Spreading the Warmth!

Season of Giving

Well, it has been over 2 weeks since our 2nd Annual Big Summer Fundraiser and wow, what a success it was!  With over 350 supporters in attendance, we rocked out to 80’s jams performed live by AM/FM, sampled some amazing food and danced the night away!  It was even better than we imagined and we look forward to next year’s event!  Together, we raised more than $10K for our mission to help Nebraskans in need!  Now the real work begins…

We are now in the process of scheduling our coat drives and distributions for the coming season.  We know we will be able to count on our consistent partners such as CIP, The Lund Company and The Seldin Company in addition to many others.  We are also reaching out to other companies and organization who can help us collect enough coats to meet the overwhelming need.  If you think your company would be interested in hosting a coat drive, please email me at dave@awarmerday.org so we can discuss it.  We need coats! 

On the distribution side, we expect that we will once again be partnering with The F Street Community Center, Nebraska City Public Schools, The Barnabus Project and Blue Valley.  We have been in discussions with several new distribution points as well and hope to announce those partnerships soon!  If you are aware of an organization who would like to work with us on a coat distribution, please contact dave@awarmerday.org.  Remember, we also do direct distribution so if you know someone who could use a warm winter coat, please have them reach out, or you can get the coats from us for them. 

As we get into our busy season, our need for volunteers will only grow.  Specifically, we are seeking volunteers in the Omaha area who can help us transport coat and find partners in that city.  Please reach out if you know of anyone who may be able to assist.   

Thank you for your support of A Warmer Day!  Enjoy these last days of summer!! 

Harsh Truths

Below is an article that I came across a few years ago and it really spoke to me.  In fact, part of the reason why A Warmer Day exists today and is not merely a dream or a conversation topic between Valerie and I, has to do with this article.  

I firmly believe that most people have good in their hearts and want to do good things.  The trouble is that most of us rarely act on those impulses so all of that good remains locked away where it does not help anyone.  Imagine how the world would be impacted if all of those good thoughts were manifested into acts of kindness.  Valerie and I literally thought and talked about A Warmer Day for years before we acted upon it.  Imagine how many more people A Warmer Day could have helped had only we acted sooner.

This article is not for the faint of heart.  It is direct and for me, eye opening.  It was written for Cracked.com which is a publication geared toward young men but it’s message can be applied to all of us and anything we want to accomplish.  It was full of language that I have cleaned up for publication here.  There are also additional pictures and videos that I did not include.  If you want to read the original script, a quick google search of the title will allow you to do just that.

Despite the crude language, I believe this article is genius.  For me, it delivered a much needed kick in the pants.  If you do not dismiss it due to it’s intended audience or writing style, it just might do the same for you.  This article does not mince words.  It speaks directly to the issue at hand which is “what do you bring to the table?”.  While it is great to have good intentions, history will judge us for our actions.

For me, this article partly inspired me to stop thinking and start acting.  If it does the same for you, and you want to be a part of something that can help others and our community, email me at dave@awarmerday.org and we can discuss ways for you to be involved.  Until then, I hope you enjoy the article as much as I.

-Dave Conde, President & Founder of A Warmer Day

6 Harsh Truths that will Make You a Better Person

-By David Wong

Feel free to stop reading this if your career is going great, you’re thrilled with your life, and you’re happy with your relationships. Enjoy the rest of your day, friend, this article is not for you. You’re doing a great job, we’re all proud of you. So you don’t feel like you wasted your click, here’s a picture of Lenny Kravitz wearing a gigantic scarf.

For the rest of you, I want you to try something: Name five impressive things about yourself. Write them down or just shout them out loud to the room. But here’s the catch — you’re not allowed to list anything you are (i.e., I’m a nice guy, I’m honest), but instead can only list things that you do (i.e., I just won a national chess tournament, I make the best chili in Massachusetts). If you found that difficult, well, this is for you, and you are going to hate hearing it. My only defense is that this is what I wish somebody had said to me around 1995 or so.

6 – The World Only Cares About What It Can Get from You

Let’s say that the person you love the most has just been shot. He or she is lying in the street, bleeding and screaming. A guy rushes up and says, “Step aside.” He looks over your loved one’s bullet wound and pulls out a pocket knife — he’s going to operate right there in the street.

“OK, which one is the injured one?”

You ask, “Are you a doctor?”

The guy says, “No.”

