MATTERbox Update – May 2023

MATTERbox Update – May 2023

Now that we’re into May, summer is right around the corner. Along with everything wonderful we associate with summer, for many in our country, especially children, summer means long days with little to eat. Our dedicated community partners work hard to address this tragic situation. Every summer, we receive requests for 50,000 MATTERbox snack packs they can provide to the children they serve.  This year is no exception. We must answer their call for help and thanks to our amazing corporate partners, we will.

These corporate partners have engaged hundreds of their employees to put the “do in donate” to pack healthy snack packs for children in communities around the country. Using our MATTERbox Volunteer Kits, employees have volunteered their time, both in the office and remotely, to assemble the snack packs and write inspiring “You Matter” messages to the recipients.

As you see from the numbers below, we’re on our way to reaching our goal of providing 50,000 healthy meals for our community partners but aren’t quite there yet. If your company wants to help, please contact us. Employee engagement adds to employee satisfaction and donating to the community makes a lasting impact!

Tami Hedrick, Executive VP of External Engagement

By the Numbers

The Madness Returns to Tradition Capital Bank

Spirits were high, the energy was palpable and the competition was fierce as MATTER corporate partner,  Tradition Capital Bank, held its annual MATTERbox Madness in April. Ninety employees from four office locations participated, including three in Minnesota — Edina, North Oaks, and Wayzata — and Scottsdale, Arizona. In all, twelve teams competed against each other for the coveted MATTERbox Madness trophy. When the competition was over and the awards were presented, these incredible employees had packed 3,000 healthy meals for kids in our community this summer!  On hand to receive some of the meals was DinoMights, an organization helping urban youth become self-assured and competent adults through long-term mentoring relationships from their elementary years through high school graduation.

Watch this highlight video of Tradition’s MATTERbox Madness 2023!

MATTERbox Stories: The JP4 Foundation and Hsa Htoo Lay

“I could tell he was wanting to say something but he didn’t know what. Finally, he said, ‘hi!’ and I thought, ‘OK, we’re getting somewhere. It only took twelve weeks!” Jeff Huth, Executive Director of The Jp4 Foundation is sharing the story of a young boy in one of their after-school programs. His name is Hsa Htoo Lay, and to see him is to love him. His smile and youthful exuberance lights up a room. It’s hard to imagine he was once the shy and reserved little boy Jeff referenced.

Hsa Htoo Lay with his collection of You MATTER notes from the MATTERbox snack packs he gets at the afterschool program run by the JP4 Foundation in St. Paul.

That’s the power that the JP4 Foundation is having in the lives of the students in their programs. Whether it’s through their after-school programming or in their summer camps, carefully selected mentors work closely with the kids to build a trusting relationship with them. Within the context of these mentor relationships, they focus on enriching the kids’ lives through healthy activity, healthy relationships, and healthy eating. Using MATTERbox snack packs, the mentors help the children understand nutrition and the importance of eating healthy foods. 

Which brings us back to Hsa Htoo Lay. For the longest time, he came to the after-school program in his snow pants. Even when winter was long over. And tucked into the front pocket of those well-worn snow pants was a collection of You MATTER notes of encouragement he received from his weekly MATTERbox snack packs. On days when life was hard, Hsa Htoo Lay liked to take out a note or two to remind himself that he mattered.

And that’s the beauty of the MATTERbox snack pack. It feeds the soul as well as the body. For kids like Hsa Htoo Lay, the encouragement they receive through the You MATTER notes is just as important for their development as the healthy food. “The MATTER notes are constantly the number one thing that kids look for,” said Jeff. “It engages them and they enjoy reading them.”   

Our deepest thanks to Tradition Capital Bank and all of our generous corporate partners who write the inspiring You MATTER notes and pack the food that goes into the snack packs. You are making a difference in the lives of children like Hsa Htoo Lay and thousands of others across this country.

If your company would like to participate in a fun, easy and rewarding employee engagement packing event, please contact Tami at MATTER.

Before you go, meet Hsa Htoo Lay and see the work of The JP4 Foundation in action!