Empowering change: 84.51° gives back with employee grants


84.51° is proud to support organizations that our people care about as part of our Living Our Purpose program. While our overall Living Our Purpose focus is on STEM, food insecurity and DE&I, we understand our associates have their own passions, too.

That’s where the Employee Grant Stipends come in! All 84.51° team members are eligible for a $1,000 stipend to the charity of their choice, so long as they are active within that charity (serving on the board, a committee, or the chair of an event).

Three grants were recently provided to associates who chose charities near and dear to their hearts. The donations are being used to help families break the cycle of abuse, increase access to animal-assisted therapy, and to search for a cure for Crohn's and Colitis disease. Read on for highlights of charity events and causes supported by our associates.

Family Nurturing Center – Rachel Markle

Rachel Markle is a senior financial analyst at 84.51° and volunteers with the Family Nurturing Center (FNC), an organization dedicated to ending the cycle of child abuse by promoting individual well-being and healthy family relationships. The FNC has two locations in Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky, offering services such as education and training for parents, counseling, therapeutic visitation, parenting time visitation, and holistic and wellness programs at no cost to the families.


Rachel with her fiancé, Zach Bycznski, at the “Prom for a Purpose” fundraiser

Rachel recently sat on the “Prom for a Purpose” committee, which helped the Family Nurturing Center plan their major fundraiser at Hotel Covington at the end of April.


“84.51°’s sponsorship of “Prom for a Purpose” supports the FNC’s ability to meet the growing needs of those in the community that are facing the devasting effects of childhood trauma and abuse,” she says. “The event raised $130,000!”

Canine Therapy Corps – Kate Keenan

Kate Keenan is a director of data science in the Office of the Customer. She and her dog, Levi, volunteer as a therapy team with Canine Therapy Corps, a Chicago-based organization that operates animal assisted, goal-oriented therapy in a variety of program settings like health care, education, and social services, with people recovering from physical and emotional trauma.


Kate and Levi

Kate and Levi have volunteered in the Haymarket Center program since fall of 2019. “We work with chemically dependent individuals in rehabilitation,” she says. “The program follows Canine Therapy Corps’ award-winning curriculum which improves communication skills, anger management, self-esteem, and self-awareness. During this six-week program, participants work with a dog on progressively advanced obedience, celebrating their work and bond in a graduation where each participant demonstrates proficiency in dog handling.”


The Haymarket Squad: Daisy, June, Levi, Cleo

Levi is also a favorite of other Canine Therapy Corps programs including “Camp I Am Me,” a sleepover camp for children and teens who have experienced burns.

“Here we are waiting under the tent on a very hot day for campers to create a routine of tricks for Levi to perform with them. This camp allows burn survivors to have fun and build their self-esteem in a safe, non-judgmental environment.”

Kate says the employee grant stipend supports funding that allows Canine Therapy Corps to continue offering these interactive animal-assisted therapy services free of charge.

Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation – Robin Sturgeon

Robin Sturgeon is a partnership development manager on the Customer Strategy and Activation team and volunteers with the Greater New York Chapter of the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation Young Professionals. The mission of the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation is to cure Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, and to improve the quality of life of children and adults affected by these diseases. The Foundation sponsors basic and clinical research of the highest quality.

This cause is close to Robin’s heart, as a 20-year Crohn's patient. This past April, she served on the Comedy Committee, which hosts the Young Professionals Comedy Night, an upscale comedy show to raise awareness and funds for the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation.


Robin and her parents at the YP Comedy Night at Gotham Comedy Club in NYC

The Comedy Committee delivered a packed and star-studded cast! Actor and comedian Michael Rapaport opened the show, followed by a stacked NYC comic lineup of Laura Sogar, Natalie Cuomo, and Matthew Broussard.

“The goal for the event was to raise $70,000 and we were able to hit $72,438!,” she says. “All revenue generated from fundraising events help support the research, advocacy and support that the Foundation conducts on behalf of IBD patients, in pursuit of cures for Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.

Living Our Purpose

Employee Grant Stipends are just one of the ways that we give back to our local communities. 84.51° also supports corporate sponsorships, gift matching, community grants and much more. From Degrees of Giving charity events to team-building opportunities and golf outings – our associates truly "live our purpose" in our communities.

We’re leading a data revolution in the retail business, and we’re looking for partners who are ready for a deeper, more personal approach to customer engagement.

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