THE GIFT OF GIVING
Shoppers across the country did their fair share of gifting a little holiday cheer this year, and at Kimco our employees helped spread that cheer by donating and volunteering their time through our Community Connection program. Here are just a few of the organizations we gave back to this holiday season.
EMPLOYEE BONDING: Kimco colleagues in Orlando, Florida participating in the share-a-meal program at the local Ronald McDonald House.
Long Island Cares
In November, Kimco volunteers gathered to give back to Long Island, New York, where our corporate office is headquartered. Kimco accountant Stacey Cannone organized and led the event, which brought together 15 colleagues to contribute their time to Long Island Cares.
Long Island Cares is a hunger assistance organization whose mission is to collect available resources for the benefit of the hungry on Long Island, and provide for the humanitarian needs of their community through education, sponsor programs, and donations. Kimco’s volunteers sorted and packaged food donations for delivery—and bonded with fellow employees in the process!
Valeska Espinoza, Staff Accountant, volunteered alongside Stacey, and said that the opportunity helped her understand how dedicated the people running Long Island Cares are and how much work goes into making sure the food reaches all of the families in need. Jean Aiello, a financial analyst at Kimco, was also excited to volunteer with her colleagues and said that the Community Connection program was a great way to encourage team work, and left her with a great sense of accomplishment and giving to start the holidays.
In addition to donating their time, Kimco employees collected coats to benefit local men, women, and children in need of outerwear this winter through Long Island Cares’ Warm Coats & Warm Hearts initiative.
Ronald McDonald House
Colleagues in our Orlando, Florida office used a community service day on December 22 to participate in the share-a-meal program at the local Ronald McDonald House. Restaurant Brick & Fire delivered lunches and Kimco volunteers served approximately 50 people residing at the home. Charlotte Manley, Director of Real Estate for Kimco’s Southern Region, baked 120 sugar cookies and brought a variety of sprinkles and frosting colors for the guests to decorate at the event, which was a sweet surprise for those in attendance. There were also ornament and necklace kits, puzzles, and coloring books for the kids. Several of the parents were even able to take goodie bags with them for their sick children staying in the hospital.
Lastly, Charlotte arranged a tour of the home so all of the volunteers were able to better understand the wonderful services the Ronald McDonald House provides to families in need.
This year, we gathered gifts and donations to help fulfill 25 wish lists for MercyFirst’s teenage residents who spend the holidays at the Syosset, New York campus. MercyFirst is one of New York’s leading not-for-profit human service agencies and works to provide foster care, residential treatment, family support programs, and other services to children and families who have been traumatized, children growing up without parents, families in crisis, teens who have lost hope for the future, and others. MercyFirst serves more than 3,200 children and their families at locations in Brooklyn, Queens, and throughout Long Island.
Island Harvest is the largest hunger relief organization on Long Island. In the weeks leading up to the holidays, Kimco hosted a food drive for employees to contribute and benefit the local community, while giving employees a new opportunity to bond with one another as we closed out the year.
Our colleagues in Irvine, California participated in their sixth annual Adopt-A-Family program. Families Forward is committed to helping local Orange County families who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. This year, we supported a family of twelve and Bill Brown, Vice President of Development for Kimco’s Western Region, adopted his very own family for the third year – making the holidays brighter for the family by donating gifts and gas/grocery cards. In 2013, donors brought holiday cheer to more than 650 families benefitting 1,700 children.
Someone Cares Soup Kitchen
Irvine employees also participated in their very first office volunteer outing at Someone Cares Soup Kitchen, where they helped serve meals to those in need including the homeless, working poor families, under and unemployed individuals, mentally and physically challenged residents, senior citizens, and children. Someone Cares Soup Kitchen has served more than 300 nutritious and tasty meals per day for over 20 years to people in need in the Costa Mesa community.
As we wrapped up the holiday season, Kimco employee Claudia McCarthy, CAM Disputes Administrator, shared with us some words of wisdom to guide us into the new year: We should always try and remember that it's not the big gestures in life that matter the most but it's in the small things we do which can truly make a big difference in someone else's life. Make a difference and volunteer today.
Thanks to all of our employees for their generosity this holiday season and all-year-round!