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What’s New: Annual Day of Community Service

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This August, SobelCo employees participated in the firm’s annual Day of Community Service, which is a three-month long project led by the summer interns. .At the conclusion, the entire firm spends a day working alongside a nonprofit client. The employees volunteer for specific projects at the request of the nonprofit -  in order to address their most urgent needs.

This year, due to the growth of our firm, we divided the event into two days. In this way we were able to support two different clients, Family Connections and Isles. The interns were responsible for encouraging the SobelCo employees to join one of the two client teams and help to fundraise for both organizations. 

In order to generate revenue for the organizations, the interns formed two teams. Each team was responsible for developing a major event to benefit their nonprofit. Team Family Connections held a Game Night that included board games, a cash bar, and a tricky tray. Team Isles held a Ping Pong Tournament complete with a cash bar, bake sale, and brackets to bet on. Both events were a huge financial success and were fun for everyone involved.

On Monday, August 5, half of the firm kicked off the first day of service at Family Connections. We were assigned to each of three locations where Family Connections maintains a presence, including a home in Paterson, Columbia High School, and Bloomfield High School. Interior painting was the main task at each site. Both of the high schools  host programs where students are able to spend time, see mental health professionals free of charge, participate in skill-building activities, and are educated on prevention services based on helping “youth and their families build strength, character, compassion, and optimism about themselves and their futures.” The Paterson house provides services through Home Safe, where the goal is for families involved with the Division of Child Protection and Permanency to be “safely, healthfully, and permanently reunified in their own homes.” It also represents a neutral, familiar space for families to work through the program with the help and support of their on-site professionals. 

Tuesday began with the other half of the firm driving to Trenton to spend the day at Isles. On arrival we identified two teams – one for painting and one for gardening. The painting team was tasked with painting the inside of one of the main facilities which is mainly used for nontraditional schooling. The ultimate goal there is to help students who did not succeed in traditional high schools earn their GED. At the same time, the program helps them develop various critical trade skills. The outside/landscaping group was engaged in weeding and mulching around the various trees surrounding the facility. The trees are important to the neighborhood because they provide fresh fruit for the community. We also cleaned up a local river walkway as a part of the effort to beautify the surrounding area. 

The day ended with a talk from Isles Founder and CEO, Martin Johnson, about the organization’s mission and the services that they provide.

Overall, SobelCo employees were proud of the firm and appreciative of having the opportunity to spend a day making an impact.  They gave positive feedback to the interns, praising their hard work.  Everyone at the firm valued both the fundraising events that took place throughout the summer as well as the actual days of service.

One employee spoke on how important it is to have hands-on experience, contributing to activities at a nonprofit client.  The experience reminded us all how important, vibrant and relevant the organizations are as they fulfill their role in their communities. The interns were so excited to be an integral part of the experience and they all thoroughly enjoyed every step of the process.

The teams raised a combined $10,000 that was shared by both Family Connections and Isles. Along with monetary donations, which were presented on the Day of Service, the interns additionally collected hygiene products and supplies for future projects.

Having taken this project from start to finish, the days of community service were very rewarding for our interns.  Being responsible for all the details, whether small or large, taught them soft skills that are essential in the business world. Working directly with two of the firm’s nonprofit clients allowed the interns to form connections with the mission behind each organization, ultimately driving them to work hard to raise the donations they needed. 

At the end, the experience of bringing everyone together and succeeding with the final product generated great amounts of pride.  Seeing the participation from all our staff across different departments and branches, showed that the firm is strong and unified in upholding its core values.

2019 Summer Interns

Julianna Abramson - St. Josephs University

Marissa Flood - East Carolina University

Henry Lockwood - Fairleigh Dickinson University

Brianna Wilson - Montclair State University