In this installment of Stories from the Couch, our people share their experiences volunteering for nonprofit organizations, delivering unmatched experiences for themselves and their communities.
At its heart, our operational model is about building strong, sustainable local presences in the communities we serve.
Our employees are passionate about giving back to where they live by volunteering, fundraising or helping to promote local nonprofits that allow towns, cities and neighborhoods to thrive.
SHORT STORIES ABOUT HOW OUR PEOPLE ARE CENTERED ON COMMUNITY
Centric India Improves Health and Hygiene in Delhi
More than 50 volunteers from Centric India carefully packed hygiene kits for the Hemkunt Foundation, a nonprofit that fights inequity, poverty and disease through humanitarian aid and relief across 21 states in India. As a result, more than 500 people learned about proper menstrual hygiene, received hygiene kits and benefited from medical support while also receiving food.
Our theme, ‘Centered on Giving Back,’ stands for our collective need as an organization to support local and marginalized communities in the best possible ways. Every quarter, Centric India takes up initiatives to support communities and aid them in their well-being.
The hygiene kits contained sanitary products, soap, shampoo and laundry detergent. Sanitary products are critical because women in poor regions often lack the knowledge or funds to purchase sanitary napkins. Our goal was to raise women’s knowledge of menstrual hygiene through this project.
However, the team did not stop there. They also distributed blankets to shield beneficiaries from Delhi’s bitter winters, and they sponsored a mobile ambulance for a month to treat patients in poor regions for a variety of illnesses and diseases.
Everyone befitted from the project. Our volunteers made an impact on the lives of the beneficiaries and saw the smiles on the faces of those receiving hygiene kits, food and blankets. In contrast, our beneficiaries felt loved because of the genuine warmth, concern and enthusiasm shown throughout our initiative.
— Palak Rana, Centric India
Columbus Employees Combine Generosity and Problem-Solving Skills for Food Pantry
Our Columbus, Ohio, operating group held a drive for a Pickaway County Food Pantry in advance of Thanksgiving, collecting not only food but also more than $1,000 worth of toothbrushes, toothpaste and soap. The project demonstrated not only Centric Columbus employees’ generosity but also their creativity.
Centric employee Hayley Beasy suggested a small pantry where she had volunteered. She provided a list of needed items, and the project was underway.
The designated collection site was the Dev Studio, a software development and innovation studio where employees create tailored solutions to meet their clients’ unique needs. However, organizers Amanda Reed, Anthony Marraccini, Sam Rings and Lucas Eggert knew that consultants on assignment might not be able to travel to the Columbus Dev Studio.
To ensure everyone could participate, they created a spreadsheet that employees could use to order packages of a toothbrush and toothpaste or bars of soap. They then used Venmo to send their payment to Amanda Reed, who purchased the packages and delivered them to the Dev Studio.
“We were so happy that we offered this virtual way of donating!” Reed said.
In addition to the healthcare items, Reed filled her trunk and front passenger seat with food, including hundreds of cans of soup. “When we arrived, the pantry volunteers were so happy at the quantity and quality of the donations,” Reed said. “More than once, they mentioned, ‘Look at all this brand-name soup!’ It was extremely heartwarming to see our contributions filling their shelves!”
— Leigh Helsel, Columbus
St. Louis Helps Heal Hunger with Operation Food Search
In St. Louis, Missouri, five volunteers from our local team packed 405 bags of food in only two hours to support Operation Backpack, an initiative of the city’s Operation Food Search.
Operation Backpack is a child nutrition program that provides weekly sacks of kid-friendly, shelf-stable food to help students through the weekend when school meals are unavailable. Working with participating schools, Operation Food Search distributes the meals discretely to the children, which allows them to start each week well-nourished and school-ready for academic success.
St. Louis Operating Group Lead Paul Holway, one of the volunteers, is a long-time Operation Food Search supporter because of his strong belief in the organization’s mission to “heal hunger.” Last year, Operation Backpack provided more than 589,000 meals to students in 338 St. Louis-area schools.
“It makes me so happy to think of the look on kids’ faces when they get this food and enjoy it at home with their families,” Holway said. “Kids learn so much better when their stomachs are full.”
— Tim Fox, St. Louis
Columbus Employees Make Residents Safer, Happier in Their Homes
Every year, employees from our Columbus, Ohio, operating group volunteer at an annual event called Rebuilding a Healthy Neighborhood. Rebuilding a Healthy Neighborhood is the signature event for Modcon Living, a nonprofit dedicated to sustaining homes and neighborhoods through reliable, affordable home repair and modification services for vulnerable homeowners.
In 2022, about 10 of our employees helped a man suffering from dementia and other disabilities and his daughter, who serves as his full-time caregiver. Their main objectives were to clear out a large amount of trash and other objects in the backyard, to paint the trim on the front porch, and to add door closers to the front and back doors.
While it was a gray, overcast day, hopefully, we made it brighter for this man and his daughter. Our work certainly made it brighter for us as we fulfilled our core value of giving back to the community!
— Amanda Reed, Columbus
Charlotte Cooks Up a Feast for Ronald McDonald House
Centric employees in Charlotte, North Carolina, were looking for a charity to help. When they learned of an opportunity to prepare meals for Ronald McDonald House Charities-Charlotte, they jumped at a chance to help create a “home away from home” for families of seriously ill children.
Seven of our employees hit the grocery store and bought enough food to serve dinner to 35 to 40 people. They even created a healthy menu for the evening consisting of vegan pumpkin soup, gluten-free chicken cutlets, yellow jasmine rice, green salad with apples, cranberries and pepitas.
Because food has historically been one of the ways people comfort themselves and show they care about others, everyone found the opportunity to be very fulfilling. Our team demonstrated great teamwork and project management skills as they finished cooking in under an hour and a half and left the Ronald McDonald House’s kitchen sparkling!
— Maryna Kollar, Charlotte