Today we have a guest blog post from Alex Hellweg, a long-time supporter of the Caneille Regional Development Fund and a hot sauce enthusiast:

As an employee of Kimberly-Clark, I participate annually in our United Way Campaign to raise funds for local charitable organizations.  After the campaign this year, I got to thinking about a key callout that came out of that week: donating money is great, but nothing will make you feel as good as donating your time! Working directly for the benefit of others is a rewarding experience, and there are a million ways to do so.  I myself am extremely lucky to work at a company that rewards volunteerism with a phenomenal grant program: if I spend 30 hours volunteering at a recognized charity throughout the year, Kimberly-Clark will donate $500 to that charity!

I myself am very proud to support CRDF, a local non-profit with no paid administrative staff that funds a school in rural Haiti. All funds go to teachers and students, period. The organization’s strict policy against overhead costs is a very important factor to me.  I personally know the leaders of the organization and have great faith that the money they receive gets to those who need it.  Also, I can donate my time however I see fit to contribute to the cause—this sort of flexibility is attractive in so many ways. Most of all: I know what my skills are and how I can have the greatest impact.

Most recently, I decided to donate my time doing something I love: making hot sauce! I learned the recipe from my wife, who learned it from her family in China. It was a blast to learn how to make it from my wife, and then to make slight alterations to appeal more to my fellow Wisconsinites.

The end result was “Heat for Haiti,” a hot sauce perfectly designed for Asian foods with a lot of kick and a peanut/sesame twist!  I sold bottles for $5 each with all proceeds going to the CRDF. The response from my colleagues was amazing and we sold out of the first batch in 11 minutes. The second batch sold out in no time too.

The hours I spent on this project were rewarding in so many ways: In addition to raising funds for an organization I love, I was putting one of my passions to work and taking advantage of an amazing perk at my company.  If you’re taking the time to read this, I encourage you to think about how you can make the most of your time, skills, and opportunities. You’ll be amazed at all the ways you can help!

Heat for Haiti Ingredients: Canola oil, Thai chilies, peanuts, sesame seeds, cumin, salt, sugar, cinnamon, anise, bay leaves, cloves, tsaoko

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