It’s one thing to write a check. It’s another to leave your blood, sweat and creative tears on a project. Ged and Matt King prefer the latter.
In 1983, their father began a marketing firm Ged and Matt now run, called SFW. Around 9/11, Matt read about a similar firm in South Carolina that did something special for their community: They spent 24 consecutive hours doing work for local nonprofits that those operations otherwise weren’t likely to be able to afford. When their mother challenged them how they would improve America after the 9/11 attacks, they decided to do their own version of that idea in Greensboro called “Create-A-Thon.”
The nonprofits they work with are varied.
“Our Children's House is a nonprofit, five-star day care in town,” said Ged, as he lists some of his favorites. “Reelin' for Research, JDRF. We worked for the Jimmy V Foundation and I liked that because I went to NC State when Jim Valvano was the [basketball] coach so we got an opportunity to help them with a simple little project.”
“It amazes me how much can get done when a few people put their mind to it and put in time and effort,” Matt said.
Sixty-four, in all, putting in hundreds of hours of work that’s worth more than $200,000 on this single night.
“And it's not just today,” Ged said. “We prepare three months out. That way we can hit the ground running. We are working, not collecting information and stuff like that – we are working and a lot of times there is follow up after. It is a focus of the 24 hours we work together but it goes beyond that.”
Things can get a little crazy by 2:00 or 3:00 in the morning, with the cornhole matches and Nerf gun fights to give the employees a little break.
“Ged and I laugh about this every year,” Matt said. “It’s midnight and things are looking pretty good, here. We’re thinking that we might get out of here by 2:00 or 3:00. It rarely ever happens. Generally, we leave between 6:00 and 8:00 a.m. There were times we were here until 10:00 a.m. The deal we make is we're not leaving here until the work is done.”
See more of Create-A-Thon in this edition of the Buckley Report.