Chicago Team Finds New Meaning in Bagging Groceries and Stocking Shelves
We’re usually so caught up in the hustle and bustle of our own lives that we don’t often think about the daily challenges some other residents of our cities face – challenges of the most basic kind, like having enough food to feed their families and staying warm in the winter. On March 31, members of our Chicago Inside Sales, Resonate team, decided to help improve the lives of the disadvantaged, so they broke away from the office for one day to donate their time to a local community center.
According to Stacey Lawson Barr, “as a team, we knew we wanted to volunteer at a local soup kitchen or food pantry since the need in Chicago is so great.” So on the last day of March, team members spent the day at the Howard Area Community Center as part of the Marketwired Community Builders program. Howard Area Community Center is located in the 49th Ward of Chicago known as Rogers Park. It serves more than 8,000 individuals and families through social services programs including a food pantry, adult education and literacy, HIV testing and prevention, Medicaid assistance and enrollment, and more. One of the Center’s newest and most exciting projects is its community garden, which is making tremendous strides in bringing healthy, organic produce to residents of the 49th Ward.
“Our day began with stuffing and distributing food bags for the homeless and others in need, and it was so successful that we spent the afternoon restocking the depleted shelves,” said Stacey. “All of us quickly came to recognize the great work that the city’s local community centers do – from providing free daycare to kids so their parents can go to night school to ensuring that low-income families don’t go without heat during the brutal Chicago winters.”
In addition to helping raise money, the team also hoped to increase awareness about breast cancer within the company and demonstrate their support for people fighting cancer, to let them know that they're not alone.
As the activity-packed day came to a close, team members grew increasingly aware of the huge role that the Center plays in helping to fill the needs of local residents – needs that can only be met with support from volunteers. Clay Minoff, Inside Sales Manager, identified the organization for this quarter’s project (Marketwired’s Community Giving initiative gives employees a day each quarter to serve as catalysts for change in their communities). After serving as team captain and playing an integral role in the day’s accomplishments, Clay summed up the impact the day made on him: “As a ‘food runner’ I was able to interact with families who rely on the resources and volunteer support that Howard Area Community Center provides to the community. It reminded me of the commonalities that we as humans all need to live day to day.”
All team members expressed their deep gratitude for the opportunity to give their time to such a worthy organization and hope others within the Marketwired family take advantage of this fantastic corporate benefit.