*A Time For Giving*
**By Tony Garritano**
***This is certainly the time for giving. I challenge everyone reading this to think about how they can give back to their family, to their community, to mortgage lending. In this vein, PROGRESS in Lending has learned that to support the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation during the organization’s annual holiday collection campaign, Nationwide Title Clearing (NTC) hosted a toy drop-off at its Palm Harbor offices. This is the second year NTC has served as a collection center for Toys for Tots.
****Employees of the mortgage post-closing services provider and members of the community were invited to bring new, unwrapped toys to NTC’s offices, where the gifts were picked up by a local Toys for Tots representative last week in preparation for distribution to underprivileged children throughout Tampa Bay. In addition to the gifts contributed by employees and area residents, Nationwide Title Clearing also donated toys to the cause. Through combined efforts, the drive collected more than 200 toys.
****The Marine Toys for Tots Foundation is an IRS-recognized 501(C)(3) not-for-profit public charity, which serves as the fundraising, funding and support organization for the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program. As stated by the organization, the goal of the program is “to deliver, through a shiny new toy at Christmas, a message of hope to needy youngsters that will motivate them to grow into responsible, productive, patriotic citizens and community leaders.”
****John Hillman, CEO of Nationwide Title Clearing, noted that NTC shares that commitment to supporting deserving children and families. In addition to the company’s participation in the annual Toys for Tots campaign, NTC has also been involved in other community relief efforts, including last year’s participation in the Homeless Emergency Project (HEP) in Clearwater. NTC employees and management collected items of necessity that were donated to homeless individuals, along with clothing and household goods that were sold through the HEP Thrift Store to raise funds for the organization’s charitable programs. Many NTC personnel have continued the help into this year by volunteering their time to assist in the HEP kitchens, which serve shelter residents in the local area. Other recent NTC projects include collecting used video games and gaming equipment on behalf of a local charity that donates the items to hospitalized children.
****While NTC’s clientele in the residential mortgage banking industry are located throughout the country, Hillman explained that the company’s corporate culture is focused on giving back to the community in which the organization and its employees reside. “All of us at Nationwide Title Clearing – from senior-level management to our professionals and support staff – believe it is important to stay grounded in the local community. We’re committed to lending our support to those in unfortunate circumstances and helping them attain a better quality of life,” he asserted. “I believe that philanthropy leads to prosperity; so by helping others in the community, we can make life in the Tampa Bay area better for everyone.”
Tony Garritano is chairman and founder at PROGRESS in Lending Association. As a speaker Tony has worked hard to inform executives about how technology should be a tool used to further business objectives. For over 10 years he has worked as a journalist, researcher and speaker in the mortgage technology space. Starting this association was the next step for someone like Tony, who has dedicated his career to providing mortgage executives with the information needed to make informed technology decisions. He can be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.