OCS Cares (A Lot): 2023 Philanthropy Recap
The leaves have fallen in Minnesota and the air is crisp on the East Coast, which can only mean that winter is coming! Before we jump ahead, let’s take some time to reflect on November’s “giving season.”
November was not only National Gratitude Month, but National Philanthropy Day was on the 15th, and the globally celebrated Giving Tuesday was on the 28th. Let’s not forget Thanksgiving, the infamous “I am thankful for” holiday that’s nestled in between.
These occasions remind people everywhere to be grateful for what we have; to give to those in need; and to embody the changes we want to see in the world through acts of kindness and consideration.
One of the hallmarks of Oakmont Capital Services is our commitment to our values, and philanthropy aligns perfectly with these principles. It’s more than just writing a check; it’s about taking action, including volunteering our time, sharing resources, and supporting causes close to our hearts.
Our Volunteer Time Off (VTO) allotment – 16 hours annually – is a testament to this commitment. It’s rather remarkable that OCS pays us to pay it forward. For this, we are thankful.
So, as the temperature continues to drop, the OCS Family wants to take the opportunity to fill hearts with warmth as we look back on the exceptional philanthropic efforts that the OCS team has accomplished so far in 2023.
From Albany, Minnesota to West Chester, Pennsylvania, both of Oakmont Capital Services branches have been nothing short of inspiring in their philanthropic efforts. Everyone on the team has made it possible for others. Proof that OCS cares (a lot!).
Altruism in Albany
Throughout 2023, the Minnesota branch volunteered and got involved in a wide range of causes.
The 49th Annual Pioneer Days Thrashing Show featured tractors, equipment, and more for visitors to Albany’s Pioneer Club.
Pioneer Days and Holiday Lights
This season, OCS sponsored and set up lights for the local holiday drive-through display of old-timey buildings and farm equipment at the Pioneer Club.
Zonta’s Christmas House
Zonta’s Christmas House is held on the weekend before Thanksgiving. For that Friday evening and Saturday, a house in the St. Cloud, MN area is decorated for Christmas by several local designers and stores. The house is then opened to the public for viewing for a small donation. All funds go towards local and international programs that benefit women and children. Oakmont contributed to the cause as an EMERALD event sponsor, along with volunteering at the Christmas House.
The Zonta Club, or Zonta International, is an organization that advocates for women’s rights, education, and more.
The OCS team got back to basics when they volunteered with a first-grade class. To discover how you can make a difference in a student’s life, visit https://jausa.ja.org.
ELFF Guest Lecture at St. Cloud State University
Through ELFF, or the Equipment Leasing & Finance Foundation, Kayla Perlinger and Mikki Henkelman guest lectured at St. Cloud State University, educating the next generation on career options in the equipment finance industry.
A team of OCS volunteers worked hard to pick up litter and debris along a local road. Seeing the impact was a rewarding experience, and we’re proud to have been a part of such a meaningful cause.
The Albany Food Shelf
This donation drive for a local food cupboard was a success with over 100 items donated!
Hunger Solutions, a Minnesota non-profit, estimates one in nine Minnesotans are food insecure, uncertain where their next meal will come from. (Source: MPR News)
Quiet Oaks provides hospice and respite care services for people whose families need help caring for their loved ones or those nearing the end of their lives. Team OCS took time to do yard work (pictured above) on the grounds and bake cookies for residents (pictured below).
St. Cloud Hospital
Each week 20 to 25 blankets are distributed to young people in the Emergency Trauma Center at St. Cloud Hospital. Over 40 yards of fleece were purchased and donated by OCS to this comforting cause.
Henry’s Heroes is a local non-profit that supports NICU families in Central Minnesota. Several team members went to St. Martin’s for the inaugural 2.5-mile walk to raise funds and awareness for this special cause. The organization was able to raise over $25,000 and had over 500 walkers. #PreemieStrong
Pockets of Hope
Pockets of Hope provides backpacks filled with essential supplies to children who are abruptly removed from their homes and put into the MN foster care system. Our team donated 14 backpacks!
Pockets of Hope has donated over 2400 backpacks so far!