You say, “But you know what you’re doing, right? You’re an old Army medic, or …”

At this point the guy becomes annoyed. He tells you that he is a nice guy, he is honest, he is always on time. He tells you that he is a great son to his mother and has a rich life full of fulfilling hobbies, and he boasts that he never uses foul language.

Confused, you say, “How does any of that matter when my [wife/husband/best friend/parent] is lying here bleeding! I need somebody who knows how to operate on bullet wounds! Can you do that or not?!?”

Now the man becomes agitated — why are you being shallow and selfish? Do you not care about any of his other good qualities? Didn’t you just hear him say that he always remembers his girlfriend’s birthday? In light of all of the good things he does, does it really matter if he knows how to perform surgery?

In that panicked moment, you will take your bloody hands and shake him by the shoulders, screaming, “Yes, I’m saying that none of that other stuff matters, because in this specific situation, I just need somebody who can stop the bleeding, you crazy lunatic.”

“I don’t get it. Would it help if I put on a lab jacket? Here, one sec, let me just …”

So here is my terrible truth about the adult world: You are in that very situation every single day. Only you are the confused guy with the pocket knife. All of society is the bleeding gunshot victim.

f you want to know why society seems to shun you, or why you seem to get no respect, it’s because society is full of people who need things. They need houses built, they need food to eat, they need entertainment, they need fulfilling sexual relationships. You arrived at the scene of that emergency, holding your pocket knife, by virtue of your birth — the moment you came into the world, you became part of a system designed purely to see to people’s needs.

Either you will go about the task of seeing to those needs by learning a unique set of skills, or the world will reject you, no matter how kind, giving, and polite you are. You will be poor, you will be alone, you will be left out in the cold.

Does that seem mean, or crass, or materialistic? What about love and kindness — don’t those things matter? Of course. As long as they result in you doing things for people that they can’t get elsewhere. For you see …

5 – The Hippies Were Wrong

For those of you who haven’t seen it, one if the greatest scenes in the history of movies is the famous speech Alec Baldwin gives in the cinematic masterpiece Glengarry Glenn Ross. Baldwin’s character — whom you assume is the villain — addresses a room full of dudes and tears them a new asshole, telling them that they’re all about to be fired unless they “close” the sales they’ve been assigned:

“Nice guy? I don’t care. Good father? Whatever! Go home and play with your kids. If you want to work here, close.”

Click here for tickets to BACK TO THE 80’S!, our Big Summer Fundraiser!

It’s brutal, rude, and borderline sociopathic, and also it is an honest and accurate expression of what the world is going to expect from you. The difference is that, in the real world, people consider it so wrong to talk to you that way that they’ve decided it’s better to simply let you keep failing.

That scene changed my life. I’d program my alarm clock to play it for me every morning if I knew how. Alec Baldwin was nominated for an Oscar for that movie and that’s the only scene he’s in. As smarter people have pointed out, the genius of that speech is that half of the people who watch it think that the point of the scene is “Wow, what must it be like to have such an asshole boss?” and the other half think, “Hell yeah, let’s go out and sell some real estate!”

Or, as the Last Psychiatrist blog put it:

“If you were in that room, some of you would understand this as a work, but feed off the energy of the message anyway, welcome the coach’s cursing at you, ‘this guy is awesome!’; while some of you would take it personally, this guy is a jerk, you have no right to talk to me like that, or — the standard maneuver when narcissism is confronted with a greater power — quietly seethe and fantasize about finding information that will out him as a hypocrite. So satisfying.”

That excerpt is from an insightful critique of “hipsters” and why they seem to have so much trouble getting jobs (that doesn’t begin to do it justice, go read the whole thing), and the point is that the difference in those two attitudes — bitter vs. motivated — largely determines whether or not you’ll succeed in the world. For instance, some people want to respond to that speech with Tyler Durden’s line from Fight Club: “You are not your job.”

But, well, actually, you totally are. Granted, your “job” and your means of employment might not be the same thing, but in both cases you are nothing more than the sum total of your useful skills. For instance, being a good mother is a job that requires a skill. It’s something a person can do that is useful to other members of society. But make no mistake: Your “job” — the useful thing you do for other people — is all you are.

There is a reason why surgeons get more respect than comedy writers. There is a reason mechanics get more respect than unemployed hipsters. There is a reason your job will become your label if your death makes the news (“NFL Linebacker Dies in Murder/Suicide”). Tyler said, “You are not your job,” but he also founded and ran a successful soap company and became the head of an international social and political movement. He was totally his job.

