By DENNIS ANSTINE
During its 60 years of existence, One Call for All has been a charity drive that depends on the philanthropic nature of individual islanders.
Businesses certainly have been involved, too, but their emphasis often needs to be placed on employees and keeping their doors open from year to year.
But when survival is not a problem and a business wants to share its profits with the community that supports it, One Call for All (OCFA) is a perfect distributor because of its wide community reach.
Howard Block, co-owner of Bay Hay & Feed, will take that step on the Friday and Saturday after Thanksgiving Day when it partners with OCFA by donating 15 percent of its sales on those days to the nonprofit. (A minimum of $1,500 will be donated by the business.)
After each purchase, customers will choose which nonprofits affiliated with OCFA will receive their donations. Representatives from OCFA will be at the Rolling Bay business to answer questions.
“We’re just trying to give back more and more to a community that has been great to us,” Block said. “We also see this as sort of a pilot program for the idea of ‘Buy Local and Give Local’ to strengthen our community as a whole.”
Bob Linz, One Call’s executive director, said partnering with businesses isn’t new but it’s been difficult for One Call during the last couple of years.
“It’s a wonderful gesture and it will help us raise some money during a tough year,” Linz said. “We’re down from last year in gross amounts donated, but it’s still early.”
Block and Els Heyne, who was recently hired as Bay Hay & Feed’s marketing and sustainability director, came up with the idea. Heyne has been involved in several island causes, including as an OCFA board member.
“We chose Black Friday (and Saturday) to do this because it’s always been a ‘mall day’ on the island,” Block said. “If we can tweak that a little and get people to think about the local community maybe it’ll help those who need assistance. We can afford it and maybe other businesses will get involved in the future.”
Block said their employees are excited about it.
“They like the idea and are hyped about running it,” Block said. “They’re enthusiastic about it being a special day for the community. A lot of them live on the island, so giving back is important to them.”
For more information, contact Els Heyne at 842-2813 or firstname.lastname@example.org.