Experiences From Our 2018 Kreischer Miller Cares Day of Service

In 2012, Kreischer Miller launched the Kreischer Miller Cares Day of Service as part of our Kreischer Miller Cares program. This annual event offers an opportunity for our team members to volunteer at local service organizations and provide hands-on community service. For many of our team members, the experience goes beyond just giving their time, energy, and skills. Their volunteer efforts offer them the opportunity to connect with their communities and impact the well-being of others.

This year’s Day of Service took place on Friday, May 4th. Team members had the opportunity to volunteer at the SHARE Food Program, one of the two Valley Youth House locations, or Gotwals Elementary School. We asked a few of our team members about their personal volunteer experience and what made it memorable and meaningful. Here are their responses.

 

The SHARE Food Program

Kreischer Miller team members helped by making boxes and packing them with food. They also weighed the boxes and prepared them for shipment. The boxes are shipped to soup kitchens, cupboards, and host sites.

For KM Cares Day, I volunteered at SHARE Food Program, whose mission is to reduce hunger. I was assigned the task of packing milk cartons into boxes for distribution to those in need. It was a humbling yet rewarding experience. The staff were very passionate and guided us through the process.  This was not only my first time volunteering with SHARE, but it was also my first KM Cares Day experience. It’s great that Kreischer Miller provides its employees with the opportunity to volunteer and give back to the community. It was amazing to see everyone come together and pack over 2,500 boxes to help those in need.  It is nice to work for a firm that gives me the opportunity to make a positive impact and a difference in the lives of others.

Morgan Gass, Staff Accountant

This year for KM Cares I chose to spend my day volunteering at SHARE Food Program. For the entirety of my time at SHARE, I worked on an assembly line stacking canned goods into boxes to provide to those in need and further their mission to reduce hunger. There are many rewarding aspects of being a part of KM Cares and a firm that is dedicated to serving their community. KM Cares gave me the opportunity to hear a company’s mission, contribute to a greater cause in the community, and work with team members outside of my daily routine.

Rachel DeFrain, Senior Accountant

 

Valley Youth House – Camp Fowler – Orefield, PA

At the Camp Fowler location, team members helped by painting, planting, cleaning, and revitalizing some of the rooms that are used by those who attend the camp.

I chose the Camp Fowler location this year for KM Cares Day for a rather unusual reason.  It turns out the camp is located less than five miles from where I grew up and despite being in my backyard (kind of), I had never heard about it.

Camp Fowler is a summer camp that offers kids who come from what most would consider a troubled upbringing the opportunity to attend a summer camp whose counselors use “therapeutic, challenge-based programming to promote positive development” in a unique fashion.

We spent the day getting the grounds ready for the campers: weeding the beds, mulching, cutting the grass, cleaning the trails, and we even created the framework for a new activity for the campers… a garden!  They will get the opportunity to plant and maintain the garden, and some will even get to enjoy the fruits of their labor.

Despite the rain, heat, and bugs (did I mention I am NOT a gardener?), I look forward to returning to my hometown next year to help get the camp grounds ready for another summer filled with fun, friendship, and memories for those kids who are fortunate enough to attend.

Lisa Pierce, Senior Accountant

 

Valley Youth House – Warminster, PA

At the Bucks County Shelter, volunteers revamped the downstairs by cleaning, reorganizing, and painting.

KM Cares is one of my favorite Kreischer Miller initiatives. Not only do we have monthly charitable events in which team members participate, but we also close the entire office down one day a year so that we can all volunteer our time to a deserving organization! Organizations are carefully chosen each year and teams of KM employees spend this day serving our community through these organizations.

This year I spent my day at Valley Youth House in Warminster. One of the reasons I chose this organization is because my home is not far from Valley Youth House (in fact, I have driven past it not even knowing it was there!) and I wanted to learn more about what they do. Valley Youth House serves as an emergency shelter for abused, neglected, and homeless children. They provide them a safe and friendly place to live, receive counseling, and build relationships.  Ultimately, the children experience an environment where they can learn important life skills, feel supported, and thrive, even after they leave the shelter. Such an important mission!

Our team was charged with painting the large common room in the shelter where the youth spend much of their time relaxing or expressing themselves through art, games, and exercise. Upon arrival we immediately got to work moving furniture to the center of the room, cleaning off and removing fixtures from the walls, and taping edges around other fixtures and doors. We painted the walls, ceilings, trim, and shelving in a couple of shades of blue and orange, colors representing the organization. After moving all of the furniture back into place and cleaning up the painting supplies, we felt proud of the work we accomplished. The room looked bright and welcoming, and the staff were very thankful.

Spending the day painting this room breathed a bit of fresh air into the shelter, and saved the staff time, energy, and funds that are much better spent on their mission helping youth in need! I look forward to our Day of Service next year and hope that I can volunteer again at Valley Youth House!

Lisa Banks, Tax Support Supervisor

 

Gotwals Elementary School

Kreischer Miller team members helped by organizing closets inside the school, discussing their careers with students, and painting cement walls and picnic tables outside.

I was so excited when Kreischer Miller announced that we would be partnering with Gotwals Elementary School this year. Volunteering my time while positively impacting these kids was a huge win! I took part in the career day portion which consisted of our team members visiting eight 3rd and 4th grade classrooms to expose them to future opportunities and hopefully spark their interests and desires to move above their current situations and on to financially sustaining careers.

The KM team also participated in beautifying the playground with painting projects as well as a huge organization project, mainly in the library. 100% of this student population currently lives at the poverty level and volunteering at this school was greatly appreciated by the principal, staff, and, by their reactions, the children. I hope we continue to do this type of volunteering within our community as the need is great and the KM team is really a special bunch of people always willing to help!

Julie Camacho, Administrative Assistant

I really liked working at Gotwals Elementary School. I volunteered to file library books back on the shelves, which was a relaxing task. Having the books filed back before the end of the school year is helpful so the kids can find books with ease. I would have liked to have had the time to help with even more projects and I would definitely volunteer to go back next year to that school (or to any other school). Helping kids in any aspect of their learning process is very fulfilling.

Donna Stevens, Administrative Assistant

I volunteered at Gotwals Elementary School for my first KM Cares experience. Once we arrived, Jeanette Fernandez, the principal, told us about the history of the school and the challenges they face. She mentioned one of their primary objectives is to enrich and maximize the education of every child. It’s critical for children to learn and develop basic skills such as reading, writing, and mathematical skills while they’re young. Thus, she urged us to encourage the kids to keep studying. She gave just a short speech, but we were deeply touched.

As a member of the painting group, we spent about two hours preparing before we began painting. We removed the grass near the wall of the playground, and sanded the wall, desks, and benches. We ensured that the surfaces of the desks and benches were smooth. We painted the wall light blue and the desks and benches red. By the end, our team members had paint all over our bodies and clothes. The toughest time was in the afternoon, when we worked directly under the sun in high temperatures. We felt tired, but encouraged each other “for the kids.”

We felt fulfilled when our job was done. The principal and kids were very thankful for our hard work. After seeing those little smiles, I’m certain that I’ll return to Gotwals Elementary School next year.

Hua Ma, Staff Accountant

 

Check out pictures from the day!

 


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