It was the irony that many people missed from that movie.

Or think of it this way: Remember when Chick-fil-A came out against gay marriage? And how despite the protests, the company continues to sell millions of sandwiches every day? It’s not because the country agrees with them; it’s because they do their job of making delicious sandwiches well. And that’s all that matters.

You don’t have to like it. I don’t like it when it rains on my birthday. It rains anyway. Clouds form and precipitation happens. People have needs and thus assign value to the people who meet them. These are simple mechanisms of the universe and they do not respond to our wishes.

“This is bull. I have a completely clean criminal record, and this is the thanks I get?”

If you protest that you’re not a shallow capitalist materialist and that you disagree that money is everything, I can only say: Who said anything about money? You’re missing the larger point.

Click here for tickets to BACK TO THE 80’S!, our Big Summer Fundraiser!

4 – What You Produce Does Not Have to Make Money, But It Does Have to Benefit People

Let’s try a non-money example so you don’t get hung up on that. The demographic that Cracked writes for is heavy on 20-something males. So on our message boards and in my many inboxes I read several dozen stories a year from miserable, lonely guys who insist that women won’t come near them despite the fact that they are just the nicest guys in the world. I can explain what is wrong with this mindset, but it would probably be better if I let Alec Baldwin explain it:

In this case, Baldwin is playing the part of the attractive women in your life. They won’t put it as bluntly as he does — society has trained us not to be this honest with people — but the equation is the same. “Nice guy? So what? If you want to work here, close.”

So, what do you bring to the table? Because the Zooey Deschanel lookalike in the bookstore that you’ve been daydreaming about moisturizes her face for an hour every night and feels guilty when she eats anything other than salad for lunch. She’s going to be a surgeon in 10 years. What do you do?

“Well, I’m real good at capture the flag.”

“What, so you’re saying that I can’t get girls like that unless I have a nice job and make lots of money?”

No, your brain jumps to that conclusion, so you have an excuse to write off everyone who rejects you by thinking that they’re just being shallow and selfish. I’m asking what do you offer? Are you smart? Funny? Interesting? Talented? Ambitious? Creative? OK, now what do you do to demonstrate those attributes to the world? Don’t say that you’re a nice guy — that’s the bare minimum. Pretty girls have guys being nice to them 36 times a day. The patient is bleeding in the street. Do you know how to operate or not?

“Well, I’m not sexist or racist or greedy or shallow or abusive! Not like those other douchebags!”

I’m sorry, I know that this is hard to hear, but if all you can do is list a bunch of faults you don’t have, then back away from the patient. There’s a witty, handsome guy with a promising career ready to step in and operate.

Does that break your heart? OK, so now what? Are you going to mope about it, or are you going to learn how to do surgery? It’s up to you, but don’t complain about how girls fall for jerks; they fall for those jerks because those jerks have other things they can offer. “But I’m a great listener!” Are you? Because you’re willing to sit quietly in exchange for the chance to be in the proximity of a pretty girl (and spend every second imagining how soft her skin must be)? Well guess what, there’s another guy in her life who also knows how to do that, and he can play the guitar. Saying that you’re a nice guy is like a restaurant whose only selling point is that the food doesn’t make you sick. You’re like a new movie whose title is This Movie Is in English, and its tagline is “The actors are clearly visible.”

I think this is why you can be a “nice guy” and still feel terrible about yourself. Specifically …

3 – You Hate Yourself Because You Don’t Do Anything

“So, what, you’re saying that I should pick up a book on how to get girls?”

Only if step one in the book is “Start making yourself into the type of person girls want to be around.”

Because that’s the step that gets skipped — it’s always “How can I get a job?” and not “How can I become the type of person employers want?” It’s “How can I get pretty girls to like me?” instead of “How can I become the type of person that pretty girls like?” See, because that second one could very well require giving up many of your favorite hobbies and paying more attention to your appearance, and God knows what else. You might even have to change your personality.

“But why can’t I find someone who just likes me for me?” you ask. The answer is because humans need things. The victim is bleeding, and all you can do is look down and complain that there aren’t more gunshot wounds that just fix themselves?

