Sometimes an annual volunteer day isn't enough, especially when you're entering the lives of children without the good fortune to have a stable family environment. In those cases, we often have to step beyond our standard practices of corporate philanthropy.
With this in mind, Team One's Atlanta field office has established a monthly volunteer partnership with the Atlanta Children's Shelter. The shelter holds staff meetings on the last Wednesday of each month, which is when Team One employees assume the role of daylong caretakers for the shelter's resident children.
Atlanta Children's Shelter provides high-quality early childhood care and comprehensive social services for homeless families striving for self-sufficiency. Onsite services include case management, employment guidance, permanent housing resettlement and mentorship.
"We specifically selected the Atlanta Children's Center as a charitable partner because of its continuous need for volunteers and strong relationships with the children," says Karen DiMatties, area manager for the Atlanta field office. "After our first volunteer experience, we all wanted to go back and be with the kids. It is important that we have a continuous presence in their lives and at the shelter."
The Atlanta office further supports shelter staff by decorating classrooms and developing creativity-driven projects for the children. Because all 10 of Team One's Atlanta employees volunteer time each month, each classroom and age group is supported.
"Team One is a volunteer team that has always put the needs of Atlanta Children's Shelter first," says Tony Conway, development director for the shelter. "Their support of our mission helps a small staff produce big results."
In addition to the positive impact for the shelter, the monthly commitment has also helped our Atlanta staff create deeper connections with each other and our clients. After each volunteer day, the staff regroups at a different employee's home, creating a more relaxed environment for interpersonal connectivity. Clients also support the effort by refraining from scheduling meetings on "shelter days."
Account Coordinator Amanda Page -- who began her professional career at Team One Atlanta -- has used the volunteer time to gain a more comprehensive understanding of the advertising industry and the importance of corporate philanthropy. "As a student, it's difficult to grasp the implications of a full-time career, and for a lot of people the transition is jarring," she says. "However, because of Team One's commitment to fostering personal growth and connecting with our community, my introduction and development within the advertising industry have been organic and one of a kind. I could not be more proud of our work with the Atlanta Children's Shelter."
All the agency's offices are involved in giving back throughout the year. Team One's ongoing charitable efforts include a Los Angeles school supply drive; volunteering support to the Los Angeles Special Olympics and Ronald McDonald House Charities for the Chicago area and northern Indiana; the Christmas in July Canned Food Drive; and fundraising for the annual AIDS Walk Los Angeles.
From its headquarters in El Segundo, Calif., Team One also hosts an annual Day of Good, in which more than 300 employees from five offices around the country come together for unique charitable efforts. Previous Days of Good have supported Los Angeles-area organizations such as the Felton School in Lennox, Calif.; the Los Angeles Food Bank; Free Arts; and Friends of Animals.