Posts Tagged ‘volunteers’

Community Outreach Through New Eyes

Juliana Rorbeck,
ProQuest Content Editor

The newest content editor in the Boca Raton, FL, office shares her experience volunteering throughout her first year on the team.

In November 2015, I took a leap of faith and joined ProQuest. I was thrilled not only to fulfill my dream of becoming an editor but to find a company whose values spoke to me. One such value is Community–the realization that we are “citizens of the world” who must “understand our responsibility within it.”

This particular idea of Community appealed to me. An Orlando native, I knew that I had to leave my childhood home (of 25 years, no less) to make both a new living and a new life–all by myself. A couple of weeks after my initial interview, I packed up some bare necessities and my best business casual clothes, hopped on the Florida Turnpike, and wondered exactly how different life could be three hours south.

2016-2017 Volunteer Activities at the ProQuest Boca Raton, FL, Office

Here was a company who offered employees the use of 16 hours a year to be spent serving the community. This past year, I learned exactly how much good 16 hours can achieve.

At the Boca Raton office, I joined a highly skilled group of individuals whose passion for serving the community reflects in all that they do, both in the office and within the greater Palm Beach County area.

The ProQuest team made visits to the Palm Beach County Food Bank, where we sorted and boxed canned goods for distribution to families in hunger. We stuffed school supplies into brand new, brightly-colored backpacks for the annual Community Back to School Bash (BASH), and had a blast going through the piles of pencils, scissors, notebooks, etc. I especially loved going to Lake Worth to visit Forgotten Soldiers Outreach, where we made care packages for soldiers fighting abroad. During the winter season, we even signed holiday cards for the troops. As someone with friends and family in the military, I cherished the chance to let our troops know I appreciate their sacrifice.

These outings have provided wonderful opportunities to work closely with my team. ProQuest has allowed me to meet the diverse people who make our community great and to support outreach centers in person. My fellow editors inspire me to get involved in various causes. I love that our company encourages us to serve others, to see the fruits of our labor take shape as a force for positive change in the world.

It is more rewarding than I could have imagined.

We are a close team, and I am proud to call Boca Raton my new home.

National Poverty in America Awareness Month

January is National Poverty in America Awareness Month. Poverty is not an easy topic to talk about—especially with children. It can be a scary topic for young minds and hearts, as any discussion of poverty also means considering the hunger, cold, homelessness, and fear that may accompany it. But with millions of Americans living in poverty, it is an issue worth addressing.

Once students learn about poverty and how it affects many Americans, they may become inspired to help. What can they do to make a difference?

Volunteers at Daily Bread Food Bank<br /> by Photographer Mitchel Raphael on Flickr licensed under CC BY 2.0 [Public Domain]

Volunteers at Daily Bread Food Bank
by Photographer Mitchel Raphael on Flickr licensed under CC BY 2.0 [Public Domain]

You may want to introduce them to young activist Zach Bonner. While an elementary-school student in 2009, he walked 668 miles from Atlanta, Georgia, to Washington, D.C. to raise awareness about homeless children. He raised tens of thousands of dollars to help kids living in poverty. Pretty inspirational!

Or talk with them about Ava Kuslansky, who helps collect food from restaurants and grocery stores and distribute it to homeless people in her city. Or Katy Ross, who joined a food-assistance organization that helps feed hungry people breakfast. Each of these kids has worked to make a difference in the lives of people struggling with poverty.

There are many organizations that reach out and provide assistance to homeless and hungry Americans, such as the Salvation Army and Blessings in a Backpack. Teach your students about these groups and their histories.

Educating kids about the social benefits and personal significance of helping others is just one of the valuable lessons that can be taught during National Poverty in America Awareness Month. Visit SIRS Discoverer during the month of January to find articles, Web sites, photos, and more about the poverty in America and what people and organizations are doing to help.