“But I’m not good at anything!” Well, I have good news — throw enough hours of repetition at it and you can get sort of good at anything. I was the world’s worst writer when I was an infant. I was only slightly better at 25. But while I was failing miserably at my career, I wrote in my spare time for eight straight years, an article a week, before I ever made real money off it. It took 13 years for me to get good enough to make the New York Times best-seller list. It took me probably 20,000 hours of practice to sand the edges off my sucking.

Don’t like the prospect of pouring all of that time into a skill? Well, I have good news and bad news. The good news is that the sheer act of practicing will help you come out of your shell — I got through years of tedious office work because I knew that I was learning a unique skill on the side. People quit because it takes too long to see results, because they can’t figure out that the process is the result.

The bad news is that you have no other choice. If you want to work here, close.

Because in my non-expert opinion, you don’t hate yourself because you have low self-esteem, or because other people were mean to you. You hate yourself because you don’t do anything. Not even you can just “love you for you” — that’s why you’re miserable and sending me private messages asking me what I think you should do with your life.

Do the math: How much of your time is spent consuming things other people made (TV, music, video games, websites) versus making your own? Only one of those adds to your value as a human being.

And if you hate hearing this and are responding with something you heard as a kid that sounds like “It’s what’s on the inside that matters!” then I can only say …

2 – What You Are Inside Only Matters Because of What It Makes You Do

Being in the business I’m in, I know dozens of aspiring writers. They think of themselves as writers, they introduce themselves as writers at parties, they know that deep inside, they have the heart of a writer. The only thing they’re missing is that minor final step, where they actually write things.

But really, does that matter? Is “writing things” all that important when deciding who is and who is not truly a “writer”?

For the love of God, yes.

Click here for tickets to BACK TO THE 80’S!, our Big Summer Fundraiser!

I’ve known “writers” who produced less content than what’s on this woman’s grocery list.

See, there’s a common defense to everything I’ve said so far, and to every critical voice in your life. It’s the thing your ego is saying to you in order to prevent you from having to do the hard work of improving: “I know I’m a good person on the inside.” It may also be phrased as “I know who I am” or “I just have to be me.”

Don’t get me wrong; who you are inside is everything — the guy who built a house for his family from scratch did it because of who he was inside. Every bad thing you’ve ever done has started with a bad impulse, some thought ricocheting around inside your skull until you had to act on it. And every good thing you’ve done is the same — “who you are inside” is the metaphorical dirt from which your fruit grows.

But here’s what everyone needs to know, and what many of you can’t accept:

“You” are nothing but the fruit.

Nobody cares about your dirt. “Who you are inside” is meaningless aside from what it produces for other people.

Inside, you have great compassion for poor people. Great. Does that result in you doing anything about it? Do you hear about some terrible tragedy in your community and say, “Oh, those poor children. Let them know that they are in my thoughts”? Because if so — find out what they need and help provide it. A hundred million people watch the infomercials, virtually all of whom kept those poor African children “in their thoughts.” What did the collective power of those good thoughts provide? Nothing. Children die every day because millions of us tell ourselves that caring is just as good as doing. It’s an internal mechanism controlled by the lazy part of your brain to keep you from actually doing work.

“I just wanted to tell you that you’re in my thoughts. Good luck — let me know if that cured you.”

How many of you are walking around right now saying, “She/he would love me if she/he only knew what an interesting person I am!” Really? How do all of your interesting thoughts and ideas manifest themselves in the world? What do they cause you to do? If your dream girl or guy had a hidden camera that followed you around for a month, would they be impressed with what they saw? Remember, they can’t read your mind — they can only observe. Would they want to be a part of that life?

Because all I’m asking you to do is apply the same standard to yourself that you apply to everyone else. Don’t you have that annoying Christian friend whose only offer to help anyone ever is to “pray for them”? Doesn’t it drive you nuts? I’m not even commenting on whether or not prayer works as I firmly believe it does; but that doesnt change the fact that they chose the one type of help that doesn’t require them to get off the sofa. They abstain from every vice, they think clean thoughts, their internal dirt is as pure as can be, but what fruit grows from it? And they should know this better than anybody — I stole the fruit metaphor from the Bible. Jesus said something to the effect of “a tree is judged by its fruit” over and over and over. Granted, Jesus never said, “If you want to work here, close.” No, he said, “Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.”

