This week, we're celebrating the launch of our company-wide program, #AccountingForChange, an employee volunteer initiative where team members across the country are encouraged to take time out of their regular work days to give back to an organization of their choice.
Today, we feature our teammates who spent their time making veteran care packages and helping out for a Veterans Day parade.
Volunteer Spotlight: Mitra Wilson & Jessica Thumati
Mitra Wilson (Associate Director of Strategic Alliances) and Jessica Thumati (Director of Strategic Planning & Development) volunteered at Operation Gratitude, creating care packages filled with food, entertainment, hygiene, handmade items, and personal letters of appreciation to Veterans, First Responders, New Recruits, Wounded Heroes, their Care Givers, & individually named U.S. service members deployed overseas and their families waiting at home.
Their mission is to lift the spirits and meet the evolving needs of the Military and First Responder communities, and provide volunteer opportunities for civilians anywhere in America to express their appreciation to all who serve our nation.
Each package contains donated product valued from $45-100, and costs the organization $15 to assemble and ship.
Since its inception in 2003, Operation Gratitude volunteers have shipped more than 1,600,000 care packages.
"We had a great time spending a few hours at the Operation Gratitude HQ in Chatsworth, CA where they have a vast and very impressive warehouse. They are made up of just a handful of employees so it’s clear this is very much a volunteer driven organization and it’s so heartwarming to see the support. You wouldn’t think deployed military troops receiving packages of goodies would make such a difference but after hearing testimonials and stories, it is clear that it’s the little things that truly count. Letting them know that even just strangers have them in their thoughts and appreciate the sacrifices they make away from home can really brighten up their day.
There are many activities one can be involved in from scarf knitting to stuffing toy bears for the children of the deployed troops, to sorting donated toiletries and candy. The area we were most interested in and took part in were the making of paracord “survival” bracelets. Not only are the bracelets cool-looking, they can actually be used to save a life in an emergency situation as within seconds they can be unwound and used as a tourniquet or a rope to help create shelter for example.
These bracelets are harder to make than it may look so we only got a few done but it’s nice to know they will end up in someone’s package. The rest of our day was spent letter stuffing to thank donators and also sorting thank you letters from school children. Children from all over the US have written such touching letters to let the troops out there know they are not forgotten. Some of them included some great jokes as well! We definitely plan on coming back!" --Mitra Wilson
Volunteer Spotlight: Connie Morinello
Connie Morinello (Business Development Representative - NE), spent her time volunteering for the New York City Veterans Day parade.
America's Parade: Veterans Day
Produced by the United War Veterans Council, America's Parade, also known as New York City Veterans Day Parade, traces its roots back to earlier parades organized by veterans of the American Revolution and War of 1812. Many sponsors and partners make this parade possible, and it has evolved from a march of local veterans to a major public event with participating groups from across America, a live television broadcast, internet stream, and new initiatives in social media and mobile technologies.
"Every November for the past 3 years, I have been volunteering at the NYC Veterans Day parade. This is one of the ways I like to give back and show my appreciation to the Veteran community for all they do and continue to do as they serve our country and protect our freedom.
My volunteering efforts with the military started back roughly about 14 years ago shortly after NYC was under attack. Since then, I’ve taken part in various opportunities to show support to our military members and their families. I feel it’s very important to do what I can as an individual to give back to this specific community, whether it’s by sending care packages over to those currently deployed, coordinating a holiday dinner for the families at home with loved ones overseas, helping out at races supporting the Gold Star Families (families that have lost a child in combat), or lending a hand at military focused events such as the Veterans Day parade with the behind the scenes tasks.
In order to be able to take part in all of this, I usually volunteer on the weekends, during the holidays, or at times will use a vacation day. This year however I was able to volunteer through a wonderful program Roger CPA Review has decided to adopt for their employees. I was very happy to hear this because not only was I able to participate in something that is very close to my heart, but at the same time I was able to share what I enjoy in my personal life with those in my professional life. " --Connie Morinello