DOBBS FERRY, N.Y. – After donating their time, money, labor or goods, volunteers are now getting more than just a pat on the back. As founder of ThanksForCaring, John Higgins created an organization that partners with businesses to provide discounts and free services for volunteers and non-profit organizations throughout Westchester, with many participants in the Rivertowns.
“It’s a way to thank volunteers in a real substantial way,” Higgins said. “It gives them something that’s worth something.”
Higgins, a Mount Vernon resident originally from Yonkers, said the organization provides non-profit and volunteer groups with special cards to make it easier for businesses to verify where people have volunteered. After years of offering discounts on goods and services, ThanksForCaring launched a restaurant program three months ago that offers discounts for anyone who has volunteered with any organization, with no discount card necessary. Ardsley has four participating businesses, Dobbs Ferry has 17 and Hastings has seven.
Flowers By Carole in Dobbs Ferry has been participating in the program for a few years and owner Carole Bennett said it is part of being a member of the community.
“We always try to give back to the community,” Bennett said. “We give volunteers 10 percent off everything.”
ThanksForCaring has grown since its inception in 2007 and has more than 200 non-profit organizations and 300 businesses participating, Higgins said. The organization has partnered with businesses throughout Westchester, Rockland and Putnam counties in New York, as well Danbury and Greenwich, Conn.
Higgins said the volunteer demographic is a newly emerging group of people that businesses are interested in targeting and this program allows them to interact on a more personal level.
“Business get to make a connection with the customers,” Higgins said. “People volunteer with causes they care about and people like to talk about what they care about.”
For more information about ThankYouForCaring, call 914-424-8888 or visit the organization’s website.