Smart Charity

There are millions of charities in the world, each with their own mission and problem to solve. In 2014, more than $350 billion was donated to nearly one million charities, but how many of those were reputable. In the flurry of holiday feelings, a crafty thief can easily profit off of the kindness of strangers by using names of mega-charities for their ill-gotten gains. What are some smaller charities that are deserving of your attention, and can ensure that your dollar goes far as possible.

Arcadia: An interesting take on the traditional non-for-profit, Arcadia’s approach is one that benefits us all. Research clean, renewable forms of energy, this small company in Rockport, Maine, has big dreams. With the right amount of help, we could help make the world better for our children, and their children’s children.

Pediatric Cancer Foundation: Children are the best of us. Innocently unaware of the world, youth affords an ignorance of hardship, but sadly not everyone is able to enjoy it. The Pediatric Cancer Foundation raises money for children battling cancer. Funds are used to help afford the best doctors and their flights to the children, ensuring they get the very best care.

Alpha House Tampa: A brilliant charity offering aid to women during their most vulnerable, Alpha House has several programs to help women who are expecting. Whether finding affordable medical care or vocational programs to help them get back on their feet, Alpha House wants to do everything they can for the next generation of mothers.

David Mantek

No matter who you choose to support, contributing to a charity brings its own set of returns. The feeling of giving without expectation of return, aiming to improve someone’s life, is a gift all on its own. So when choosing which charity is deserving of your hard-earned money, consider the little charities. A dollar given for a better world is a dollar for us all.

Philanthropy: Does it really work?

Philanthropy is a tricky business. We demand so much out of our willing givers, asking them for the utmost transparency and the promise that our money will be going where it belongs. But why do we hold our philanthropists, possibly the only people among us concerned with our collective well-being, to an impossible standard? Though this conundrum sounds strange, we wouldn’t impress the same restrictions on those looking to go our and earn for themselves, why have we decided to do it to those looking to help?

People have turned “overhead” into a dirty word, assuming that somehow an organization with hundreds of participants should run on peanuts as opposed to fuel. How can change be made if we’re not supporting our agents of change? We are taught that first, to avoid becoming a charity case we must find work, and earn for ourselves. Why then can’t that same position be at a charity? It’s because on average a CEO of a major non-for-profit will earn a fraction of what a fellow CEO would earn at a for-profit. Ask yourself, as a college student, still wet behind the ears, would you choose the option that offered so little?

When we’re not properly supporting our philanthropists, we’re not supporting their work. A staggering statistic shows that from 1970-2009, of the existing nonprofits to pass the $50 million barrier into legitimacy, only 144 made it. However, for-profit organizations make up 46,136. Why do we donate and donate but never make a difference? The poverty rate in this country has remained 12% for years, but why?

David mantekIt’s important to understand that non-profits, while geared for humane work, are still very much a business. How can you reach millions of eager, like-minded people if you’re crucified for spending money on advertising? Freeing a charity to operate more like a business and less like some unique, self-sustaining martyr machine will benefit all of us.

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South Carolina: Open Arms

South Carolina has always been a place of unity, acceptance, and neighborly smiles. It should come as no surprise then that refugees from war-torn Bosnia have made their way to the comfortable safety and warm embrace of Charleston, and locals willing to open their homes and arms to those seeking respite.

David MantekRecently announced at a press conference, Obama stated plans to welcome 10,000 refugees as they escape the Syrian civil war. The conflict, burdened with dark tones of racial and religious entanglement, has cost over 22 million people their homes. Though the decision to bring over refugees, especially in the wake of the Friday the 13th Paris attacks, has been fraught with antipathy. Some governors going so far as to forbid refugees from making a home in their states.

However, spurred on by the urge to do kindness, several smaller counties have issued statements welcoming the refugees to their towns. Though there is more work to be done, several cannot resist the call to help those in need. Meeting the beleaguered travelers at the airport, Charleston families have demonstrated an incredible sense of empathy. Regardless of ethnicity, it’s not difficult to put yourself in the shoes of those who’ve given everything to survive just one more day at the expense of a lifetime’s worth of memories.

There’s little we as Americans can do to understand what those fleeing Syria have experienced. Though no stranger to violence, American citizens have never known the distant thump of constant bombardment or plastering over freshly strewn bullet holes in the front of your home. Luckily, these innocent people aren’t asking us to carry their burden, only help shoulder it.


Run for Charity

South Carolina has been home to many things, but an Aiken County woman may just be the latest hero to emerge from this humble, southern state. Lesley Koppert, in an effort to raise money for two charities, will run across the state over four days. Her 140-mile journey has drawn the attention of the entire state, and she hopes that her drive will inspire others to help out.

Over thanksgiving, the Koppert family will be spending their time away from a table filled with food. With her backpack stuffed with peanut butter sandwiches, Lesley and her husband Lowell will be on the road.The time of this epic journey is certainly not an accident, either. Lesley and Lowell look to remind people of the spirit of Thanksgiving.

David MantekStarting in Tega Cay and moving all the way through the state to North Augusta, this journey will be a test of mind and body. With proceeds from her titanic task going to the Salvation Army and Mt. Salem Ministries homeless shelter, Lesley’s vim and vigor are beyond reproach.

During a holiday where families pack themselves with good food and surround themselves with love, Lesley hopes to give something to those who have none of either. An experienced runner with years on the road, this undertaking is still more than anything she’s ever attempted. With 35 miles to cover a day, it will be like running back-to-back marathons in some very cold weather.

Unshaken in the face of her greatest challenge to date, Lesley is nervous but ready. Running for more than just herself, she has shouldered the weight of anyone who is without someone to give thanks for. Surely, this holiday season, Lesley’s act of selflessness will have many giving thanks to her.

David Mantek Joins Coldwell Banker


David MantekDavid Mantek has joined Coldwell Banker Commercial Atlantic as a broker specializing in retail and investment properties. He has a bachelor’s degree in communications from Central Michigan University. Mantek has worked as a real estate investor for the past 21 years. – See more at:

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“The Coldwell Banker brand is the oldest and most established residential real estate franchise system in North America. In fact, in many ways it was the original real estate “start up.” Founded by young entrepreneurs Colbert Coldwell in 1906 and later Benjamin Banker, Coldwell Banker changed the way people bought and sold homes across America, ultimately becoming one of the most trusted real estate brands in the world. More than 100 years later, the Coldwell Banker network is still continuously recognized for its innovation and leadership across 3,000 offices in 49 countries and territories.”