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Posts Tagged ‘Employees Volunteer’

Many Hands - HeywoodCamden has a committee dedicated to maximizing the impact a national, organized work force can have on people in need.  It also offers our employees the humbling opportunity to serve.

I was among a wave of people in matching green shirts, standing in front of the Methodist Home for Children, in Raleigh North Carolina.  We had dutifully followed the instructions given by our local Camden Cares committee leader, Marianne.  We were in the right place, at the right time, in the right shirt.

Today’s mission was to paint a fence.

How many companies will shut their doors, put their businesses on hold, coordinate, outfit, and transport their workforce for a day, to paint a fence for a deserving organization?   (more…)

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    Yesterday 24 Houston communities were able to close their doors for 1 day to volunteer (about 250+ Camden employees in Houston) at Camp Hope a PTSD Foundation of America. Camp Hope is a campus that provides temporary housing and support for veterans suffering with PTSD. This falls right into our line of work, providing homes to people in need and also to provide quality housing!  With the help of our construction team and our loyal vendors, we’ve raised over $25,000 in materials and cash which will make just a small dent in the camp’s needs list.

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    As you have seen in recent post it’s National Camden Cares Month and it’s truly amazing what we have been able to do so far. I just want to thank everyone for giving 100% yesterday. It wasn’t easy and it was very hot, but we managed and did it. Also, to the Camden Cares Coordinators, thank you so much for all the hard work prior to yesterday. We couldn’t have done it without you!  To building fences, laying grass, painting walls, furnishing homes… the list goes on and we did it all. This was a true accomplishment and I only hope that we are able to do more for Camp Hope in the future and for our community. As a team and a company we can accomplish anything!

   To learn more about Camp Hope and the organization please go to www.ptsdUSA.org .

grasshilario

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Many of you started the day crossing off to-do items from the weekend, on a weekly call, or even by servicing a waiting customer.  Our Camden Cares South Florida team serviced those waiting for a hot meal today at Life Net 4 Families of Broward county.

Camden Cares South Florida didn’t hesitate to  join Life Net in their mission to be a seamless system of care in Broward County, to reduce the pain and suffering of individuals and families in poverty by providing necessary food, ancillary services and referrals once the opportunity presented itself.  From what started as distributing  peanut butter sandwiches, Life Net has grown and now provides more than 1.2 million hot meals per year.

 Prior to opening the dining hall doors Becky, a Life Net regular volunteer gave us tips and information to make the day go a little smoother as we prepared utensils. Jaclene, Laura, Dianna, and our little Camden helper Vicky served up warm apple pie, pulled pork, meatloaf, rice, mashed potatoes and gravy, mixed veggies and more. After filling their trays with the Camden line servers, diners visited  myself for a warm pastry donated by Panera Bread, Publix,  and Whole Foods . Our Camden barista Scotty served hot cups of coffee with a smile.  Johnny maintained the tables and refilling any beverages. Together we offered Dining Excellence.

The team fed more than 250 people within 3 hours.

Our Camden Cares South Florida team was thrilled to give back to our South Florida community.

 

Jaclene, Dianna, and our little Camden helper were ready to serve!

Tiffany, Scotty and Johnny offer service with a smile!

Laura was happy to help and tag team with Becky, a regular Life Net volunteer.

We love South Florida!

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For those of you who have noticed a lot of ‘Camden Cares’ blogging lately, here is a brief explanation of what it is exactly. Camden Cares is a committee that was formed as an outlet for our Camden employees to participate in community service projects. Each region within Camden has a board of employees who help organize and facilitate the events.

This past week our DC Metro edition gathered our local Camden employees, Weed Warriors, and Valet Waste at Norwood Park in Chevy Chase, Maryland to help clear the park of weed overgrowth. At this point you may be visualizing us on our hands and knees, pulling weeds out of the grass. This is what I actually thought we would be doing, but come to find out weeds are sneaky! They grow in the form of trees, and bush/vine-like forms among other trees, causing a disruption in the growth of true trees.

In the process of beautification we were able to cut and haul mountains of these non-native invasive plant species (aka NNIs). With 130 employees participating for 3 hours we put in 490 man hours; equal to about two years of standard park service volunteer help!

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Camden's Raleigh employees gather at historic Pullen Park to help the renovation project. Pullen Park is scheduled to reopen in 2011.

 Remember the movie Independence Day with Will Smith and Jeff Goldblum?  There was a single moment in the movie after the attack when you question the success of their mission.   As you ponder the possibilities you see a blazing hot dessert with the sun beating a blurry image and from that unnatural heat appear the hero’s.  They have a valiant gate and the camera slows as they allow you to fully immerse yourself into the moment.  

Camden Cares in Raleigh on Friday September 24th was sort of like that moment.  There is power in numbers and a group our size could be very helpful.   Imagine if 50 people showed up to help you clean your house.  The Camden employees from seven Raleigh properties emerged from a blurry image of unseasonably sweltering heat wearing matching “Live Green” bedazzled shirts.  Collectively we decided that for this moment…we are the heroes in the movie.  WE are the ones on a mission and we fight for the Raleigh Parks and Recreation Department.  We will wrestle the heat…take on the sun…and make that fence look new again!  WE ARE ON A MISSION!

 It was reminiscent of an epic movie as each and every volunteer suited up with latex gloves, a one inch disposable foam paint brush, multi-layered verbal instructions, a cup of black oil-based paint and a team rally cry.  Out of 30 or so sections of fence to be painted that day, there were only two blessed with a hovering tree providing shade.  Those precious shaded sections were the farthest from where we stood and since it was hotter than popping eggs in a frying pan, they were coveted by all.  There was an all out Olympic sprint to claim that section.

Raleigh's fearless leader Ken Sherman shows us how to use the "spongebrush".

A huge job that would have cost thousands of dollars was knocked out in two and a half hours.  In a society where people and organizations give money and donations to various needs, it is an extraordinary gift for people to give of their time.   Of course nothing is fun or exciting unless there is a challenge.  This event was a challenge.  There were aspects that tested our endurance and patience.  The small, sticky, ill-attached foam paint brush was one.   

At the very end of this long row of fencing, there is a glimpse of shade covering two precious sections of fence. This fence is being restored by Camden’s fastest Raleigh employees.

The foam brushes permanently stuck to our gloves was another.  There were beet-red faces, newly decorated black polka dot sneakers and freshly painted jeans but we did it!  We did our part and made a HUGE difference.  It was hot, it was challenging but it was completely worth it. The day brought lots of laughter, vitamin D and even more pride in our contribution.  

Pullen Park in Raleigh has a beautiful setting with unmatched history.  When renovations are completed next year I shall return to gaze upon the sections of fence that received my service.  I will remember the feeling of successful contribution and I will grin.  Camden found yet another avenue to enrich the lives of their employees.  Our parents would be proud that we followed their guidance and left it better than we found it.

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