“None of us ever want to imagine our kids, or any child, without the basic comforts in life—so the work Sleep Tight Kids does is a no-brainer,” says Ashley Gragtmans, CFP® Financial Advisor at Parsec Financial, which earlier this year awarded Sleep Tight Kids with $10,000 through its Parsec Prize.
The prize was introduced in 1995, and is given annually to nonprofit community organizations that fall under a broad rubric of education and economic development within Western North Carolina the Charlotte metro area. Roughly one percent of Parsec’s gross revenue each year is dedicated to prize recipients—which have totaled 61 organizations since its inception. In 2016, a total of $100,000 was awarded to 10 organizations. Recipients are chosen based on their ability to improve the quality of life and access to meaningful opportunities for those they serve.
As Western North Carolina continues to struggle with child poverty, Sleep Tight Kids is pushing to expand and reach as many children as possible with tangible items of nighttime comfort in times of greatest need—blankets, pajamas, stuffed animals, and more. Of the counties currently served by Sleep Tight Kids (Buncombe, Haywood, Henderson, Jackson, Madison, McDowell, Transylvania, and Yancey), the majority saw a rate of around 30 percent of kids living below the poverty line in 2013. By comparison, the U.S. average for children under the age of 18 living in poverty is 21 percent; in North Carolina, the average is 25 percent. A restful night’s sleep is often in short supply for those children and their families.
“Committee members had never heard of Sleep Tight Kids,” says Gragtmans, “but we all immediately saw the need for such an organization in our community. We are excited to see what they are able to do and provide to our community as they grow—and we are glad we could help them take another step in that direction.”
Parsec, a wealth management firm with offices in Asheville, Charlotte, Southern Pines, and Tryon, has built its company culture around the idea giving back the community. “We try to foster a culture of giving by not only donating to the organizations that Parsec believes in, but by giving to the organizations that the employees believe in as well,” says Gragtmans. “We do this by offering a two-for-one matching program”—i.e., for every dollar an employee donates to a nonprofit of his or her choice, Parsec will donate two, effectively tripling the size of the donation. (The Parsec Prize represents half of the company’s total annual charitable giving, with the rest coming through employee matches, community sponsorships, and other donations.) “We believe this is one of the things that sets us apart as an employer and firm, and we think our employees feel that way as well,” concludes Gragtmans.
INTRODUCING THE DIPJAR
While the $10,000 Parsec Prize is the largest donation yet to Sleep Tight Kids, small gifts can be just as important—and Sleep Tight Kids is using a new method that makes giving as little $3 as simple as possible. DipJars are an electronic solution for cashless giving—replacing a typical donation box or tip jar. Be on the lookout for the bright blue Sleep Tight Kids–branded DipJars at businesses around town (and at the Asheville Downtown Association mixer at Spicer-Greene Jewelers on Dec. 1, where Sleep Tight Kids will be the featured nonprofit). With just a quick credit card swipe, the DipJar enables small on-the-go donations, and provides messaging about what that gift buys (for instance, 20 blankets for $10).
Locations for December include:
The Little Gym, 1000 Brevard Rd., Suite 168
M-Th 9am-6pm, F 9am-4pm, Sa 9am-6pm, Su 2pm-6pm
Asheville Racquet Club Downtown, One Resort Drive
M-F 5am-9pm, Sa 7am-9pm, Su 7am-8pm
Asheville Racquet Club South, 200 Racquet Club Rd.
M-Th 5am-9:30pm, F 5am-8pm, Sa 7am-8pm, Su 8am-8pm
Want to host a Sleep Tight Kids DipJar in your own business, or know of a business that may be interested? Inquire now about having one installed.