The people didn’t react well to being told that, just as the salesmen didn’t react well to Alec Baldwin telling them that they needed to grow some balls or resign themselves to shining his shoes. Which brings us to the final point …

1 – Everything Inside You Will Fight Improvement

The human mind is a miracle, and you will never see it spring more beautifully into action than when it is fighting against evidence that it needs to change. Your psyche is equipped with layer after layer of defense mechanisms designed to shoot down anything that might keep things from staying exactly where they are — ask any addict.

So even now, some of you reading this are feeling your brain bombard you with knee-jerk reasons to reject it. From experience, I can say that these seem to come in the form of …

*Intentionally Interpreting Any Criticism as an Insult

“Who is he to call me lazy and worthless! A good person would never talk to me like this! He wrote this whole thing just to feel superior to me and to make me feel bad about my life! I’m going to think up my own insult to even the score!”

*Focusing on the Messenger to Avoid Hearing the Message

“Who is THIS guy to tell ME how to live? Oh, like he’s so high and mighty! It’s just some dumb writer on the Internet! I’m going to go dig up something on him that reassures me that he’s stupid, and that everything he’s saying is stupid! This guy is so pretentious, it makes me puke! I watched his old rap video on YouTube and thought his rhymes sucked!”

“When you get to where I am in life, you feel free to give me advice! Until then, you’re nothing but meat and guesses.”

*Focusing on the Tone to Avoid Hearing the Content

“I’m going to dig through here until I find a joke that is offensive when taken out of context, and then talk and think only about that! I’ve heard that a single offensive word can render an entire book invisible!”

*Revising Your Own History

“Things aren’t so bad! I know that I was threatening suicide last month, but I’m feeling better now! It’s entirely possible that if I just keep doing exactly what I’m doing, eventually things will work out! I’ll get my big break, and if I keep doing favors for that pretty girl, eventually she’ll come around!”

*Pretending That Any Self-Improvement Would Somehow Be Selling Out Your True Self

“Oh, so I guess I’m supposed to get rid of all of my manga and instead go to the gym for six hours a day and get a spray tan like those Jersey Shore douchebags? Because THAT IS THE ONLY OTHER OPTION.”

“Way to leave ‘the hood’ behind, asshole. New house or not, you’ll always be white trash!”

And so on. Remember, misery is comfortable. It’s why so many people prefer it. Happiness takes effort.

Also, courage. It’s incredibly comforting to know that as long as you don’t create anything in your life, then nobody can attack the thing you created.

It’s so much easier to just sit back and criticize other people’s creations. This movie is stupid. That couple’s kids are brats. That other couple’s relationship is a mess. That rich guy is shallow. This restaurant sucks. This Internet writer is an asshole. I’d better leave a mean comment demanding that the website fire him. See, I created something.

Click here for tickets to BACK TO THE 80’S!, our Big Summer Fundraiser!

Oh, wait, did I forget to mention that part? Yeah, whatever you try to build or create — be it a poem, or a new skill, or a new relationship — you will find yourself immediately surrounded by non-creators who trash it. Maybe not to your face, but they’ll do it. Your drunk friends do not want you to get sober. Your fat friends do not want you to start a fitness regimen. Your jobless friends do not want to see you embark on a career.

Just remember, they’re only expressing their own fear, since trashing other people’s work is another excuse to do nothing. “Why should I create anything when the things other people create suck? I would totally have written a novel by now, but I’m going to wait for something good, I don’t want to write the next Twilight!” As long as they never produce anything, their work will forever be perfect and beyond reproach. Or if they do produce something, they’ll make sure they do it with detached irony. They’ll make it intentionally bad to make it clear to everyone else that this isn’t their real effort. Their real effort would have been amazing. Not like the stuff you made.

Read our article comments — when they get nasty, it’s always from the same angle: Cracked needs to fire this columnist. This asshole needs to stop writing. Don’t make any more videos. It always boils down to “Stop creating. This is different from what I would have made, and the attention you’re getting is making me feel bad about myself.”

Don’t be that person. If you are that person, don’t be that person any more. This is what’s making people hate you. This is what’s making you hate yourself.

So how about this: one year. The end of 2016, that’s our deadline. Or a year from whenever you read this. While other people are telling you “Let’s make a New Year’s resolution to lose 15 pounds this year!” I’m going to say let’s pledge to do anything — add any skill, any improvement to your human tool set, and get good enough at it to impress people. Don’t ask me what — hell, pick something at random if you don’t know. Take a class in karate, or ballroom dancing, or pottery. Learn to bake. Build a birdhouse. Learn massage. Learn a programming language. Film a porno. Adopt a superhero persona and fight crime. Start a YouTube vlog. Write for Cracked.

