Sometimes it’s important to take a look around and be inspired by what you have to help your community. Ace Hardware & Sports general manager Daniel Buzzell joined a community leadership group which was part of his chamber of commerce in Midland, Michigan. Also part of the group was Andrea Foster, the programs manager for a nature preservation group that teaches children in the community about nature.
“Part of the leadership program includes developing a class project,” Buzzell says. “Andrea suggested giving outdoors supplies to the kids, but it didn’t pan out as part of the group. I still thought it was a great idea, and we jumped at the chance to help.”
Buzzell says he’s always looking for opportunities to work with kids and support local initiatives through his role at Ace Hardware & Sports. The nature preservation group is similar to other philanthropic activities the business is engaged in, such as sponsoring several Little League teams and supporting drama and robotics teams at community high schools.
“We stock everything in the store that the kids in the nature group need, and we had the ability to support them,” Buzzell says.
Each child in the group received a backpack from Ace Hardware & Sports filled with a first-aid kit, a bandana, a water bottle, a reusable trash bag, bug spray, sunscreen and other essentials they may need on hikes.
Buzzell says they wanted to support the program because not only would it help the kids, but their customers appreciate local businesses that want to help preserve local outdoor areas.
“We have a lot of customers who are hunters and fishers, and nature conservancy is important to those groups,” he says. “If you’re in that market, I think nature conservancy is something that’s important to think about and support.”