Richard Johnson and his wife, Amelia, are an innovative couple. The pair has spent years creating successful business plans that spread nationally and it has really taken them places. So, in their retirement, it is only natural for them to want to share their passions for business and travel. This is how the Institute for New Awareness was born.
The Institute for New Awareness, also known as Donate 4 Homeless, is a 501c(3) organization that raises funds which are distributed to other non-profit organizations. The money is then used to feed the homeless and fulfill other needs at local levels. Currently, the agency is operating in Marion, Lake and Sumter counties with hopes of spreading the wealth across the nation.
“Finding ways to get people to give has been a challenge,” explains Mr. Johnson, “so, we got creative.” The first idea was to get businesses to donate items that we can then resell. “When I was in business, I would purchase equipment that I could no longer use. It was still good equipment but, I did not know what to do with it,” says Richard. “I thought it would be great to get those types of things donated to us then give the business a donation certificate that could be used as a tax write off,” he continued. So, the Institute for New Awareness teamed up with a local auction company and began to collect items.
Next, the couple found an organization that gets travel, golf and other “bucket list” packages donated that can the be resold by non-profits to raise funds. “The neat thing about this is people can purchase things that they already wanted, at a huge discount, and it is a donation to our organization so, we are able to provide a receipt of donation,” says Amelia. In addition, Institute for New Awareness also holds raffles and sweepstakes allowing persons to take a chance at wining some of these “bucket list” items.
Institute for New Awareness always accepts simple cash donations as well, but with these creative ways to donate, everyone wins. More information on the Institute for New Awareness and their programs can be found at www.donate4homeless.org