Puopolo’s Giveback Philosophy
From the time Jim and Kris were young it was instilled in them to be generous and give to those in need. In fact, Jim remembers his grandparents [very] often quoting the Golden Rule to him in that you always “do unto others as you would like them to do unto you”. These principles were ingrained in Jim and Kris by their family, church and even school. Growing up Jim and Kris were instructed in Civic classes (in School) about society’s responsibility to participate in doing good within the community and helping those in need. This principle was not just to be done by the government or Church, but was the personal responsibility for all withing society. The very same message was taught by the local Church as outreach programs, feeding the hungry, clothes drives and other programs helped them put these principles into practice to see the fruits of helping others firsthand. The very same message was also part of their family dynamic as whenever a neighbor was in need we went firsthand and helped in any way possible because it was ingrained in us to do so. That could be in the form of mowing a neighbor’s lawn who had broken their foot, or providing groceries to someone who lost their job, or visiting and reaching out to a neighbor who lost a loved one, the principle of the Golden Rule is a biblically based practice in that God uses us to accomplish His purpose on earth by providing food, comfort, consolation, and encouragement to those in need.
Puopolo’s Tips for Charity Program History
When Jim and Kris started Puopolo’s Italian Ice and Creamery, their interest was not just creating the best ice cream store in Tulsa, but they were equally interested in giving back and helping others. Jim and Kris had both seen this done within their [previous] respective businesses and wanted Puopolo’s to be similar in nature. In addition, when you consider the one of the foundational principles of Puopolo’s (from Mama-Puopolo) was her faith, we did not want to ignore or minimize this part of our business. However, the reality of moving halfway across the country to begin a new, start-up business, that would become the best ice cream store in Oklahoma, while also facilitating a healthy benevolent program was overwhelming, until, Kris came up with an idea. “What if we were to donate all our tips to support local charities?” The idea resonated with our family and started the day we opened Puopolo’s! Little did we know the impact and generosity of Tulsan’s would be so overwhelming that those who hear about our Tips for Charity program are amazed at how much we have been able to donate. In the first 6-months of our opening, Puopolo’s donated over $11,000- to local non-profits. As we have recently passed our 2-year anniversary, Puopolo’s Tips for Charity program has surpassed over $35,000- in donations to non-profit organizations that have a direct link and/or are supported in the Tulsa area. This is amazing and has exceeded our wildest expectations! Not only are we having a direct impact to help those around us we also get to partner with great organizations in the Tulsa area.
Puopolo’s Tips for Charity Program Overview
Puopolo’s Tips for Charity program works by selecting non-profit organizations and donating all (100%) of customer tips during a given month(s). Since Puopolo’s is a seasonal business, we typically select a non-profit on a monthly basis during our peak season, except during our off-season when we will sponsor the non-profit over a 2-month period. All of Puopolo’s Tips for Charity recipients go through a formal process to ensure the non-profit is registered legally and that the funds used will be allocated to resources to help, improve and provide for the needs of those within our community. The following provides an overview of Puopolo’s Statement of Purpose and Qualifications for consideration:
Statement of Purpose:
Puopolo’s believes in supporting and giving back to our local community. Our Tips for Charity program donates 100% of all tips directly to supporting local charities and/or organizations that benefit our surrounding community
• Must be a 501(c)3 organization in good standing
• Serves the local community or be connected to the local community in serving the needs of those less fortunate or in a dire circumstance
More than a Fundraiser
Early on we realized our Tips for Charity had a much deeper impact than just providing finances. In fact, there are three (3) areas we are involved with our Tops for Charity recipients:
• First, and most obviously, our Tips for Charity program provides financial assistance in meeting the needs of non-profit organizations.
• Second, we include brochures, pamphlets and other promotional materials that provide more in-depth information of the Tips for Charity recipient. Many times, customers have connected with one of our non-profits because of the information we were able to provide in our store. As a result, this has promoted a higher social awareness of the non-profits impact to our community and has also increased volunteer support for many of the organizations we have sponsored.
• Third, but not least, we support all our Tips for Charity organizations via prayer. We pray daily for the needs of the organization and that they would be able to accomplish and fulfill their mission in helping and supporting others. We view this aspect as equally (if not more) important as the others knowing that no great accomplishment is achieved without prayer!
Benefits of Puopolo’s Tips for Charity Program
Many of the recipients of our Tips for Charity program have blessed us as much as we have been a blessing to them. They are organizations such as: Revitalize T-Town Roofing; Joy in the Cause, Centerwill, Tulsa Boys Home, American Cancer Society (ACS Tulsa Ride Support Program), Puppy Haven, Joy in the Journey, Tough Ministries, Meals-on-Wheels Tulsa, Plumbline Ministries, Just the Beginning, Pathways Ministries, Healing the Heroes, Tulsa Dream Center, and the list goes on. From supporting individuals overcoming drug and alcohol addiction, to working with ministries that help the recidivism rate of former prisoners, to providing roofs for those who cannot do so, we have seen the hand of God go forward and have been able to play a very small part in the good work going in in our community. It is for this reason and with great pleasure we will continue to use our God-given gifts, abilities and opportunities to further His Kingdom and provide help and assistance to our fellow neighbors!