RICHMOND, Va. — It really didn't take long for Mark Smith to decide which of the four major charities he supports would benefit from his latest accolade.
Mr. Smith, owner of four Midas of Richmond automotive service shops, has been named this year's Tire Business Tire Dealer Humanitarian, given to a tire dealer or retreader who goes above and beyond for the betterment of his or her community. In addition to the Humanitarian medal, Tire Business gives the winner $2,500, to be donated to the charity of the recipient's choice.
Mr. Smith is donating $5,000 to Shalom Farms, a regional food access and community development project.
Yes, you read that right. Mr. Smith chose to donate the $2,500 from Tire Business, then match that himself.
That donation could turn into even more for Shalom Farms, the nonprofit that sits on a 15-acre site south of Richmond, with about eight acres used for growing vegetables and fruits.
Shalom Farms Executive Director Dominic Barrett plans to use the funds as "challenge money," i.e., challenge other donors to donate, and up to $5,000 of that will be matched.
"There are so many places in town who are doing valuable work," Mr. Barrett said. "When you don't get a grant or a donor chooses not to support you, it's hard to be too upset because you know there's a lot of people trying to do good work.
"We just try to be as good stewards of those who choose to invest in us as possible," he said. "We talk about being good stewards of the land and good stewards of people who invest in our work."