities.