Every year, FourFront holds a volunteer event where our entire team has the opportunity to give back to our community. This is one of my favorite aspects about FourFront, and now the torch was being passed down to me to plan and execute. At FourFront, the emphasis on our impact on the world and our surrounding community is ever-present.
Even in the beginning stages of planning how we could give back this year, there was always an organization in the forefront of my mind (see what I did there?): Face to Face Germantown. Immediately upon learning about Face to Face, it was clear that this organization was special. Face to Face is a non-profit organization that helps provide poverty relief and community connection which just so happens to be located less than 10 minutes from our office.
The center has many accommodations for the hundreds of guests that visit each day: a dining room, social services, legal services, health screenings, educational resources, a computer lab, art programs, haircuts, and showers, just to name a few. It was clear to me that the organization’s mission is to address poverty from all angles, making it easy to decide to host a donation drive for Face to Face.
The first step in our donation drive included compiling a list of wish-list items Face to Face needed, in addition to internal fundraising from our team. From there, my manager Christina and I volunteered to go to the store and pick up goods on behalf of everyone. We ended up collecting enough to do substantial damage at our local stores.
The journey began with me, Christina, and her 11-month-old Easton scouring the aisles of the stores looking for wishlist items. Heading to the front of the store with our overflowing cart, we realized just how badly we wished we had self-checkout. We were about to have the cashier scan at least 20 tubes of toothpaste (just to start), one of those tubes being the distraction for our colleague Easton. Luckily, she was sympathetic to our cause, and the checkout happened without a fit. We loaded our cars and were one step closer to our goal!
The team decided that our holiday party later that month would be the perfect opportunity to collect any donations they wished to bring directly. And boy, did our team show up! We crossed off almost every item on the Face to Face wishlist, ranging from shampoo to rice to clothing. Below is a picture of just a few of our total donations!
In fact, our team ended up donating so much that we ended up with the ability to drop off donations at two other places in Germantown!
The next day, Christina and I loaded up our cars in the freezing rain, and it was then that I realized just how heavy 50+ pounds of Basmati rice was. With the rice and goods in our trunk, we headed out for our voyage across Germantown.
Our first stop: Cradles to Crayons! We made the 4-minute trek from our office to the Cradles donation center and simply dropped our donations in their weatherproof boxes. Christina and I were tempted to stay in those boxes after being pelted in the face by the freezing rain, but nevertheless, we persisted onto stop 2.
Our next stop was Face to Face! Once we arrived, we were greeted by the sweetest volunteers, who were so appreciative. The Face to Face center was truly a special place – from the moment we walked in, we felt the impact that the organization had on the guests. It made the donation drive feel all the more necessary and rewarding. After loading up the cart, we were directed to their storage room, where we were able to put our love for organization to good use. “I lift things up and put them down” was quoted quite a few times. With that, we were onto stop number 3, our last stop!
For our final stop, we set out to Family Promise of Philadelphia on Germantown Ave, where we were able to donate extra baby formula that our colleague Easton did not need anymore. As the day progressed, our faces got redder, and we got colder, as evidenced by the picture above.
After dropping off the formula, we had completed our journey and were on our way to once again having a normal body temperature. Jokes aside, being able to provide donations for things like shampoo and toothbrushes really puts things into perspective. Often, we take little things like that for granted. The opportunity to provide our community with these necessary items, especially during the holidays, was not lost on our team. We truly want to ensure the world we live and work in is better.