At iLendingDIRECT, philanthropy is a very important component of what we do. When we’re not helping our customers, we’re helping our community. Our team—our family—is dedicated to working together, getting involved, and making a difference. While we support a variety of efforts each year, the official nonprofit of iLendingDIRECT is The Butterfly Foundation. Founded in 2009 by our CEO, Nancy Fitzgerald, The Butterfly Foundation supports people who have suffered a severe loss, illness, or other hardship by empowering them emotionally, spiritually, or financially.
The TANK Event
Last week, we joined five other local nonprofits at The TANK, by the South Metro Denver Chamber, to vie for funding by pitching our program to a panel of Sharks—members of the community looking to give back. Each organization put together a presentation and was questioned by a panel of three judges in true “Shark Tank” style. Thanks to everyone’s generosity, the event generated more than $15,000 for all of the nonprofits! We took second place and raised $3,025 to help us present in high schools and colleges across Colorado to prevent distracted driving.
Why Distracted Driving?
The Butterfly Foundation works with people who have experienced all types of tragedy and hardship, from cancer survivors, widows, children and families affected by divorce or financial troubles, and more. We will always support members of our community after a tragic event like a car crash occurs, but this initiative focuses on preventing those distracted driving wrecks from ever happening in the first place—an issue near and dear to our hearts.
In 2014, our founder Nancy lost her husband, Patrick Fitzgerald, in a fatal bicycling accident caused by a distracted driver. After a career of charitable work helping other families in need, beginning well before the official registration of The Butterfly Foundation in 2009, Nancy and her two children found themselves in the same shoes as the many families they aided. Patrick’s family and friends were devastated, and iLendingDIRECT lost our founder and fearless leader.
Campaigning for Safe Driving
Since 2014, the year Patrick passed away, Colorado traffic fatalities have increased by 29%. In 2017, in Colorado alone, 630 people lost their lives in motor vehicle crashes. 67 of those were teens between 15 and 20 years old.
It’s easy to call these, “car accidents,” but are they really accidents? We believe that distracted driving is 100% preventable, yet 89% of Coloradans admitted to driving while distracted. Working in auto refinancing, driving safety is easily top of mind in our industry; after losing Patrick, we’ve become cemented in our goal to raise awareness about the dangers of distracted driving. The $3,025 we raised at The TANK will go toward community and youth education efforts around what constitutes distracted driving, measures to take to prevent distractions, and the reasons to take these initiatives so seriously.
If this mission resonates with you, please consider making a donation to help us fund the trips and the materials needed to reach out to youth in high schools and colleges across Colorado. Every contribution makes a difference!
Thanks to Our Community
The TANK is a wonderful event supporting local organizations and giving the community the opportunity to support one another. We’re grateful to have been a part of the competition again this year.
Congratulations to all of the other presenting nonprofits for raising money for their heartwarming causes: STEM Scouts Denver, Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep, Arapahoe Philharmonic, Christian Living Communities, and Developmental Pathways.
Thank you also to the sponsors, Lone Tree Arts Center, South Metro Denver Chamber, and Footers Catering, as well as the other exhibiting nonprofits: American Cancer Society Colorado, FRIENDS FIRST, LifeSpark Cancer Resources, mindSpark Learning, and Warrior Bonfire Program.
We’ll see you at next year’s event!