Serving Others: ABR Cares!

ABR Cares Shared Harvest 1 In our everyday roles, the ABR team strives to do work that has a recognizable impact on our clients’ businesses. This commitment is evident in the Core Values we developed for our organization:

  • We have a Gung-Ho attitude
  • We feel a collective responsibility
  • We vigilantly pursue excellence

We feel compelled to mirror our commitment to these values in our communities as well.

So this year, we decided to begin a new initiative called “ABR Cares,” a week dedicated to being intentional about volunteering in service of others. As a team, we selected a theme for our service—ending hunger—and found opportunities to do work with non-profit organizations throughout the week. The goal was simple: take time to give of ourselves in order to make an impact in our local communities.

Volunteering can be such a simple act. None of what we did this week was particularly complicated or challenging work—we moved boxes, sorted food, and served meals. But what struck me was how such simple tasks can have such a major impact. For example, our Cincinnati team worked at a soup kitchen for just a few hours, yet we helped provide meals to hundreds of individuals.

Victoria Rodgers (left) posing with another volunteer at the mobile pantry in Charlotte.

Victoria Rodgers (left) posing with another volunteer at the mobile pantry in Charlotte.

While some of the work we did was behind the scenes, many of us were able to meet those individuals who benefited from the services provided. These personal connections really drove home an important fact—as Victoria noted, “you never know the situation of the person you are sitting next to…everyone has a story and a struggle which most times is shielded by a smile of resilience and drive to survive.”

Through conversations with my coworkers, I know most of us plan to continue to lend a hand to the organizations we volunteered with this week. We know the need is great, and we understand that work like this can have a significant effect. This has been a fulfilling week for me; I am so grateful to work for an organization that is intentional about making a difference in our communities.

A brief look at our activity this week:

  • Instructional Designer Cindy Weissman spent several days at the Thomas Merton Center in Bridgeport, CT.
  • Our Cincinnati contingent (Amy Fox, Karrin Frilling, Kathryn Lee, Teresa Newman, and myself) volunteered both at the Shared Harvest Foodbank and Our Daily Bread soup kitchen.
  • VP of Client Services Amy Evans worked to sort donations for BackPack Buddies in Raleigh, NC.
  • Training Manager Darrell Burke and Director of Instructional Design Elise Margol lent a hand at the Atlanta Community Food Bank.
  • VP of Sales Victoria Rodgers worked a mobile food pantry hosted by Second Harvest Feeding America and Together We Feed in Charlotte, NC.

Hunger in the U.S. is a wide-ranging issue that impacts individuals of every race, gender, and age. In 2014, there were more than 48 million Americans living in food-insecure households, including 15 million children and more than 5 million seniors (source). You can help shift these statistics by donating food, time, or money to the non-profit of your choice. To learn more about any of the organizations we supported this week, please visit their websites:

http://ourdailybread.us/

http://foodshuttle.org/we-feed/childrens-hunger-relief/backpack-buddies/

http://acfb.org/

http://sharedharvest.org/

http://www.themertoncenter.org/

www.feedingamerica.org/

http://www.secondharvestmetrolina.org/

http://togetherwefeed.org/

The Cincinnati Team posing after sorting food and filling boxes at the Shared Harvest Food Bank in Fairfield, Ohio (from left, Karrin Frilling, Devon Campailla, Amy Fox, Kathryn Lee).

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The Cincinnati Team constructed hundreds of boxes for Shared Harvest.

 

 

Amy Evans sorted several tons of food for BackPack Buddies in Raleigh.

Elise Margol and Darrell Burke volunteered at the Atlanta Community Food Bank on Wednesday.

Victoria Rodgers volunteered Thursday at a mobile pantry in Charlotte sponsored by Second Harvest Feeding America and Together We Feed.

Children arriving at the mobile pantry in Charlotte.

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