Rhea Mae Cabardo, a small business owner and INC Giving volunteer from Omaha, Nebraska was sitting at her desk as usual when she felt a strong pull at her heart that she was supposed to do something for the kids at her sister’s school.
How did you get started?
Literally, that moment when I felt that tug, I contacted the school secretary and told her what I was inspired to do. I then drove over to Oriental Trading Company and spoke to the Marketing Manager. I sent them a follow-up email and within days they had sent me boxes to my house with more than 2000 items. I emailed Google and visited local supermarkets and informed them of what I was doing. I contacted the Universities in the area and all of those I had reached out to was more than willing to donate.
I have a small business marketing company and reached out to all the local small business owners and they were ready and willing to sponsor bags. After putting it on Facebook and Instagram, my friends from all over the world inquired and sent money to sponsor bags as well.
What was the reaction from those you contacted?
They were eager and did not hesitate to give what they could after speaking with them. It was so inspiring to see their hearts and love for children.
How did get in contact with the school?
My sister is the counselor and set up a time for me to talk to the school’s principal.
It snowballed into something amazing, in regards to the response from the community at large.
What was your biggest take away…and what would you say to someone thinking about doing something good for a local school?
My biggest take away is, don’t silence the small voice that’s telling you to be of service. Whether it’s to be of service to one person, 2 people or thousands. Sometimes the doubt is louder than that small voice telling you to do it that good thing. For a brief moment, the doubt kept creeping saying, “someone else will do it, who do you think you are, where are you going to get the money to do this.” But I just prayed and was reminded that if God is part of this, everything will fall into place.
So at the end of December, proudly wearing her INC Giving T-shirt, Rhea delivered about 200 bags for the students of Florence Elementary School. When interviewed about what inspired her, Rhea simply said, “that the community cares about them, they’re thought about and they’re love.”
Rhea Mae Cabardo works is a small business owner based in Omaha, Nebraska. She often helps with the events of the INCGiving Project in her hometown. She is already making plans to do a similar event this year with another local school