Good Cause of the Month: Red River Charitable Foundation
This New Hampshire based technology company’s nonprofit has logged over 5,000 volunteer hours.
Starting last year, we began alerting you to events and causes worthy of your time and philanthropic treasure in our Good Cause of the Month series. Keep an eye out for a Good Cause every month here at NHMagazine.com, from charitable events to volunteer opportunities to nonprofits you should get to know – and, by the end of the year, your do-gooder cred will be off the charts.
For February’s Good Cause, we’d like to introduce you to Red River Charitable Foundation. Red River was founded on charitable principles in 1995, and in 2008 they opened the Red River Charitable Foundation. Since its opening, the nonprofit has been committed to supporting veterans and STEM students. The organization has logged over 5,000 volunteer hours and has over 300 employees to date. Read on to learn about their work and history and out how you can get involved.
What They Do
Red River is a technology integrator that is committed to helping customers optimize their business processes, and maximize the value of technology investments. Headquartered in Claremont, there are also offices from New York to California. As philanthropy has always been a focus for the company, creating its own nonprofit – Red River Charitable Foundation – was a logical next step. The foundation was created to promote and encourage students to continue studying the fields of science and technology, and to support veterans who are transitioning back into civilian life. RRCF is able to provide opportunities for students in middle school through college with internships, mentoring and even donations of IT equipment. The hope is that students will understand the exciting potential career opportunities that an IT-focused education can provide. RRCF also gives technology career counseling, mentorships and monetary assistance to veterans and their families as they integrate back into our community. They are able to do this with the help from partners like Friends of Veterans in White River Junction, Vermont, and Operation Hat Trick.
Kim Vacca serves as the director of RRCF. She works with the board of directors and other employees who contribute regularly to the initiatives and programs that the nonprofit hosts and supports. “It is a group effort, and throughout the year, all of our employees are involved and are active in helping us Positively Transform Communities (PTC),” says Vacca. “PTC is actually one of our corporate objectives and we all take it very seriously and to heart.” As Chairman of the board and President of RRCF, Rick Bolduc says, “Giving back is part of the DNA of our company. In our small way, we make a big difference in the lives of our veterans and students.”
Since opening in 2008, RRCF has made scholarship awards to 42 students totaling $126,500. The scholarships are given based on merit and need to students who complete their application process and are working on pursuing post-secondary education in a STEM-related field. Many of the students that have received scholarships have returned to Red River as interns, and then full-time employees. Think SMART is another student program that stands for skills, mentor, access, readiness and technology. It is a hands-on learning summer opportunity for high schools students where they learn about IT troubleshooting, business, interview and workplace readiness training.
RRCF also helps veterans in a myriad of ways. One such program provides service dogs to New Hampshire veterans suffering from PTSD and TBI. The foundation has successfully matched five veterans with service dogs, and the benefits of the program go far beyond the work that they do on a daily basis.
A partnership with IceVets, a local SLED hockey team (hockey for those with physical disabilities where players sit in specially designed sleds that sit on top of two hockey skate blades) ensures that disabled veterans get access to ice time and equipment. This year, the nonprofit is partnering with Operation Hat Trick and the Boston Bruins Foundation on a campaign to raise funds to support veterans by selling merchandise at the Bruins pro shop. The first year they raised $42,000, and this year they hope to raise much more.
Red River has made measurable impact on students and veterans around the Granite State. For example, the organization recently invited Bethie Coverdale to visit the office with her mother. For her senior project at Sunapee High School, Coverdale decided to hike 22 peaks in the area to bring awareness to the 22 veterans who commit suicide in the US each day. She received the first ever PTC Hero Award on behalf of Red River, which consisted of $4,000 to assist her with her tuition at Norwich University.
In the 17 years that Kim Vacca has been with Red River, there’s never been a dull moment. “I have grown with the company and am thrilled that I can now focus full time on furthering the mission of RRCF,” says Vacca. “The best part of the work is when we meet and get to know the people that we are helping. The feeling of knowing we have made a real impact is incredible.”
How You Can Help
From donations to attending RRCF events, here are a few ways that you can help:
- Donating: Your donation to RRCF will help support veteran and STEM programs such as service dogs for veterans with PTSD, the Student Scholarship Program, Veterans Heating Assistance, disaster relief funds and more. Any amount of money is helpful. If you are interesting in contributing, click here.
- Spreading the word: Sharing information about events, issues, fundraisers and programs go a long way in positively transforming communities. Find out more about events and programs here.
To learn more about Red River Charitable Foundation and all the ways you can get involved, visit their website here.
Do you know of an organization or charitable event that would make a great Good Cause of the Month? Send your ideas to Assistant Editor Emily Heidt at firstname.lastname@example.org