Spectrum for Living and G-Team, Groupon's philanthropic branch, launched a local, Spectrum from the Heart campaign from Jan. 10 to 12, to support Spectrum's clients in their efforts to run a local baking business.
The organization provides facilities for adults with developmental disabilities. Spectrum also encourages clients working in their bakery.
The Spectrum from the Heart Campaign was available on Groupon’s New York, North Jersey, Long Island, Westchester County and Fairfield County G-Team page. Groupon subscribers were able to support Spectrum in $10 increments. Each $100 raised provided one month of purchase expenses for the bakery.
Lauren Turiello, Director of Development at Spectrum, approached Groupon's G-Team to set up the program.
"Sarah and I at the development team are always looking for new innovative ways to raise money for Spectrum for Living," Turiello said. "We reached out to Groupon via email and they were interested us, specifically in the baking, the philanthropic portion of our organization."
Three weeks later, the Spectrum from the Heart Campaign went live on Groupon's website.
Groupon requires what is called a tipping point, a number of pledges that the program must reach in order to gain any proceeds.
"We were hoping to get at least 50 supporters and within the first six hours we had already exceeded that tipping point," she said. "We kept refreshing the page and we watched it go from 42 to 50 and more."
Turiello believes 85 percent of the supporters were from outside of Spectrum's network. They were people who haven't heard of Spectrum or pledged support before.
Spectrum from the Heart raised more than $1,400. Turiello said this exceeded their expectations.
Practical Arts Therapist Toni Moriarty said the $1,400 will benefit their clients immensely.
"We have a lot on our wish list that I think this cause will provide us," Moriarty said. "A lot of our clients can do a lot of the baking on their own but because of their disability it’s hard for them to lift up bowls and start machines. A lot of this money will go towards adaptive equipment so they can sit in front of their recipes and create them on their own."
She said this will enable the clients to develop their skills further at the bakery.
Kathleen Fitzgerald, Director of the Westwood Adult Training Center, said the money will go specifically to buying supplies.
"The money goes back into the funds for buying baking goods, the florals, chocolates, molds and more," Fitzgerald said.
Spectrum clients work in the bakery every Friday. They take orders from anyone within the company who is hosting a party or event. People are able to order trays of cookies for their meetings or parties, that clients can then produce.
"The bakery produces a lot and gives the clients a great confidence," Moriarty said. "They have a motto they live by, everything they produce they make with love and caring and they give everything they’ve got to make these products."
The clients also make products to sell to community members.
"Clients can make floral decorations, reefs, centerpieces, party favors, and for any kind of event we can do balloon arrangements," Storfront Manager Kathy Cupp said. "We are trying to spread awareness that clients can do things like this and provide products for the communities."
Spectrum for Living's headquarters is located at 210 River Vale Road in Rivervale. The Westwood Adult Training Center is located at 150 Tillman Street in Westwood.