CORAL SPRINGS, FL - Last Thanksgiving, Aimee Tarte was preparing to serve a free community dinner for foster children with autism and others when she realized nearly at the last minute that she needed chairs and tables for her guests.
So the owner of Lady and the Mug coffee shop in Coral Springs reached out to a nonprofit friend she met through the group Chamber For Good. Her friend, Abby Mosher, executive director of Tomorrow’s Rainbow in Coconut Creek, responded right away, showing up on the holiday with chairs and tables for the crowd to enjoy a warm dinner.
“Without her, my event would probably not have been able to happen,” Tarte said.
That’s the goal of Chamber For Good: bring businesses and nonprofits together to raise awareness about causes, get involved in the community, and solve local needs – no matter how small. The group, part of Coral Springs Coconut Creek Regional Chamber of Commerce, meets every three months to catch up on issues, network, and learn new skills.
Over the years, Chamber For Good has helped local nonprofits raise money, find board members and boost their volunteerism through relationships made with business owners during the meetings, said Cindy Brief, the chamber’s president and CEO.
“We have so many nonprofits in our city that do amazing things. However, many of them aren’t meeting the right people who can help them. So by connecting them with businesses, we ensure the success of our whole community,” Brief said.
David Plath, who heads up Chamber For Good, said he hopes the group continues to expand its role by organizing volunteer and board development fairs which will give more business employees the chance to be involved in charitable work.
“The for-profits are there to make profit, but they also have to understand that there’s a way to help nonprofits,” said Plath, director of development for the nonprofit Equine-Assisted Therapies of South Florida.
At a recent meeting, group members shared successes of business-nonprofits collaborations. Tarte’s story about the chairs and tables was one of them. She, who is CEO of her own nonprofit Tarte’s Hearts, is grateful for the opportunity to have met Mosher whose quick actions saved Tarte’s Thanksgiving event.
“It’s a connection I made here with Chamber For Good, and it was really awesome,” Tarte said.