CHICAGO — No matter their cause, nonprofit organizations everywhere raise money with a focus on giving back to those they service, often putting their needs last. But in December, a Chicago organization found themselves on the receiving end, thanks to the generosity of a business owner.
Concordia Place is a nonprofit that focuses on childhood education. It was the recent grand prize winner of an office makeover. Valued at $23,000 dollars was all courtesy of Wurkwel Ventures founder and CEO Mason Awtry.
“There are a lot of groups out there doing great work for the community and their non for profit model is to take every dollar that they raise and give it back to the community,” Awtry said.
And so Awtry decided to give back to them.
For the past five years his company has hosted a “Create a Better Tomorrow Campaign” offering nonprofit organizations a chance to improve their workspace.
Founded in 2004, Wurkwel is comprised of several businesses including the Office Furniture Center on the city’s West Side. Passionate about sustainability, the company salvages, cleans and repurposes office furniture that might otherwise end up in a landfill.
With thousands of refurbished office furniture pieces waiting for a new home Awtry says it was fitting to give back even more this year.
“We can only hold on to so much,” he said. “We felt it appropriate to give away as much as we could.”
Concordia Place CEO Brenda Swartz says she is grateful to have the office makeover and thinks it will boost morale.
“We really are excited about having furniture that is a visual representation that we are a place of excellence,” she said.
And for Awtry there is truly a gift in giving as well.
“For us to be able to donate what they can’t afford and we have an abundance, it’s a perfect match,” he said.