Do it Best Corp. and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northeast Indiana on Wednesday announced raising $224,000, including a $90,000 gift, as part of The Big DONation, a “youth enrichment initiative” launched to honor Don Wolf.
The fundraising plan was initially announced in June, just months before Wolf died in September. A business executive and community leader, Wolf was Do it Best's president emeritus and founder of the local Big Brothers Big Sisters chapter.
The retail cooperative, part of the home improvement industry, also announced Wednesday it has created a charitable foundation.
The Big DONation kicked off June 19, Wolf's 90th birthday, and more than 400 people attended the celebration with him in the Do it Best auditorium. The company said it would match all donations made to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northeast Indiana up to $90,000.
Reflecting on the $223,938 raised, Josette Rider, CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters, said she was “blown away by the generosity of our community.”
“Our friends at Do it Best not only encouraged us to launch this initiative, they contributed to the cause,” Rider said in a statement. “With their challenge grant and the support of so many others, Big Brothers Big Sisters is better equipped today to grow our mission.”
Rider said the organization will use the funds to focus on matching more youth with mentors while supporting those who have graduated from other Big Brothers Big Sisters' programs with additional job training, coaching and college support. Rider said the campaign raised greater awareness to help them recruit new volunteers.
Dan Starr, president and CEO of Do it Best, said the business has a “long tradition of supporting agencies like Big Brothers Big Sisters that are committed to serving the needs of others.
“Don Wolf and his legacy have inspired us to take that commitment to the next level with the formation of the Do it Best Foundation, where we look forward to supporting other community organizations and initiatives.”
The Do it Best Foundation, a 501c(3) organization, will focus on four key areas for its charitable giving: health and wellness, youth enrichment, the arts and the community, a news release said. The foundation is establishing a committee tasked with reviewing and approving requests for funding. Information on grant availability can be found online at doitbestfoundation.org.