Two years ago in December, a Spark member, Anna, was up late doing her bills when she realized she had $7 left in her Flex Spending Account. This money was taken out of her paycheck and put into this health savings account. She couldn’t get the money back. If she didn’t spend it by the end of the year, it would go to waste. $7 was not that much money to Anna, but it felt irresponsible to waste it. Then, she had a crazy idea.
She worked at a company with great health benefits and she was healthy. Anna knew others did not share her fortune. Indeed many of the grantees that Anna learned about through Spark could benefit from basic health supplies. Anna had seen requests on Spark’s Facebook page for first aid kits and other health needs. Spark grantees could use that $7. They could probably use more than $7.
Anna had three healthy co-workers who sat in her cube bank. She figured they too might have a little extra cash in their flex spending accounts. So she asked for their help. Over the next few days, Anna and her co-workers pooled their resources and purchased $300 worth of health supplies. Then with Spark’s assistance, they donated three months of health supplies to a local women’s shelter.
Spark’s investment model harnesses non-traditional, social capital resources to support grassroots women’s organizations. That’s exactly what Anna did when she grew $7 into $300 into 3 months of health supplies for an under-resourced organization. Every year Spark honors Anna and her act of ingenuity by collecting health supplies in the month of December from our members and distributing them to our local grantees.
On December 7th at Spark’s Annual Holiday Party, we will be collecting these gifts. In you are in town, please stop by. If you bring health supplies (first aid kits, feminine sanitary supplies, a box of condoms, etc.), you’ll get in for free.
If you are unable to make it, you can support our grantees directly here. 100% of donations raised in the month of December will support Spark’s grantmaking program.
This holiday season we invite you to celebrate your health and join Anna in flexing your resources.
To learn more about Spark and our investment model, email Programs@sparksf.org.