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 13. Team members had the opportunity to volunteer at one of several Impact Thrift Stores locations, KenCrest, or the SHARE Food Program. We asked a few of our team members about their personal volunteer experience and what made it memorable and meaningful. Here are their responses.
Impact Thrift Store (Bristol location)
Having just started working at Kreischer Miller in January, this was my first year participating in the firm’s annual Day of Service. I chose Impact Thrift Store in Bristol for two reasons – an interest in the organization and in shopping, but more importantly, a dislike of anything related to yard work (a big component of a number of the other volunteer opportunities that were available)!
The day was spent helping the store organize their clothing by hanging up new items for sale and moving "old" items to clearance racks. I had the opportunity to assist a young mom pick out an outfit for an upcoming family event. She said she was grateful for Impact because it allowed her to find "new" outfits that she otherwise couldn't afford. It was heartening to see donations made by companies and individuals, myself included, being enjoyed and valued by others. I look forward to working with Impact again next year!
Lisa A. Pierce, CPA, Senior Accountant
SHARE Food Program (Philadelphia)
For our annual Kreischer Miller Cares Day of Service, I chose to go to SHARE Food Program, as hunger is a very prominent problem throughout the Philadelphia area. Kids in low-income neighborhoods are able to enjoy good, healthy food provided by SHARE. Packing boxes full of food and picking fruits and vegetables that would be distributed to children in need made my time worthwhile, knowing these kids would be able to enjoy a healthy meal. This is important to me because the U.S. often helps other countries struggling with starvation, but sometimes we don’t recognize the great need that exists in our own neighborhoods. SHARE helps combat an issue that's close to home.
Dayna Lockard, CPA, Senior Accountant
Impact Thrift Store (Feasterville location)
For this year’s Kreischer Miller Cares Day of Service I volunteered at the Impact Thrift Store in Feasterville. Working with Impact Thrift Stores proved to be a very personally gratifying day for me as well as those in my group. I learned many new things about the organization that day, such as how Impact’s mission is to financially support local charities through net proceeds generated by their stores. Knowing that all of our efforts would be going back to our own community helped to motivate me to work harder.
While volunteering that day, there was a significant sense of accomplishment when we as a group were able to clean up the massive amount of seasonal products that were not previously able to be moved. By the end of the day we felt very appreciated and the employees at Impact were grateful for the time we spent volunteering.
Jamie Steiner, Paraprofessional
For this year’s Day of Service, I joined a group of volunteers who were fortunate to spend time at the KenCrest facility in Wyncote. KenCrest was founded in 1905 and since that time, has made it its mission to provide assistance to individuals with autism and intellectual disabilities. Their goal is to nurture those in their care and allow them to live the fullest life possible.
The organization has a number of facilities across multiple states, which assist with different areas of need such as housing, education, and vocational training. The particular location we visited provides educational services for adults and seniors with varying degrees of autism. They reached out to our team because they were struggling with some issues in their building. While we were able to assist in a number of areas, our main project was to re-paint their sensory room – a quiet, black-lit room where individuals could go when the main areas were too much for them.
When they moved into the facility, the landlord heard the room would be a dark room using black-lights and painted everything black, including the ceiling tiles. While it was a kind gesture, it turned what was supposed to be a relaxing room into a dark, scary cave where the residents were unable to adequately relax and were often startled by others moving in the room. Our team was able to replace the ceiling tiles and repaint the walls to a much more calming blue color. We also installed chair rails to help protect the walls.
It was so amazing to see the difference a little bit of paint and color could bring to a room, turning a dark cave into a relaxing area for meditation and retreat.
Marianne O'Sullivan, CPA, Manager
Impact Thrift Store Distribution Center (Montgomeryville)
This year I went to the Impact Thrift Store Distribution Center in Montgomeryville for our Day of Service. Our team spent the day completing various tasks throughout the Distribution Center including sorting through donation items and gardening. Spending the day volunteering was a refreshing change of pace and it felt rewarding to help this organization complete a few projects. We all felt very appreciated, receiving countless thank you’s throughout the day from all of the distribution center’s employees. It was a great way to spend the day giving back to the community with our team and I am looking forward to going back again next year.
Gina M. Biagiotti, Staff Accountant
Impact Thrift Store (Norristown location)
For our annual Kreischer Miller Cares Day I volunteered with four other team members at Impact Thrift Stores in Norristown. My initial reasoning for selecting this volunteer opportunity was that it was close to my house. But since it is also very important to me to make an impact in my own community, it made perfect sense to volunteer at Impact’s Norristown location.
Kreischer Miller team members helped out with cleaning display shelves, tagging sale items, and receiving donations, which are all critical elements of keeping things running smoothly so that the store employees can focus on their regular daily tasks without being distracted.
On days like this one, I often feel like I've opened a window to a new experience that I had not previously been aware of. I was surprised and pleased to see that a store like Impact has people lined up outside before the doors even open. With Impact receiving donations on a daily basis, there is always something new for sale at an affordable price, which is critical for many for whom finding a reasonably priced item is a necessity and not just a good bargain that you can brag about to your friends.
I left at the end of the day knowing that I helped a gentlemen find a walker with a seat, I took pride in making the store shelves sparkle, and I was able to chat with many shoppers, hopefully brightening their day by offering some kind words. I was glad to have been able to contribute just a little bit that day to all of the people in Norristown who rely on having a store like Impact in their community.
Stephanie Wright, CPA, Manager
Impact Thrift Store (Montgomeryville location)
This year, I volunteered alongside five other Kreischer Miller team members at the Impact Thrift Store in Montgomeryville. Impact is a non-profit organization whose primary mission is to financially support local charities through the net proceeds generated by their thrift store operations.
Many of us donate gently used clothing and other merchandise to organizations like Impact (Purple Heart, Goodwill, various thrift shops, etc.). My team and I thought volunteering at Impact would be a great opportunity to learn how used items are processed prior to being put on the floor for re-sale.
Volunteering to assist any not-for-profit organization is a great way to give back to the community as a whole and to support many individuals that are not as fortunate as we are. At Impact, we learned that the behind the scenes activity of a retail business is not as easy it looks! Even used merchandise needs to be turned over within a designated time period or disposed of (often given to other organizations). It is a lot of work to maintain the inventory, keeps shelves cleaned and stocked, and make the merchandise look enticing for someone to buy.
Not-for-profit organizations are very grateful for any assistance they get. In addition, research shows that the more people volunteer, the happier they are; volunteering just makes you feel good. You are giving back to others and your community, which provides a natural sense of accomplishment. Volunteering helps you grow as an individual as you build upon your experiences and improve your skills.
Our KM Cares Day of Service gives our team members the opportunity to spend the day assisting an organization and their mission. It's a great day to spend time with fellow colleagues in a setting that is completely different from the work atmosphere and to make a difference in our community.
The Montgomeryville Impact Thrift Store Team members included myself (Diane Roach), Maxine Romano, David Shaffer, Sue Wahrhaftig, Linda Rech, and Lindsey Link.
Diane M. Roach, Administrative Assistant
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