Crises often bring out the best in people, from their generosity to their ability to pivot on a dime. That’s what ShopCore Properties’ and LivCor’s CoreGiving foundation did when the cancellation of the annual NCAA college basketball tournament forced the team to rethink its “Bracket Challenge” fundraising event. In previous years, ShopCore partners, guests, staff and the public had made donations, filled out bracket predictions and donated foodstuffs to support local food pantries. The funds raised were given to San Diego Food Bank’s “Food 4 Kids Backpack Program.”
The cancellation made the challenge (and the need for help) even greater. With COVID-19 shuttering some 130,000 schools around the nation, as many as 80 million children feared losing access to critically needed school meals.
“The need has never been greater for the one in six children who don’t know where their next meal is coming from, and who relied on school meals for proper nutrition,” said CoreGiving founder Luke Petherbridge, President and CEO of ShopCore Properties and Livcor. “Fortunately, the generosity of our team, shoppers, vendor partners and guests has never been greater. I’m beyond overwhelmed that what we launched as a way for ShopCore and Livcor to give back to our communities is literally providing lifelines for families during this unprecedented crisis.”
Within days, the team at CoreGiving (a registered 501c3 foundation dedicated to ending child hunger) morphed the event into “Brackets to Backpacks,” asking for direct donations of various tiers, with an original goal of $500,000 by April 28. The result was overwhelming. That goal was achieved so quick-ly that CoreGiving now hopes to raise $750,000 to help those in need. As of June 10, more than $725,000 (representing 3.6+ million meals) has been donated, with 100% of all funds received dispersed to food banks around the country.
“We are a community center manager, and we know our projects are part of the fabric of their communities,” Petherbridge said. “This is the best thing I’ve ever been involved in. On behalf of all our associates this is probably the achievement I’m most proud of.”
Check out the CoreGiving website to learn more about how they’ve helped their local communities and food banks: CoreGiving.org