Aug 18 2015 Erin Peralta Blog Workplace Culture Centro Gives Back With The Giving Tree Program Winston Churchill once said, “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.” For those of us who aren’t Churchill connoisseurs, what he’s saying is that the true value of life exists in the giving of ourselves for the benefit of someone else. Here at Centro, we embrace this viewpoint on life through The Centro Giving Tree – a philanthropic program that also embodies our own Corporate Manifesto. We believe that we can make the world a better place. The future of our lives, our community, and our country lie in our hands, and we have the ability and responsibility to change them for the better. Blossoming from that belief stemmed The Giving Tree, which encourages employees to commit their fundraising time and efforts to various associations and organizations. In return, Centro matches a portion of some of the funds raised. To help facilitate this community giving, there are regional liaisons in each office across the country. With donations to over 29 different organizations, the Giving Tree has managed to be a huge success. Check out a brief recap of some of our initiatives below: Centro sponsored three of our own in the Polar Bear Plungebenefiting the Chicago Special Olympics. The James Gameswere held to benefit the Jackson Chance Foundation, which helps provide money to families who need to pay for parking to see their babies at the NICU. We raised around $2000, and are also making an additional $2000 lump sum donation. We hosted Gage Park High Schoolstudents for a career day. Centro participated in the Griffith Tutoring Programfor ACT tutoring sessions. We sponsored two students at buildOn’s Youth Service Programin Chicago. Ten Centrons visited Guatemala to work with De La Gente/As Green as it Gets. The Giving Tree donated $2500 to this wonderful nonprofit and assisted with multiple fundraisers including a week of coffee tasting and sales. The Centrons had a great time helping out with a number of different activities, such as working in the coffee fields harvesting ripe coffee cherries, clearing fields and preparing the fields for new plants. Some also worked on building the first secondary school in the community. We hosted BINGO night at the Chicago office to raise funds for PAWSand The Anti-Cruelty Society. Centro established an amazing yearlong partnership with Paint My Mind’s Shared Walls Exhibit.The partnership included featuring three rotations of art by different local artists in the office. The funds raised from this helps fund the free art exhibitions the organization installs in public spaces like schools, libraries, community centers, and parks. We hosted a bake sale to raise funds for the Make-A-Wish $365 in donations went to the ALSice bucket challenge fundraiser. In addition, a $1000 donation was made to The Water Project to offset all of the water dumping. Thanks to Aubrey Lehrman with the great assist in offering headshots to Chicago Centrons with all proceeds benefitting This nonprofit offers tuition free after-school tutoring, workshops, field trips and in school help to Chicago students between 6 and 18 years of age. The Giving Tree donated $1000 to sponsor participants and nurses to attend the Jackson Chanceping-pong tournament, and our executive team stepped up with another $1000 in sponsorships with Ben Pashman winning the whole tournament! Eight Centrons tutored Chicago first grade students in reading skills for a program called Innovations for Learning.This program lasts the entire school year. The Boston office took part in the Light the Night Walk,which benefits the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. A total of $1260 was raised and donated. The east region raised funds for the Massachusetts Down Syndrome Congress. The west region hosted fundraisers for Camp Kindle, a camp that helps kids cope with HIV/AIDS. Connections for Abused Women and their Children (CAWC)is committed to ending domestic violence through a self-help, empowerment approach where sheltering, counselling, and advocacy is provided to women and children affected by domestic violence. The Chicago Sun-Times Letters to Santaprogram works with schools, social service agencies and shelters in poverty-stricken neighborhoods to identify children who are in need of assistance. We’ve sponsored 50 letters from the Columbia Explorers Academy, a K-8 school located on the southwest side of Chicago, where 97.9% of the students who attend come from low income families. Bag a lunch! The LA office got together in an assembly line and bagged 100+ lunches to donate to OPCC. The LA office participated in think LA’s summer beach clean-up event, Save the Surf. Centro LA hosted a pumpkin carving event in the LA office called Carve for a Cause. The cost was $10 for the pumpkin and a raffle. All proceeds were donated to The LA office hosted a 3-week drive for canned foods, clothes, and toys to benefit, Toys for Tots, West Side Food Bank, and Vietnam Veterans of America. The Dallas office volunteered at the North Texas Food Bank, sorting food items. We participated in a Saturday bowling tournament to raise money for Big Brothers Big Sistersand raised $1,281! Centro Dallas hosted a happy hour to raise money for a local animal organization, Dallas Pets Alive, that rescues animals who are about to be euthanized and places them into homes. They raised $700!