The NPK H.E.R.O Foundation was founded after the Koenig’s lost their son, Nicholas, to cancer at the age of 4. Their mission is to support other families dealing with pediatric cancer. In 2023, OCS attended the NPK Annual Bean Bag Tournament, donating over $1000 worth of children’s underwear for pediatric units. The team also helped prep for NPK’s fall festival.
Going the Extra Mile with Golf
We love to golf…so, why not tee off for charity? That’s exactly what Albany did.
- Albany Avon Fire Dept. Annual Golf Fundraiser
- Annual Breast Cancer Golf Tournament
- Holdingford Huskers Booster Club Golf Tournament
- INDY Foundation Golf Hole Sponsorship
- Mother of Mercy Golf Tournament
- Sam Garland Memorial Tournament
Opening One’s Heart (and Wallet!)
Philanthropy is much more than dollars and cents but without money, many charities, organizations, and other non-profits couldn’t operate. Monetary contributions from our North Star State family included:
- Albany American Legion Auxiliary
- Albany Area Education Foundation
- Albany Fishing Team
- Albany High School
- Avon Elementary Caps for Adaptive Playground Equipment
- Hemker Brew at the Zoo
- Holy Family School
- Zonta Club
It’s All in the Family
Saving the best for last, a sincere thank you to those who served on the Minnesota Philanthropy Committee in 2023.
Positive People in Pennsylvania
West Chester embraced the spirit of giving for the following charities and non-profits.
Earlier this year, we asked what initiatives our West Chester Branch would be interested in, and the number one answer was animals. We then started what has now become a beautiful relationship with one of the leading, no-kill shelters in the area.
Lending a Paw to Volunteer
In April, we helped prep for the Walk 4 Paws Fundraiser at their admin building and then received a tour of their Phoenixville facility. Cue the theme to Reservoir Dogs.
The Walk 4 Paws Fundraiser was held at West Goshen Community Park and included everything from a petting zoo, doggie yoga, a color run, a doggie obstacle course, dog-friendly baked goods, and more. OCS attendees walked the 1k.
OCS donated $704 to the Walk 4 Paws fundraiser!
MEGA Adoption Day
Over 1000 homeless puppies, kittens, dogs, and cats were brought together for one weekend to find a forever home and family. OCS’ volunteers helped assemble crates for their MEGA Adoption Day.
During this MEGA Adoption event,1,469 animals were matched with families, which is a new record for the organization and its partners.
The West Chester Food Cupboard, or WCFC, is the PA branch’s go-to for volunteering. Not only is it close to our office, but the people there are kind and grateful.
During our first volunteer day, OCS donated $500 to the organization.
Food and Toiletry Drives
We held two food and toiletry drives for the West Chester Food Cupboard in 2023. The first was in the spring, which is a slow season for food pantries. 62 pounds of food and toiletries were donated.
The second was focused on the very busy season of Thanksgiving. We were humbled to donate 127 pounds of food and toiletries.
Laurel House is a domestic violence shelter for women, men, and children.
After a Laurel House representative presented a virtual Lunch & Learn for our office, the team was ready to jump on board and start working with the organization. The OCS PA team completed two donation drives: one focused on school supplies and the other on gently used clothing.
We donated over 1000 individual school supplies and $150 in gift cards in August. In the fall, we dropped off 10 boxes and 10 bags of gently used clothing for women, men, and children.
In November, OCS attended the St. Jude Walk/Run in Philadelphia at the old Navy Yard Marine Parade Grounds.
It’s All in the Family 2.0
Thank you to those of you who served on the West Chester Philanthropy Committee in 2023.
Generosity Across State Lines
The impact of Oakmont Capital Services’ philanthropic efforts can be felt and seen on a local level in both states. Together, however, we united to give back to those that live beyond our backyard.
Maui Fire Relief Donations
NEFA Fall Symposium Charity Event Sponsorship
Equipment Finance Cares Event Sponsorship
Feeling inspired? There is still time to volunteer, donate, and get into the spirit of philanthropy during the most wonderful time of the year and beyond. The recipe for doing and being good? A whole lot of integrity mixed with compassion, and a dash of a smile. We can’t wait to see what 2024 holds. Thank you, OCS Family, for your generosity, dedication, and big heart.
By: Mikki Henkelman, VP Credit & Risk and CLFP, Kayla Perlinger, VP Syndications and CLFP, and Ana Suarez, Mar. Comm. Specialist
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