When Jonathan and Donna Galucki, who own Playback Now, attended the Community Foundation’s inaugural Good2Give Celebration in 2016, they didn’t know what to expect. They were there as representatives of the Norcross Cooperative Ministry, since Donna was on staff as their Faith Community Nurse.
“That was the first time we had direct contact with the Community Foundation,” Donna said. “During the evening, we saw how many different nonprofits the Community Foundation supported, all the fundholders and the many ways in which they served the community.”
It wasn’t until the following year, though, that an idea took root. The Galucki’s attended the celebration again and started talking about getting more involved.
“We left thinking maybe we could dip our toes in and become fundholders as well,” Donna said. “Throughout the evening I thought it was interesting that, unless people had name tags on, we didn’t know whether they were a donor or a nonprofit representative. It felt like everyone was like us. It wasn’t just the richest people of the world who were part of the Community Foundation.”
For Jon, Donna’s involvement with the co-op had already began to open his eyes to all of the nonprofits in the area.
“At the celebration, we saw some of those nonprofits being highlighted and I said, ‘you know, it’s time for us to step up and see what we can do.’”
A few months went by and then Donna emailed the Community Foundation’s President Randy Redner.
“It was towards the end of the year and we needed to make some decisions regarding our charitable contributions,” she said. “I wasn’t sure if Randy was the right person to email because I knew he was the president and CEO, but he responded immediately. He called me and even met me. I was so impressed by the fact that this person in charge was willing to be the one on the front lines meeting a brand-new donor.
“When I met with him, I could just see how much he cared about the community. His spirit just made me want to join forces with him and the group he was leading. He exemplified what we wanted to do. In addition, the Community Foundation had many resources that would help connect us to other donors as well as other nonprofits. We felt we could do greater good partnering with others.”
From Dekalb to Gwinnett
The Galucki’s started their business 40 years ago, in Decatur in 1978. They started out recording trade association seminars on cassettes, then moved to CD’s, and now provide virtual conference content online. In 1985, they moved their family and the business to Gwinnett.
“We needed a bigger house!” Jon joked. “We had four children and knew the schools in Gwinnett were top notch and came here because of those reasons.”
Donna had been an ICU nurse working in Emory’s health system but had left earlier to stay home with the family. In 2008, she got involved with the Norcross Co-op.
“I started out as a board member representing our church, Johns Creek United Methodist,” Donna said. “I became more and more involved with the children, starting several programs partnering with local churches and non profits. Then, in 2013, I started a health advocacy program and took on the role of a Faith Community Nurse.
“I spend a lot of time every week case-managing clients who have medical needs. People tend to think of the co-op as a ‘beans and blankets’ kind of thing, which is part of it, but there’s so much more to the Norcross Co-op. We connect people to additional resources to help them take care of all their needs so they can become self sufficient. Sometimes people get off track just by having a medical problem causing them to miss work, lose their job, lose their home, etc. We want to step in and help be the bridge for self sufficiency.”
The Power of Working Together
The Galuckis opened two funds at the Community Foundation. One for them and one as a legacy fund in memory of Donna’s parents, Connie and Donald Walton.
“We really feel like we can do more through the Community Foundation. They can help us figure out what opportunities are out there. We can partner with other donors. We feel we can have more of an impact together rather than individually,” Jon said.
“It’s a ‘one plus one can equal three’ kind of thing. You do have more of an impact when you can partner with other people of like mind.”
For Donna, giving through the Community Foundation is also another way to serve.
“I believe that the way we express our love to God is by serving others, and I believe that serving others is the way we put that love into action.”