Community PARtners Highlights
PAR volunteers have been very busy in recent months, contributing time and resources to a wide range of worthy causes.
In July, PAR staff and family members raised more than $5,300 for the American Heart Association during “Bowling for Hearts,” an annual tradition that combines fun and exercise in support of a great cause.
Every eight weeks throughout the year, the Florida Blood Services Bloodmobile spends the day at PAR, where staff members can be counted on to step up and donate blood. This fall, several first-time donors joined “the regulars” in giving this precious gift of life.
In the last few months, we laced up our sneakers and walked in support of several causes that are near and dear to our hearts. In August, a team from PAR participated in the Walk to End Alzheimer’s; in November, we walked to support the American Diabetes Association as well as Tampa Bay Cares, an organization working to end homelessness.
Just in time for the start of the school year, PAR staff donated school supplies to The Children’s Home, a Tampa organization that provides a safe haven for children who have suffered abuse, neglect, or abandonment. Each year, PAR also organizes a holiday greeting card contest for The Children’s Home; all the children who participate receive a certificate and are invited to a holiday party, where the winners are announced and prizes awarded.
One of the most anticipated events during the year here at PAR is the annual United Way Week in September. This year’s theme was “A Trip Across the U.S.A.,” and staff members spent an exciting week filled with games, prizes, and food celebrating some of America’s great cities. By week’s end, we reached our goal of 100% staff participation and raised more than $116,000 to support United Way Suncoast.
October was “all about pink” as PAR staff raised awareness—and funds—for breast cancer research. Staff members showed their support by purchasing paper silhouettes to decorate and display in honor of the women and men in our lives who have been touched by breast cancer. Our Pink Elephant Sale was a big success, as well!
Earlier in the year, PAR staff members held a clothing drive that garnered more than 300 articles of gently used professional clothing for Dress for Success, an agency that supports women who are making a fresh start in the job market; in October, PAR’s DFS volunteers also organized a sale to raise funds for the purchase of more suits for the organization’s boutique.
PAR staff helped to feed families in need this fall by donating hundreds of pounds of food to food banks during the Can-Do Drive; filling “Boxes of Hope” to provide Thanksgiving dinners for local families; and delivering hot, nutritious meals each week to some of our elderly neighbors on our Meals on Wheels route. A group from PAR also participated in a “Day of Caring” at the hunger-relief charity Feeding America, where we sorted more than 6,700 pounds of donated food for distribution to hungry families.
The holidays can be a tough time for migrant farm workers, many of whom struggle to provide their families with just the basic necessities. To brighten the holidays for some of these families, PAR staff members “adopted” them and donated toys for their children. PAR staff also donated and delivered toys to area schools that serve children with the greatest needs.
At year’s end, PAR was delighted to be named as one of 30 finalists (out of more than 200 nominations!) for the Tampa Bay Business Journal’s Corporate Philanthropy Award. It was an honor to be named among the area’s most active philanthropic organizations—a real tribute to the commitment that the PAR family makes, giving back to the community where we live and work.
These are just a few of the many Community Service projects that PAR is proud to support. Watch this space for regular updates from Community PARtners!