Nick Boardman grew up learning what it means to care for the hurting and hopeless. For nearly 20 years, his parents took in dozens of foster children, giving him at least 85 brothers and sisters over his lifetime.
That experience, he says, demonstrated the power of love and consistency. It’s also why he asked the Movement Foundation to give $10,000 to an organization with a similar outlook.
Enter M28, a Pennsylvania-based nonprofit that comes alongside people at the worst times in their lives and helps them find community and stability.
It’s the latest winner of the Movement 10k giveaway, an ongoing campaign to gift nonprofits, ministries and charities significant to Movement team members. To nominate a nonprofit they love, team members submit a one-minute video explaining how the organization brings life, light and hope to people in need. A committee then selects a winner each month.
Boardman, who joined Movement more than a year ago after leaving a prestigious accounting firm, praised the company’s commitment to investing in the lives of the underserved.
“It’s a good way we can use the funds we have available,” says Boardman, tax manager at Movement’s national headquarters in Fort Mill, S.C. “I think rather than spending it on random parties or pizza or whatever… giving it to a place that is directly impacting the lives you’re serving is something special.”
Something else that’s special: the organization getting the Movement grant is one started by Boardman’s uncle and cousin.
“Having family members getting boots on the ground and working day-in and day-out with (people) who didn’t have the (same upbringing) took off my upper middle class filter,” he says, “and showed me the true depravity and brokenness of a lot of people.”
What is M28?
M28 is named for Matthew 28, the New Testament passage in which Jesus commands His followers — both biblical-era disciples and modern-day believers — to spread the Gospel to people throughout the world.
It’s a model M28 strives to follow. How?
The nonprofit offers life coaching and spiritual guidance to men and women battling drug and alcohol addiction, and ex-offenders. It helps them find housing, transportation and healthcare, says Jimmy Schambach, M28’s associate director.
It operates an emergency food pantry in partnership with a local food bank and homeless shelter, and feeds about 200 families a year, Schambach says.
In sessions dubbed “Open Table,” individuals willing to pour into the lives of people in the program gather to address key areas, such as homelessness, addiction and fatherlessness.
Its newest initiative, the House2Home Project, transforms empty living spaces into furnished homes for families or individuals in transitional housing situations.
Furthering their lives
The organization also takes a spiritual bend, using what clients learn in 12-step programs about a higher power to lead them into a relationship with God.
“What we’ve found is when they identify transient, temporal things as higher powers, they don’t have an anchor that guides them forward,” Schambach says. “Conversations about a higher power and relating them to God has been super helpful.”
When it was founded in 2011, M28 served just 10 people. In 2016, it helped more than 710 people find the road to recovery, and that number could grow to more than 1,000 by the end of this year.
Schambach says M28 will use the 10k to purchase more food for its pantry, support day-to-day operations — such as transporting clients — and store donated furniture in a warehouse.
“It’s monumental for moving us forward,” Schambach says of the 10k. “The money will go directly to helping these people trying to further their lives.”