For the past few years now I have wanted to donate my time on either Thanksgiving Day or Christmas Day to organizations that catered to the less fortunate. However, I never once had the chance. Why? Due to my own neglect and waiting to schedule volunteer work until the day before or day of, when organizations are full (sometimes overwhelmed) with help from volunteers. This year was different. It was my first month here at Broadview Mortgage, and Branch Manager, John Krochman, explained at our Monday Morning Meeting that part of the Broadview Culture is to give back to the community, and tasked me with the research on who to help support this year.
There was one key word in what John said – community – so I got on the internet and searched locally. In my Google search one organization stuck out to me, the You Are Special Organization because of a huge headline that I couldn’t help but notice on their website reading “There is hunger in Orange.”
Since 2003, the You Are Special Foundation started handing out food in backpacks to the working poor. Now they receive regular donations from local grocery stores and have fridges stocked with food so that they can give families grocery bags of food each week. 70,000 people are served per year. The organization does not receive any government assistance, and in turn they serve whoever comes to their door without passing judgments.
On December 18th, four individuals from Broadview Mortgage volunteered at the organization to pass out groceries to those in need. Branch manager, John Krochman, had the following to say about the experience: “What touched me the most about the experience was the fact that You Are Special cares for the working poor. While ‘working poor’ struck me as odd sounding at first, it makes sense when I think about it from a housing prospective. Many of these folks are contributing everything they have to hold onto their homes or keep a roof over their head, and do so at the expense of groceries. So providing needed items does truly help a group of folks who are on hard times at the moment, and are certain to get back on their feet with a little help from the community. I know for myself, I won’t quite look at groceries the same when I fill my own shopping cart.”
Loan Officer Wesley Oliver had some important realizations at the organization as well, “As always the experience of helping those less fortunate is humbling. One of the things that stuck out to me the most was people having to choose between milk or eggs. Those are 2 items that many of us get for breakfast daily. It also really stuck out to me that a lot of the items that I myself probably would let go to waste in my house or I would turn down if someone tried to give them to me for free, mean the world to the less fortunate. Of course it is so easy to take for granted all the things that come so easily for you that others have to live without. As for the positive aspects, I loved the fact that many of the usuals that come for the help were able to be identified by name by many of the volunteers. The staff was very personable and addressed them by name and made them feel welcome. I think it is important that people who need help aren’t made to feel ashamed or like they are not as important as other people. I think the volunteers went a long way to make them feel that. I also like that there were kids helping out and donating there time consistently. Lastly I love the fact that the elderly couple I was working with, the Nguyens, were once people who used to come to the pantry for help and now that they are doing better they come back and donate their time to help those that are in the position that they were once in. I think that is great that they are paying it forward. “
The You Are Special Organization welcomes volunteers, food donations, and monetary donations. It truly is a very special experience and Broadview Mortgage would like to encourage businesses and individuals alike to get involved in this essential community organization. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any inquiries.
“It was a very positive experience, seeing the smiles and happy faces of most of the people that where there last Wednesday… is definitely an experience worth repeating.” – Edgar Jaramillo, Broadview Mortgage Loan Officer
About the Author: Brittany Williams is the Marketing Assistant and a Bachelor’s degree graduate of the University of Redlands. She can be reached via email at Brittany.email@example.com or phone at (714)538-4404 x 114.