Raise your hand if you've already broken your New Year's Resolution to either workout, start your diet, quit smoking, stop swearing, and so on. These are things that are really best accomplished when you're ready, not when the calendar says you are. But if you are someone who likes to make plans and set goals around the new year but always seem to break them in the first few weeks, I have an idea. This year, instead of trying to do something for yourself, why not make a resolution to give back-whether to a charity, local organization or someone you know. What inspired me was what Panera of New Jersey did with all of their extra change that accumulated in their change boxes. Read below...
Don’t think those nickels, dimes and pennies add up to much? Think again. Panera Bread donated $50,000 to the Community Food Bank of New Jersey yesterday (December 15) by matching the loose change donated in their coin boxes this past year. At a time when local charities and food banks have struggled to keep their balances out of the red and their shelves stocked, large donations like these are essential to their survival.
Panera Bread owner Jim Nawn echoed that sentiment, “The local food banks we support provide a vital service to our communities and we are grateful to be a small part of that. We couldn’t make this kind of impact without the help of our loyal customers. ”
Panera Bread has partnered with local food banks for 10 years in a row now averaging more than $100,000 in financial and food contributions annually.
So while I'm not suggesting you raise $50,00 this year, but you can start putting away pennies and nickels you find either in your car, in the sofa, on the floor or in your washing machine! See how it all adds up at the end of the year. Any contribution to the Food Bank of NJ or any charity of your choice is always appreciated. I already have my loose change jar ready to collect!
PHOTO: Jim Nawn, President of Panera Bread in Northern New Jersey presents a check for $50,000 to Kathleen DiChiara of The Community Food Bank of New Jersey.