Each Friday, the another jennifer blog shares stories of those who incorporate philanthropy into their everyday lives – personally and professionally – in a creative and unique way. If you have a story you’d like to share, please email Jennifer.
Michael Arkes runs a successful incentive company called Hinda Incentives. Based in Chicago, the family-owned business helps companies reward their most prized employees. Established in 1970, the company has a rich history.
With this history and success, of course, comes experience and industry knowledge. Using this knowledge and the company’s business connections, Arkes founded Helping Hand Rewards (HHR) in 2004 to help social enterprises gain entry into the $46 billion dollar incentive industry.
Arkes sought out social enterprises – organizations that use business strategies to achieve philanthropic goals – that were not pursuing the incentive, recognition, business gift or promotional products markets. HHR provides marketing, business development and distribution expertise to socially-focused organizations who are interested in expanding their business into the incentive reward and recognition market.
According to Arkes, “Helping Hand Rewards is truly a unique opportunity for personal fulfillment. For the past 35 plus years, I learned how to build a very successful incentive company. Now, I’ve been able to apply what I know best to the betterment of people seeking to improve their own lives. It is the ideal convergence of social philanthropy with my experience, and I encourage others to find similar ways to combine their professional expertise with their passion for doing good in the world.”
Currently, HHR works with 12 social enterprises, including Bright Endeavors, a job training program of Chicago-based New Moms, Inc. Bright Endeavors helps homeless and at-risk young mothers between the ages of 16 and 25 gain the necessary skills to become self-sufficient, successful adults. Participants in the program gain transitional employment making natural candles that are then packaged and offered for purchase. The purchase of $1,140 worth of products provides one month of employment and training for an individual at Bright Endeavors.
So, if you’re looking to recognize your best employees – and why wouldn’t you – pay attention to where you make your purchase. With a company like Helping Hand Rewards, you’re giving in more ways than one.