As a company, we committed to giving generously to our community starting with our first Warehouse Sale back in 2013.
Our original headquarters were in Hastings, Minnesota, a smaller community about 20 miles south of Minneapolis/St. Paul. Hastings is a wonderful community with a small-town feel, making it a great home base to launch a community give-back program.
Storm Creek’s Giving Background
We started simply by partnering with Hastings Family Services to donate money, collect canned goods and provide warm Storm Creek garments to help the needs of families in the local community.
Soon we wanted to expand our reach so we could help more people and partner with a variety of causes. At the time we didn’t have a big marketing budget, but we had a lot of connections throughout the Hastings community. We asked others to help spread the word so more charities could receive 10% of our sales profits.
As you can imagine, it didn’t take long to find other causes and organizations. We became well-known in Hastings and were able to make a significant impact for better.
Then we began to think bigger—both about the impact we could make and the size of the Warehouse Sale we could host. So we started to reach out to national organizations as well. One of the first was One Percent for the Planet giving us the chance to help a variety of established non-profits with a common cause of improving and sustaining our planet, including the National Park Foundation. Another has been Feeding America, our country’s biggest hunger-relief organization.
We also raised the stakes internally in 2020 by committing ourselves to give a total of five million dollars to charity by 2030. We knew it wouldn’t be easy, but we wanted a big goal to reach for!
And yet while we began to work with national causes, we didn’t want to disregard the smaller community-based, local organizations who had been faithful partners with us at the start of our philanthropy movement. Their great causes continue to be near and dear to our hearts.
So in 2022, we decided to establish the Storm Creek Community Fund.
How the Storm Creek Community Fund Works
Through our annual Warehouse Sale, we’re able to give thousands of dollars to various non-profit organizations. Some of these are the bigger national non-profits. In addition, through our Community Fund (SCCF), we’re also able to give to many different smaller and local causes.
Here’s how we do it…
Every fall we invite people to apply for donations from the SCCF. These applications can be from the organizations themselves or from people who wish to nominate an organization—maybe one they’re connected with or one they’ve benefitted from.
There are three ways we can help. Applicants can choose one, two or all three of them:
- Monetary Support—a request for dollars along with a note about how the donation would be used.
- Apparel/Jacket Donations—clothing and outerwear is provided to organizations who will, in turn, distribute the items to the people they serve.
- Warehouse Sale volunteer opportunities—We love having like-minded people work our sale with us! We pay them an hourly rate and the total amount goes directly to the applying organization.
We have a rotating group of internal Ambassadors who review the requests and allocate the funds. It’s a great way to involve employees in our give back mission! All of the Storm Creek team promotes the sale to their family and friends, and are proud to show off Storm Creek’s products and the good we’re able to do.
Our employees can also nominate organizations throughout the year, in fact, we encourage them to do so. This includes donations to specific causes, garments for silent auctions, and giving (either monetary or apparel) to the charities that mean the most to them and their families. We’d love for each of our team members have the opportunity to request support from the SCCF.
Where SCCF Will Go From Here
During last year alone (2022), our cash and apparel donations topped $200,000 through the Storm Creek Community Fund.
As we expand our footprint locally and nationally through all our giving partners, we’re thankful to have these opportunities to benefit people and our natural environment in so many ways. We’re eager to take our Community Fund to new heights as part of our decade-long journey to our $5 million giving goal!