September 20, 2018
What did you do the week of September 10-14? For hundreds of employees at OneAmerica, it was quite the week to remember. September 10th marked the kickoff of their fifth annual Week of Caring, which united 741 OneAmerica employees in 2,223 hours of community service in Central Indiana alone.
“I am proud of our associates, who stepped up in a record-setting way,” said Scott Davison, chairman, president and CEO of OneAmerica, who volunteered at Outreach, an Indianapolis organization that assists homeless teenagers. “The need in our communities is great, and so was our response.”
When Week of Caring launched in 2014, OneAmerica became the first organization in Central Indiana to devote an entire week to volunteer activities. Usually companies participate in a Day of Caring through United Way, but OneAmerica felt compelled to give back even more. This year, 850 employees across three states contributed a combined 2,500 hours of service. The focus was on tackling critical projects so that staffs of social-service agencies can focus on their core missions. Week of Caring also provides volunteers the opportunity to become more familiar with community organizations that have sparked their interest.
Here’s a look at just some of the projects their Indianapolis team conquered during their Week of Caring.
Employees sorted food, unpacked water bottles, and moved large containers of food at Gleaners Food Bank of Indiana. The food bank helps relieve food insecurity for the 1 in 6 Hoosiers who battle hunger. Within just Marion County, 172,510 people are food insecure — 47,000 of those people are children.
A team with power tool talents cut poles to create a fence around the outdoor area at Shepherd Community Center, which has served the near Eastside of Indianapolis since 1985. The center’s mission is to break the cycle of poverty on the near Eastside. To do this, they use the 2Gen approach to help families overcome the challenges they may be facing in all areas: physical, emotional, spiritual and academic.
Outreach Indiana, a nonprofit that focuses on equipping and empowering homeless teens and young adults, received lots of helping hands. Volunteers sorted and folded clothes, organized hundreds of seed packets and cleaned bathrooms. Outreach Indiana focuses on connecting youth to services and building relationships to increase their social, emotional, intellectual, physical and spiritual capacities to propel youth towards stability and life transformation.
Volunteers fired up the grill at Volunteers of America to serve up a delicious lunch to women in the Fresh Start Recovery Program. This program uniquely allows mothers and children to remain together while mother receives residential treatment for drug abuse. The program offers hope, restores dignity and transforms the lives of women throughout Indiana.
From outdoor activities like leaf blowing, painting and window washing, to interacting with clients and cleaning, the group conquered a lot in just one day at Easterseals Crossroads! The organization has been helping individuals with disabilities and special needs, and their families, live better lives for 80 years.
Fun fact: the executive director of Easterseals Crossroads, Patrick Sandy, was honored as one of United Way’s 100 Heroes!
Google Maps was put to good use when this group of OneAmerica volunteers mapped unmarked areas prone to disasters at the American Red Cross. Investing the time now in mapping the areas ensures the Red Cross knows where to head when disaster strikes. Volunteers are crucial to the Red Cross — they make up 90% of their workforce!
Thanks to OneAmerica employees, these six United Way partners all received many helping hands to perform some much needed work. “We applaud all OneAmerica employees for working together for an entire week and leading the way for transformational change in our community,” said Ann D. Murtlow, president and CEO of United Way of Central Indiana.
When people come together to serve the community, much can be accomplished. If you’re interested in gathering a group together to help the community, consider hosting a Day of Caring through United Way. You’ll have the opportunity to pick a project that aligns with your interests and passions, while helping an organization in our community that desperately needs it. Sign up here to receive more information on how you can accomplish great things through hosting A Day of Caring.