Torch Helps, an employee-run and funded 501(c)(3) charitable organization, has provided grants to more than 125 local charities since its inception in June 2005. Torch Helps is voluntarily funded and operated by Torch employees. It raises contributions for local charities through payroll deduction and designated gifts. The organization operates under the direction of a volunteer review board, which receives formal grant applications from charities that are then evaluated against a consistent set of questions to screen applicants. Applicants are also evaluated against the Better Business Bureau's Wise Giving Alliance Standards for Charity Accountability. When a charity passes these standards, the charities are voted on by contributing employees. The highest calling in life is to help others. Torch supports our employees' charitable efforts by covering all of the administrative costs of Torch Helps. Thus, 100 percent of the donations to Torch Helps goes to the organizations selected by the employees. Torch Helps believes that "Together Our Resources Can Help." This captures the spirit and inspiration of Torch's culture of giving. To date, Torch Helps has given more than $1.3 million to our local communities.
Experience OUR Impact
To date, Torch Helps has provided more than 1.2 million dollars in direct grants. Of course, the real impact is not measured in dollars and cents. It is reflected in the young mother who now has her own home and a dream to start her own business. It is felt by the disabled lady who no longer has to suffer the sweltering heat of a long, dry summer. It is honored by the Boy Scout Troop who decided to give half their new camping gear to a troop that was affected by Hurricane Katrina. We may never see most of the people whose lives have been made a little better by the small amounts that we give every two weeks, but we consider it an honor to support the local charities and their volunteers who do.
Torch Helps awards large and small grants to local charities who are making a difference in our communities. Charities must be nonprofit 501(c)(3) organizations that provide services to our local communities. Visit TorchHelps.org for additional qualification requirements. A Torch Helps grant application form must be completed in full before a charity can be included in the vote.
Torch Helps In The Early Years
Just months after Torch Helps was established, one of its first efforts was assisting survivors of Hurricane Katrina around Waveland, MS, the hometown of a senior manager at Torch. “I knew I had to do something; I didn’t know what,” he said about learning of the devastation along the Gulf Coast. He soon headed to the Mississippi coast in his van, hauling a utility trailer with food, tents, clothing, gasoline, and propane tanks. After he returned to Huntsville, the urge to help still lingered, particularly a childhood friend who was the sheriff of a hard-hit area. The Torch senior manager appealed to Torch Helps, and the organization received significant contributions from Torch customers, colleagues, and original investors.
Torch employees also collected items and put together care packages to send to disaster victims. In all, $10,000 in cash and equipment such as generators, chain saws, and propane tanks were donated to the relief effort.