Today’s heroes don’t wear shining armor. They’re everyday people who take on real issues. At Grant Thornton, we call these people Purple Paladins. 

"Hi Melanie - I am the corporate social responsibility leader for Grant Thornton. We were very interested in learning more about your organization. Would love to chat if you’re open to that. Hope to hear from you - thanks!"

A message on LinkedIn to Melanie Isaacs in December would be the start of an amazing whirlwind for Pal Experiences. Grant Thornton had been searching for the next nonprofit organization to name as their Purple Paladin - and in their search, they came across Pal. The rest is history. We applied, interviewed and went to the final step - the interview with the CEO at the Waste Management Open, only to be surprised that we had already won! Brad Preber and the team were so grateful for our work in the community and the excitement to have us as the Purple Paladin was authentic.

Grant Thornton selected Pal Experiences as a Purple Paladin because the nonprofit has found a unique and innovative way to address an important, but often overlooked, need: helping people with non-visible disabilities -- such as autism -- have more inclusive experiences at museums, entertainment venues, sporting events and more. 

“Purple Paladins is all about helping promising and innovative nonprofits scale and grow,” said Brad Preber, CEO of Grant Thornton. “Pal Experiences is the ideal Purple Paladin. The nonprofit already has many partner organizations serving as Pal Places – and Grant Thornton hopes to help it add more across the nation, while also helping it bolster its technology-driven offerings.”

"This honor validates our work. The fact that Grant Thornton saw the value of the impact we were having, and generously offered to boost us to do more, is the best compliment a nonprofit can get," explains Melanie Isaacs. "We are beyond grateful for this recognition and so excited to see the impact it will create for inclusion!"

Along with being name Purple Paladin, the gift includes support with funding, skills-based and hands on volunteer support, and a platform to share Pal's story.

Empowering Everyday Heroes

Pal Experiences joins two other non-profits that Grant Thornton previously selected as Purple Paladins: Coming Up Rosies and Sneakers for Soldiers.

Coming Up Rosies is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that provides ‘smile kits’ to hospitals so children – particularly those suffering from hair loss – can engage in therapeutic art activities to create custom head scarves, neck scarves and superhero capes based on their own unique designs. To learn more, visit:

Sneakers for Soldiers is a 501(c)(3) organization that provides properly fitted athletic shoes to deployed combat troops in all branches of the military. To learn more, visit:

Grant Thornton’s Purple Paladins program derives its name from the word paladin, a champion of a cause. To learn more about Purple Paladins or to nominate a nonprofit for potential support, visit Grant Thornton’s website:

“We’re pleased and excited to welcome Pal Experiences as a Purple Paladin and join their important mission to set a new standard for accessibility and inclusivity in communities nationwide,” said Grant Thornton CEO Brad Preber. “Together, we can help ensure that everyone gets to go.”

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