Daronne Dobni, an entrepreneur and philanthropist, has a heart for people struggling with hunger not only in his home country of Canada, but also in the neighboring United States. Owner of Shade-It, a company that manufactures car window shades, Daronne said, “I experienced success with selling in the U.S. market. I have a strong customer base there.” Thankful for his product’s appeal to American consumers, he added further, “I feel a strong need to give back and to help assist people struggling with hunger in the United States.”
Digging deeper, it becomes clear why giving back is important to Daronne. “I've been poor myself. I lived in a shelter. I come from nothing,” he said. Thinking back to those early days he continued, “I was being helped by people who donated.”
The journey of giving back began long before Daronne’s financial accomplishments. Even when resources were low, he did what he could to help people in his local community. “I used to place meals on people's doorsteps — bags of groceries. Even then I had a mission to help people eat. It makes me feel good that I can help.”
When considering how to reach people facing hunger in the United States, an online search led Daronne to the Feeding America website. There he watched the personal stories of people served by network food banks, read financial reports and learned how his donations could translate into meals for people struggling with hunger. Daronne commented, “The website is professional. Feeding America is open and transparent. I learned that the organization would distribute my contributions properly and ethically and that 98 percent of all that Feeding America receives goes to programs to end hunger in the U.S.”
In addition, Daronne learned of Feeding America’s partnership with best-selling author, entrepreneur and philanthropist Tony Robbins who initiated the 100 Million Meals Challenge and, now in year two, the 100 Million More Meals Challenge. In each campaign, Tony matches financial donations to Feeding America, doubling peoples’ impact.
Inspired by Tony’s commitment to domestic hunger and confident his own financial donations would be put to good use, Daronne began supporting Feeding America. And so the giving continues, and to communities much further away from his hometown. Daronne’s most recent gift to Feeding America — doubled as part of the 100 Million More Meals Challenge — represents the equivalent of 220,000 meals for individuals and families in need.
The themes of thankfulness and generosity repeat themselves in Daronne’s life with far-reaching effects, crossing borders and truly helping neighbors in need. “Living is giving,” Daronne noted. More than a kind sentiment, these words are a declaration of action and welcome relief to the more than 42 million Americans struggling with hunger.