AGS Guest Guides Donates $1.4M Over Last Decade
With the exception of 2020, the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic, AGS Guest Guides has experienced double-digit growth every year, expanding its customer base exponentially since its acquisition by Texas Advertising in 2011, according to a press release.
Through its AGS Cares Program, the Crowley, Texas-based company has also consistently increased its charitable giving, providing nearly $1.4 million in cash and “in-kind” donations to more than a dozen nonprofit organizations over the past decade. These donations include $570,000 in cash and roughly $825,000 worth of “in-kind” contributions, mainly in the form of donated advertising space in AGS guest guides, noted the release.
This year alone, AGS Guest Guides aims to donate more than $400,000 in cash and “in-kind” contributions to charitable causes.
“To whom much is given, much is expected,” said AGS President and CEO Brian Schaeffer, paraphrasing a passage from the Gospel of Luke.
Schaeffer said he believes it’s important for companies to “give back,” particularly as they become more successful. With this in mind, he launched the AGS Cares Program a year after acquiring AGS in 2011 from Good Sam Enterprises, LLC.
“We felt it was important to share our success,” Schaeffer said, adding, “Every year you grow, you should be happy to bless others with your success.”
Many of Schaeffer’s clients share a similar philosophy and use their AGS Loyalty Dollars to support charities of their own choosing. “Oftentimes, parks will use their loyalty dollars to support local charities, like boys’ and girls’ clubs,” he said.
AGS, for its part, also complements its cash donations with donations of advertising space in its guest guides.
“Any time we have open spots in our guides, we’ll often run an ad promoting an actual charity that we ask people to support,” Schaeffer said.
Over the past decade, the AGS Cares Program has provided support for more than two dozen different charities, explained the release.
The largest recipients of AGS Cares support include the following nonprofit organizations:
- Care Camps: A non-profit charity of the KOA Owners Association, Care Camps sends kids with cancer to special camps where they can enjoy camping and recreational experiences at no charge to their families. Created in 1984, the program has grown to support 52 KOA Care Camps across the country.
- St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital: Founded by the late entertainer Danny Thomas and based in Memphis, Tenn., St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is internationally recognized for its pioneering work in finding cures and saving children with cancer and other catastrophic diseases. St. Jude is the first and only pediatric cancer center to be designated as a Comprehensive Cancer Center by the National Cancer Institute. St. Jude freely shares its discoveries with scientific and medical communities around the world. It’s also the only pediatric cancer research center where families never pay for treatment not covered by insurance. No child is ever denied treatment because of the family’s inability to pay.
- Gateway Church: This is a Bible-based, evangelical, spirit-based church founded in 2000 by Pastor Robert Morris. The church’s numerous ministries make a difference in the lives of people around the world.
- IMAHelps: Headquartered in Rancho Mirage, Calif., IMAHelps organizes annual humanitarian missions to provide critical healthcare services, including cleft lip and cleft palate surgeries, to some of the poorest communities in Central and South America. IMAHelps medical teams include general internal medicine doctors, plastic and maxillofacial surgeons, pediatricians, OB-GYNs, dentists, prosthetists and physical therapists. Since it was founded in 2000, IMAHelps volunteers have provided free surgeries and other healthcare services to more than 100,000 indigent patients in nine countries. The organization’s next medical humanitarian mission is set for summer 2022 in Quito, Ecuador.
- Joel Osteen Ministries: Joel Osteen is a native Texan and the Pastor of Lakewood Church, which according to Church Growth Today is America’s largest and fastest-growing church. Joel Osteen Ministries provides the necessities of food, clothing and medical supplies to hungry children and families in need, while also using television, the Internet, podcasts and other new technologies to reach others with the Good News of the Gospel to inspire people everywhere and help them rediscover their true purpose in life. Joel Osteen Ministries is involved in vaccination programs, abandoned baby centers and centers for young, troubled teens looking for a new life and a fresh start.
- Operation Kindness: Founded in 1976, Operation Kindness is the oldest and largest no-kill shelter in North Texas. Its mission is to care for homeless cats and dogs in a no-kill environment until each is adopted into responsible homes and to advocate humane values and behavior. Operation Kindness has saved over 70,000 animals since its inception. Operation Kindness cares for an average of 200-250 animals on a day-to-day basis, with another 60-80 animals in foster homes. More than 3,000 dogs and cats are assisted by Operation Kindness each year.
- Samaritan’s Purse: Samaritan’s Purse is a nondenominational evangelical Christian organization providing spiritual and physical aid to hurting people around the world. Since 1970, Samaritan’s Purse has helped meet the needs of people who are victims of war, poverty, natural disasters, disease, and famine with the purpose of sharing God’s love through His Son, Jesus Christ.
- Wounded Warrior: This non-profit organization was set up to provide post 9/11 veterans with a variety of programs to nurture wounded veterans’ minds and bodies while encouraging their economic empowerment and engagement. Services include a combat stress recovery program, family support retreats, adaptive sports programs, and soldier bicycle rides. The group also provides veterans who have lost multiple limbs with secondary rehabilitation for prosthetic care to maximize their mobility and help them regain independence through the organization’s partnership with Hangar Prosthetics and Orthotics.
“Success is about the relationships you build with staff, customers and those special entities that reach out to the less fortunate among us. We are blessed to be a blessing,” declared Schaeffer.