But the key is, I don’t want you to focus on something great that you’re going to make happen to you (“I’m going to find a girlfriend, I’m going to make lots of money …”). I want you to purely focus on giving yourself a skill that would make you ever so slightly more interesting and valuable to other people.

“Wow, by learning Spanish, I just gained the ability to speak to 400 million people I previously couldn’t.”

“I don’t have the money to take a cooking class.” Then Google “how to cook.” They’ve even filtered out the porn now, it’s easier than ever. Damn it, you have to kill those excuses. Or they will kill you.

David Wong is the Executive Editor of Cracked.com and a New York Times best-selling author. You probably don’t know that his long-awaited new novel is out right now at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, BAM!, IndieBound, iTunes, Powell’s, your local bookstore, or anywhere else books are

Guide to Charitable Giving

Is the cause you wish to support worthy of your donation?

With so many charities out there with so many worthwhile causes, how do we determine which ones to support?  That is a very personal question and the answer will differ from one person to another.  Of course, there are a few standards that should be applied when we ask ourselves this questions.

Do you feel strongly about the mission of the organization in question?  Is the mission clear?  At A Warmer Day, our mission is to provide coats and other winter apparel to underprivileged children and families.  We feel this mission statement is clear and to the point, leaving very little question about who we are and what we do.  Some people are very passionate about our cause, others may not be and that is ok.  Everyone should look to support a cause that they feel is important.  There are many worthwhile causes and organizations.  Choose the one (or ones) that is right for you.

Do I know how my contribution will be used?  This is one that is personally very important to me and one of the reasons we founded A Warmer Day.  While some charities out there allocate a large percentage of their contributions to their mission, others have large payrolls that consume a great deal of their financial resources.  While it is understandable that larger organizations will have some payroll, in my opinion some of them are paying salaries, especially for their leadership, that are unreasonable and sometimes millions of dollars annually.  I feel that money would be better spent on their stated mission and not to a CEO or President.  At A Warmer Day, we have no payroll at all and instead rely on our team of volunteers.  There may come a time when we will need to hire someone to help us in our administrative tasks or to pick up donations, but we will never employ a CEO with an exorbitant salary.  Our mission will always come first.  When you choose which organizations to support, a quick google search will often reveal how they allocate their funds.

A Warmer Day is very committed to transparency and for that reason, we post all of our important financial documents right here on our website.  Anyone can view our financials, by-laws, board meeting agendas and many other relevant documents on our site.  We do this so that anyone who supports us or is considering supporting us can easily see where our funds are allocated.  For the most part, when we make financial decisions it is for one of three reasons.  Funds are allocated directly toward our mission such as the purchase of coats or supplies for distributions, printed flyers and marketing material for coat drives to encourage people to donate clothing or items such as fuel for our distribution truck etc.  We also allocate funds for routine operating costs such as insurance, paper and other office supplies, marketing and other administrative costs though we try to keep those cost to a minimum.  Finally we allocate funds toward events and fundraisers.  Those expenditures are meant to raise funds for our mission or in some cases raise public awareness so that we can grow our base of supporters and in turn, grow the organization.  By doing so, we increase our ability to help those in who need our services.  At this time, there are far more people in need than we can serve.  It is our goal to grow the organization to meet the need.

Another consideration is whether the beliefs and practices of the organization (outside of the mission) are in alignment with your own.  Many organizations have a core mission that might sound like something you support but this is another situation where a quick search on google could reveal more.  Some groups advertise a mission and certainly some of their resources will serve that mission however you may find that they also support political ideals, groups, candidates or parties that you do not.  They may also serve religious organizations or beliefs that you may not support.  A Warmer Day does not align with any political party or candidate nor do we support or oppose any political issues.  While we are not a religious organization and do not require any set of beliefs of our leadership team, we do state in our by-laws that    While board members are not required to be Christian, you must possess and demonstrate Christian values including caring for others, compassion, honesty, integrity and generosity.”  Of course, many religions teach these same values and many who do not prescribe to any religion possess them.  Therefore our leadership roles are open to anyone who demonstrates these values regardless of how they learned them.  

