Giving back has always been part of the VML’s DNA. From the beginning, VMLers have consistently rolled up their sleeves and donated time, talent and treasure to help improve the communities where we live, work and raise our families.
At VML, community outreach is administered by the VML Foundation, an official 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. The Foundation is an employee-led organization, spearheading a wide array of volunteer opportunities, pro bono projects and financial contributions.
Nearly 75 percent of VMLers make ongoing financial contributions through payroll deduction. VML Foundation members receive a matching gift benefit of up to $200 annually. This enables VMLers to double their contributions to any 501(c)(3) organization. The VML Foundation grant program enables members to extend financial support to causes they’re passionate about.
VML donates professional services to dozens of nonprofit community organizations each year. From a full website redesign to designing invitations for a special project, VML routinely partners with charitable groups to elevate digital marketing campaigns or design programs for local organizations.
Over the past year, some of the worthy causes VML has supported with pro bono work include The Children's Place, Powell Gardens, HappyBottoms diaper donation program, TedxKC, KC First STEM, Jazzoo and Folly Theater.
To request pro bono support from VML, please send an email to ProBonoRequest@vml.com.
Head for the Cure
The Head for the Cure Foundation is an organization dedicated to raising awareness and funding in the fight against brain cancer. Dedicated to the memory of former VMLer Chris Anthony, the Head for the Cure Foundation has received marketing support from VML for nearly a decade.
Head for the Cure run/walk events are currently staged in metropolitan Kansas City (the organization’s flagship event); Columbia, Mo.; Wichita, Kan.; Lawrence, Kan.; St. Louis, Mo.; Frisco, Texas (North Dallas); Houston, Texas; Austin, Texas; Seattle, Wash.; and Tulsa, Oklahoma. Additional locations will be added in the future.
The principal Head for the Cure Foundation beneficiary is the Brain Tumor Trials Collaborative (BTTC) at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, which leads a network of NCI-accredited medical centers participating in state-of-the-art clinical trials investigating new treatments for malignant brain tumors.
Learn more about the Head for the Cure Foundation at www.headforthecure.org
Shave to Save
Ten years ago, VML partnered with the Kansas City chapter of the American Cancer Society to create Shave to Save. Shavees raise funds for Hope Lodge, a free, temporary residential facility that provides a home away from home for cancer patients and their caregivers during outpatient treatment.
Over the decade, more than 25 VMLers have participated as shavees, both in Kansas City and in New York City. In 2011, four VMLers served as shavees and more than $200,000 was contributed for Kansas City’s Hope Lodge, a record amount. VMLer Kris Hiestand raised the most money of any shavee in 2011, nearly $16,000.
VML’s Kristen Boulware served as the most recent overall program co-chair, and dozens of VMLers contribute annually to Shave to Save. Matt Anthony, VML Global Chairman, received a Corporate Lifetime Support award on behalf of VML's long-standing support of Shave to Save.
Learn more about Shave to Save at www.shavetosave.org
Habitat for Humanity
The primary goal of the Heartland chapter of Habitat for Humanity is to eliminate substandard housing. VMLers have been lending a hand for many years to help accomplish the task.
VMLers regularly use paid community service days to volunteer at Heartland Habitat home-building sites. Heartland Habitat for Humanity was established in 2006, formed by the merger of Kaw Valley Habitat for Humanity and Northland Habitat for Humanity. Since 1987, the two Habitat affiliates have built more than 215 homes in Wyandotte, Leavenworth and Johnson counties in Kansas and Clay and Platte counties in Missouri.
Countless VMLers have contributed sweat equity to the cause and the agency was privileged to redesign and implement the organization’s new website, www.heartlandhabitat.org.
JDRF is the worldwide leader for research to cure type 1 diabetes. It sets the global agenda for diabetes research, and is the largest charitable funder and advocate of diabetes science worldwide. VML sponsors a Walk to Cure Diabetes team every year, participating in an event that takes place in more than 200 communities around the country.
VML sponsors JDRF Week at the agency, with guest presentations and fundraising activities, culminating with participation in the Walk to Cure Diabetes event. VML co-founder Scott McCormick is a member of the national JDRF board. Scott has played a key role in developing strategies for corporate and family team participation in annual JDRF walks. He currently serves as the organization’s interim marketing director. Learn more about JDRF at www.jdrf.org.