Author Archives: Taffy

Kris Kringle in Crisis

I was at a seminar a few weeks ago.  It was one of those, “Start/Manage/Think About a Nonprofit” kind of seminars.  At the beginning of the seminar, we all went around the room and talked about what kind of work we do or want to do.  Among the attendees, two Girl Scouts of America leaders, a handful of budding nonprofit entrepreneurs, and one particularly interesting bearded man.  The bearded man is a lawyer by trade, but at a certain time of year he dons a fur-trimmed red coat and plays the part of a holiday symbol with no equal.  In other words, I was in a room with Santa himself.

Apparently, he’s part of a larger group of Santa’s helpers that tend to spend a lot of their holiday time in underprivileged areas, giving donated gifts to children who might otherwise not have a Christmas.  It donned on this group of jolly fellows that it may behoove them to start a nonprofit in order to be able to offer, at least, a tax deduction to the wonderful folks who try to help them make the season a bit brighter.  In other words, the Santas wanted to organize in order to make the world a better place.  Think of is as The Avengers with more beards.

It’s not his business plan that struck me, but the idea of his community.  This guy is Santa.  His friends are Santa.  They’re the ultimate example of giving.  It seemed to have struck the rest of the crowd too.  He was a favorite throughout the workshop (not to mention, he was a lawyer, so he had some good insights for the crowd).  The story doesn’t end there.

As I was walking out of the seminar I noticed St. Nick struggling with the lug nuts on his rear tire.  Poor Santa was all alone in a parking lot with no gloves, a broken car jack, and a flat tire.  This isn’t one of those times you just keep walking.  This guy has a list and he checks it twice.  Plus, I just can’t resist helping out a nice guy in need.

Long story short:  I had a pair of gloves and he didn’t.  I grabbed the jack out of my car and tried to help him loosen his lug nuts while constantly deflecting his gratitude.  To me, it was simple.  A guy (regardless of mythological gift-giving status) needed help.  I had the ability to help him.

To take this little story back to what TAFFY does, we’re Santa.  We’re also helping Santa.  TAFFY spends its days “Taking Action”.  We stumble across a problem and try to help out.

Please let us know how YOU are getting out there and taking action.  Feel free to shoot us an e-mail any time.  We love a good story.

New Year, New Friends

Happy New Year everyone!  I thought it would be a good idea to start the new year and our new blog with a couple of introductions.  Long-time TAFFY supporters may notice that our Facebook presence has grown substantially in the last couple of weeks.  This is due, in no small part, to a new partnership formed over the last few years that’s finally come to fruition.  The Joel Huber Memorial Golf Outing (run by the incomparable Dave Lee) has decided to join forces with TAFFY in an effort to grow, improve, and continue its efforts indefinitely.

As a long-time TAFFY supporter, you already recognize the name Joel Huber.  Joel was a good friend of mine who tragically passed a few years back.  He was known personally by a number of our board members; celebrated and remembered through a memorial fun-run/walk; and at the very least, remembered as the loudest and most fun guy in our Vegas Room at the TAFFY Bash.  In short, Joel was one of our favorite supporters.

Joel’s good friend Dave Lee started this golf outing in Joel’s name shortly after his passing.  It’s an amazing time with amazing people and TAFFY is proud to become a part of this amazing tradition.

To our new friends just joining us on Facebook or on this blog, let me tell you a bit about TAFFY.  Taking Action for Friends, Family, and Youth was formed in 2003 by my cousins (sisters Maureen Lemon and Katie Grode) in memory of their mother.  Feel free to check out our mission statement on the website, but in general, what TAFFY does is help people.  We’re a small grassroots organization that raises money for people who are going through a hard time.  Whether it’s a mother who can’t afford Christmas for her kids (because her chemotherapy treatments cost too much) or a low-income classroom who can’t afford a field trip, we try to step in and ease the burden.

At the end of the day, TAFFY is here to help revitalize people’s faith in humanity.  Many times people see a friend or family member in a tough spot and feel powerless to help.  TAFFY can usually step in with the tools and knowhow to throw together a fundraiser for the family.  We’ve held tons of spaghetti dinners over the years, small euchre nights, and fun-runs but our primary source of income for the year is our Annual TAFFY Bash, held in Northville near the end of the summer (believe me, you want to be there).

We don’t make tons of money; we don’t want to change the world; we just aim to help out great people going through tough times.

You Want To Hear From Us More?

The title says it all folks. Here at TAFFY, our New Year’s resolution for 2014: Tell you more. In an effort to spread the word about our great programs, the people we help, and the ways we’re raising money, TAFFY is going to try to make good use of this internet thing. I’m hoping that this introductory blog will help put us on your radar (so to speak). Feel free to e-mail our staff blogger (Robb Drzewicki) at with any questions or comments about upcoming blogs. Also, Robb is always looking for great ideas for blogs to write, so your suggestions are always welcome.