Finally, when choosing a cause to support you should confirm that they are in fact a legitimate organization.  You can confirm this easily.  If they are a Nebraska organization, you can check to ensure that they are recognized by searching the Secretary of State’s database here.  If the organization is based in another state, most states have a similar search capability.  You will also want to make sure that they are a recognized 501(c)(3) organization.  This is a status awarded by the IRS and it means that the organization is tax exempt.  As long as they are, your donations may be tax deductible.  (consult with your tax professional who can advise you based on your personal situation)  To determine if an organization is a recognized 501(c)(3), you can search the IRS database here.  Of course, A Warmer Day is both an active Nebraska non-profit and a recognized 501(c)(3).

As you can see, there are many factors to consider when you decide whether to support a non-profit or charity.  It really is a personal decision based on your own beliefs and values.  We certainly hope that you will consider donating to A Warmer Day but if not, there are many worthwhile organizations and missions that also deserve your support.  I hope you find this information helpful.  If you have any questions or would like to know more, please email dave@awarmerday.org or call (402) 480-7463.

-Dave Conde, Founder & President of A Warmer Day

How Can I Get Involved?

People often ask us how they can get involved with A Warmer Day.  The answer to that question is that there are many ways and anyone can help us in our mission.  All it takes is the desire to help others and a small amount of your time.  Often, it is the time that people are concerned about.  Truth be told, many of our volunteers spend less than an hour a week working with us.

You can volunteer as a Social Media Manager.  This is one of our biggest needs and it is one that can be done completely from home!  It takes very little time and the only skill required is the ability to use a social media platform such as Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

You can volunteer for coat drives, administrative work, sorting or many other needs.  These require you to leave your home but we have fun when we do our work and you will be around others who share your passion to serve our community.

For more information on how to volunteer for A Warmer Day click here.

Even if you have no time to volunteer, you can still help in other ways.  You can make a tax deductible financial contribution.  Our work would not be possible without donations that allow us to cover our operational costs.  To make a financial contribution to our mission click here.

You can become a sponsor or ask your employer to become a sponsor.  Our sponsor are partners in our mission and are our biggest contributors.  We take pride in the fact that we deliver value four our business partners by making sure they receive exposure on our website, social media feeds, in the media and at our events.  If you become a sponsor, your customer will know that you care about the community you serve and give back.  For more information on becoming a sponsor click here.

There are many ways to get involved and not enough room to list them all here.  If you would like to discus other ways that you can help, please email me at dave@awarmerday.org or call (402) 480-7463.

Bingo Night in Clatonia!

We met today with Joe and Ronda Armstrong from Cowboy Chicken to discuss our upcoming Bingo Night in Clatonia where they will be serving their amazing Rotisserie Chicken!  They have decided to also offer a salad bar as an option since the event is during lent.   We are excited to have Cowboy Chicken for this event and we know everyone in our area is going to love it!  Thanks Joe & Ronda!

Season 2…That’s a Wrap!

It is 70 degrees again to day and our distribution season has come to an end.  To date we have distributed more than 2000 coats in southeast Nebraska in cities and towns such as Lincoln, Omaha, Beatrice, Nebraska City, Wilber and more.  None of this would be possible without the support of people just like you.

If you want to support a local, all volunteer charity, please consider giving to A Warmer Day.  You can make a donation by clicking here Donate to A Warmer Day.   Remember, your donation is 100% tax-deductible.  Another way to help our cause it to attend one of our upcoming events such as Bingo Night in Clatonia or Back to the 80’s! Our Big Summer Fundraiser.  These events are a great way to have fun and support a good cause at the same time!

Our work would not be possible without our Sponsors, our supporters, volunteers and our Team.  I would like to thank all of you for another successful distribution season and for the bright future of A Warmer Day.  I look forward to seeing all of you at our upcoming events over the spring and summer.  Thank you for everything you do.

-Dave Conde, President & Founder

Beatrice Coat Distribution

While we didn’t give out as many coats as we were hoping today (probably due to the 70 degree weather!), we still love our volunteers! Thank you all for coming out in support of A Warmer Day and our mission to provide coats to those in need.

Coat Distribution Today!

Today, A Warmer Day will be distributing coats in Beatrice, NE.  We will be at Beatrice Fire and Rescue from 2pm-4pm.  The temps will be in the mid 60’s but the cold will return so please spread the word.  Coats are available to anyone in need including children and adults.  They will be distributed directly from our truck so look for the big box truck with our logo on the side.  We look forward to seeing you there.