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This week we’re checking in with each of our offices to get the latest on their 3Q3% activities. 3Q3% is our company’s initiative to encourage our employees to spend at least 3% of their time giving back to their local communities. Each office has a dedicated 3Q3% organizer who plans group volunteering opportunities throughout the year. Closing out the week is: Chicago and a special company-wide initiative called 3Q2Rescue!

Chicago

by Victoria Ketchum

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Chicago Youth Center (CYC) is tucked away on a tree-lined residential street on the West side of Chicago’s North Lawndale neighborhood. Once the home of Martin Luther King, Jr., Lawndale is a community built on a significant historical shift. But the unfortunate reality is that Lawndale has suffered from high rates of violence and poverty since the 1970s. Chicago Youth Center has played an immense part of an ongoing movement to create opportunities and change for its residents. They strive to revitalize the neighborhood and invest in future of its children. CYC provides access to the tools, experiences, and resources needed for youth ranging from 3-18 year-olds. They keep kids engaged and provide thoughtful services (critical thinking, creativity, healthy living, communication and teamwork). They hold engagement programs to help guide children during critical life transitions: entering kindergarten, starting high school, and preparing for college or a career.

As you walk into the Chicago Youth Center building, you can hear the footsteps and laughter of children playing upstairs. Crafty artwork from the kids is displayed on the walls of the main room. The mood is welcoming; you feel like you’ve just stepped into someone’s home.

3Qers from the Chicago office recently spent a few hours in the science lab with 3rd- and 4th-grade girls. The energy filled the room with excitement as we started a science experiment using ORBEEZ (moldable spheres that you can use to create fun art)! Though chaotic at times, we made our way through the assignment, which was to determine the average population of wildlife in Chicago. The girls were smart, kind-hearted, and hilarious. Once we completed the experiment…we played. It doesn’t matter how old you are, Orbeez are insanely entertaining. A few of us even took some home!

We left CYC feeling lucky to have played a small part in such an important organization. We plan to go back this holiday season. Next quarter, Chicago will also get involved with an organization called Breakthrough, where our very own Tom Leonard is on the young professional board. Depending on the organization’s needs, we could be serving meals at the men’s and women’s shelters or working with after-school programs. We can’t wait!

3Q2Rescue

by Carolanne Hornung

3Q2Rescue was started in December 2017 as a result of company-wide volunteer efforts aimed towards Hurricane Harvey/Irma/Maria relief. What started as writing holiday cards for children who were affected by the storms, quickly morphed into 3Qers banding together to send presents to 26 children whose parents said they wouldn’t be able to give gifts to their kids because of the storm. We realized that while individual office volunteering efforts were important to our communities, we could make a huge impact with company-wide efforts.

Over the summer, California was devastated by the largest wildfire in the state’s history. While our original idea was to donate hot meals to the first responders that were working tirelessly, we happily learned that they were well taken care of by organizations in the area. Since it seems that almost all 3Qers love animals, our second plan was collecting donations for animal shelters that were rescuing and taking care of strays. Lake County Animal Care & Control in Lakeport, CA, worked around the clock to help animals from affected areas and were in need of supplies. 3Q2Rescue was able to donate cat litter, dog and cat food, collars and leashes, water and food bowls, blankets, and of course toys and treats.

In September, the Carolinas were devastated by flooding brought by Hurricane Florence. With the hardest-hit areas accessible only by boat, we chose to work with the Raleigh branch of the Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina. The Food Bank has branches in Durham, Greenville, Sandhills, Raleigh, and two of the hardest-hit areas of NC: New Bern and Wilmington. Even in mid-October, the Raleigh branch continues to provide relief to those who were affected by the storm. 3Q2Rescue was able to donate paper towels, plates, cleaning supplies, personal hygiene items, snacks, soups, and veggies.