People Who Make Every Day “Giving Tuesday”

“Oh yeah, who gave her 90th unit of blood today….it would be this girl…right here!” Connie Hart posted on her Facebook page. “I try to think of it as leading by example. Hope to see many of you at my next blood drive!” I say: preach it Connie!

Connie Hart

I’m writing this on Giving Tuesday… vignettes about people who give all of the time. Each one an inspiration to us here at Sparkt. In Connie Hart’s case… in addition to giving blood, she sets up blood drives at her church. “I’m convinced my blood donations save lives,” says Connie.

We are too Connie. We are too.

Jon and Joni Perry

Now wrap your arms around helping three hundred thousand people! That’s not a typo… the

Pennies From Heaven
charity has helped MORE than 300,000 people. “We relieve some of the stress and burden of having a sick child in the hospital,” says attorney Jon Perry.

Here’s the deal. Jon’s son had cancer. This was years ago. He’s fine now. While in the hospital with his two and a half year old son and his wife Joni, Jon had an epiphany. “A lot of parents couldn’t afford to stay at their child’s side. They had to work. We had to fix that,” says Jon. He did. He started Pennies from Heaven. Gifts range from small overnight toiletry bags and brown bag lunches to paying lost wages, utility bills and even mortgage payments. They’ve raised millions of dollars. Every penny goes to the charity. Greatness!

Bob Tudi, right, and one of his employees install a furnace for free at a needy family’s home

Then there’s Bob Tudi. “We’ve put in nearly 400 furnaces in homes over the years. The demand is tremendous,” says Bob. I’ve know Bob since I was a teenager. He was always a good guy. He’s now a great man.

Tudi Mechanical
is his HVAC company. It’s a very successful business. Much of it driven by quality service and Bob Tudi’s desire. Bob realized the need years ago when a woman’s furnace blew out. She couldn’t afford a new one. Bob stepped in a replaced it. Now his company’s effort is called Heat For The Needy. Last year I watched his army of employee and volunteers installed more than twenty furnaces for needy people in one day! “We have to do this. In fact my people enjoy this. We all must make a difference,” says Tudi.(click here

to apply for this year’s program; the deadline is December 15)

Hundreds of Tudi employees, family and friends particiapted in Heat for the Needy last year.

You know when someone shouts “Here! Here!”? Well…the correct cheer is actually “hear… hear!” I’m told it’s an abbreviation for “hear, all ye good people, hear what this brilliant and eloquent speaker has to say!”

Hear! Hear! We should all call out the great ones among us who make a difference every day… not just on a Giving Tuesday or a Kindness Wednesday.

Kindness and giving. They’re pervasive here at Sparkt. A myriad of people doing wonderful things each day. Make a difference in your life. Start something good. Make every day a day of giving. If you can. Please let us know about it so we can send a “hear, hear” your way!


Connie Hart Facebook page


Pennies from Heaven Facebook page


Tudi Home Services Facebook page


About Marty Griffin
Marty is a past recipient of three prestigious Regional Emmys for Outstanding Investigative Reporting and also won a Broadcast Achievement Award for an undercover story about Michael Irvin and the Dallas Cowboys. He was named the Best Talk Show Host in Pittsburgh in 2008 for the Pittsburgh Achievement in Radio Awards. Marty shakes things up weekdays 9 am to noon on KDKA Radio.

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