Disclosure: Chevrolet provided goods and services to me and my family as part of this campaign. All opinions are my own.
I often see news reports about companies making donations but recently I was honored to be able to actually participate in a wonderful act of giving by Chevrolet! They even included my family which is something that always wins my heart. No, Chevy didn’t give us a new Equinox and $500, well they did but what we kept was a kick-start into the holiday season and a reminder about the joy of giving. Read the story…
As part of a fun-filled weekend in Chicago, Chevrolet gave me a $500 Visa gift card and sent my family on a quest. Isn’t that fantastic? It was like a dream come true! We jumped into our sleigh (an amazing new Chevy Equinox) and took off to buy gifts for a local charity. What would you do with a sleigh and $500? I felt like the Grinch – with my heart growing bigger and bigger (but hopefully starting out with a better attitude than that dude). It was a snowy weekend and we were able to test the all-wheel drive, thumbs up!
The thank you from the charity can tell you about their need better than I can. “We are in our 6th year and have never had an official art budget, art room or art teacher. When the school opened in 2010 with no art curriculum (nor a plan for any), I knew that I couldn’t let 325 kids go without art; so some parents and I organized to bring art into the classrooms every other week. I had an art background and wrote curriculum so parents would be less stressed in their class planning. In the first year, volunteer parents paid for all the art supplies themselves. In years 2 and 3, the school gave us a small budget of $500 to use on supplies (we did a lot of recycling) and we started fundraising in small ways; sometimes growing it up to $900 to use each year. I kept a small closet in the school’s basement as stocked as I could. By our 4th year, we began collecting $5 per student during registration and that helped, but still doesn’t cover all the projects we’d like to accomplish now that our school has grown to over 500 students! With an average of $1800/year to use on supplies, it still falls short. Your gift solved that problem for our 2015-16 school year! I couldn’t be more grateful!”
I’m a huge believer of the importance of art in schools but it is unfortunately one of the first programs to be hit when there are budget deficits. But wait it gets even better! Read more: “The gift will also act as a “match-in-kind” for an Arts Commission Grant that I’ve procured for the last 3 years. Those grant dollars allow students to travel to art museums to get to see all kinds of art each year. Many would never have such experiences without it. So you can see that you’ve benefited us in more than one way. Our 533 students and their families thank you, my volunteer art teachers thank you, and I especially thank you! Chevrolet is helping kids ‘keep art in their hearts’ (as I always tell them)…we’ll think of Chevy as the ‘Artbeat of America’.”
How can you not feel good about that? Wow. I will always be thankful to Chevy for letting me be a part of this adventure. And an adventure, it was. When we contacted the Art Coordinator of the school, we asked her to guide us on what to purchase so that we would get the most impact for our dollar. (I’m a frugal shopper, what can I say?) She went to an art supply store and took pictures of what would most benefit the program. My mom, my daughter and I headed to the store later that day, armed with the pictures on our phone. It was a blast shopping for the supplies, kind of like a scavenger hunt. We knew from the picture what the shelf looked like and what supply to get, we just had to find it in the store. Well, much laughter and rushing from aisle to aisle later, we had carts full! My mom worried that what we had would be more than $500 because we had so much, but I kept my fingers crossed and guess what? This was actually kind of freaky, we bought 96 items and you won’t believe what the total was…. $500.04!! Seriously. How incredible is that? Neither the art teacher or myself had done anything more than vaguely adding up as we shopped, but it came to only 4 cents over. Meant to be.
But we weren’t finished yet. My daughter and I still had to deliver everything to the school. We had so much fun decorating the “sleigh” and making a sign. Then we “donned” our Santa hats and took off. The Art Coordinator and some art students met us at the door and unloaded all the much-needed and much-welcomed supplies. I’ll tell you, it doesn’t get much better than that.
I was so impressed with my “sleigh”, the Chevy Equinox, that there just might be more posts to come with details about the features, but briefly these were my favorite. You know that I’m a technology fan and the tech in this car was ah-mazing. Starting with the in-car w-fi. Wowza. My daughter, who isn’t allowed to eat up our data watching You Tube videos unless she’s connected to wi-fi, was in heaven. Then moving on to the MyLink which connects many of the functions on your phone to the technology of the car. For example, not only can you check the weather (yeah, yeah, blah, blah)…. wait for it… you can check the times of movies at your local theater!! Seriously. Now that’s cool. My husband loved that you could check… wait for it again… the gas prices at stations within a radius of your location. SERIOUSLY. Too cool.
After the kid-in-me calmed down (well, not really) about the technology, the mom-in-me loved the safety features. I’m a pretty safe driver, but like anyone that drives a lot, I can get a little sloppy. The safety features in the Chevy Equinox actually made it fun to drive better. Really. This cool thing that tracked whether you stayed in your lane and whether you were too close to the vehicle in front of you (collision alert) was actually kind of fun. Not only did it keep me in my lane and maintaining a proper distance from the vehicle in front of me, it also kept me using my turn signal. Because the lane departure warning system wouldn’t record an out-of-lane when you used your turn signal and turned or changed lanes, it actually motivated me to remember to signal. BUT THE BEST safety feature? The blind spot mirrors. I hate the blind spot, don’t you? I know that I’m not supposed to turn and look to my left before I change lanes, but I do anyway. So often there is a car in the blind spot, despite the fact that I regularly say, “C’mon buddy, don’t ride in my blind spot.” They don’t listen, you know. Well the side mirrors on the Chevy Equinox have an indicator that lights up if there is a vehicle in your blind spot. So, before you change lanes, you look in the side mirror and if the light is on, you wait. If not, you go ahead and change lanes. Cool. Very cool. Very safe.
I could go on and on about the features of the Chevy Equinox. Oh wait, I kinda did. But there are actually many more (like automatic, everything!). Yup, there will be more posts with more details. Stay tuned.
Chevy kick started my charitable feelings and I hope this story will do the same for you. It’s the time of year to remember to help others that may not be as fortunate as we are.
Teach your children that the real joy is in giving.
To learn more about the Equinox, go to the Chevrolet website here.