Amy Weisbrod always knew she wanted to give back to her community.
While living in Cleveland, the Canton native became a member the city’s chapter of the Foundation for Community Betterment — a national organization dedicated to community enhancement through a variety of philanthropic projects and events.
However, when she moved back to Canton, she knew she wanted to continue giving back to her neighborhood. To do so, she created a new branch of the foundation in order to assist residents and organizations in need within the city and surrounding communities, including North Canton.
“I started the Canton chapter in the fall of 2007 by myself,” she said. “I’m a stay-at-home mom and wanted to do something to stay involved. After attending events in Cleveland, I fell in love with the organization.”
Now, with about 20 active members and 500 email subscribers, the chapter has raised more than $57,000, which it's donated to 11 recipients, Weisbrod said. This year, the group plans to help four new beneficiaries, including a family and three nonprofit organizations.
To qualify for help, each recipient had to meet the organization’s three criteria: have an immediate need, know a member of the foundation and share a philanthropic spirit in their everyday life.
“Our hope is that recipients will give back as well,” she said, noting several past beneficiaries have become involved in helping the community.
In addition, because each recipient must know a member of Community Betterment, the organization does not require proof of financial hardship. For Chellsea Mastroine, donations and social media chair for the Canton chapter, this is why Stark County residents should become involved with the group.
“The more people we have involved in the organization, the wider our reach is into the community,” she said. “Recipients can be a family who has fallen on hard times or a nonprofit with a specific need, but we are only as powerful as the reach of our members.”
Interested in learning more about the Foundation for Community Betterment, Canton chapter, and how to get involved? Check out our other story highlighting the organization’s upcoming events and fundraisers.