This past year at Abraxas was an amazing year of community spirit and giving back. We are especially thankful to all of our employees, community leaders, alliance partners and friends for making 2013 a year to truly be proud of. Below are a few of the highlights from 2013, and how together the smallest deeds can make a world of difference.
KCAN (Kalamazoo Child Abuse and Neglect Council)
Abraxas partnered with the Kalamazoo Child Abuse and Neglect Council (KCAN) to promote April being National Child Abuse Awareness month. KCAN’s mission is to prevent child abuse and neglect before it happens. On March 30, Abraxas workers tied 6,469 blue ribbons to our fence. The display of 6,469 blue ribbons outside our Milham facility was meant as a shock and awe campaign. Each blue ribbon represented a reported case of child abuse in Kalamazoo County.
KCAN’s mission is in perfect sync with the mission and goals of our Community Outreach Program. As part of our corporate culture, education and kids are two of our top priorities. We strive to promote organizations that are aligned with this mission and we work to inspire other businesses and individuals to get involved. If you would like to learn more about ways to volunteer or donate to KCAN, please visit http://www.kalamazoocan.com
Open Roads Bike Program is a youth development program that teaches social skills and bike mechanic skills to youth in our community. From June 24 through July 12, a bike drive was held at Abraxas to support the Open Roads development program. With the help of Milham Business Alliance partners, 80 bicycles were donated to Open Roads, exceeding our goal of 75 bicycles!
Executive Director of Open Roads, Ethan Alexander was overjoyed when he came to accept the bicycles on July 12th. It is with the help and support of these businesses that we hope to make a larger impact in the community and give community organizations more support than we could alone. For information on how to get involved, visit http://openroadsbike.org
Loaves and Fishes
The City of Portage, City of Kalamazoo, and Kalamazoo County have designated August as Hunger Awareness Month to raise awareness in the community. This awareness is to draw more attention to the issue of food insecurity in Kalamazoo County, and increase donations of food to aid those in need. With the hope of making August a strong food donation month for families around Kalamazoo County, a campaign was held at Abraxas on behalf of Kalamazoo Loaves and Fishes.
Milham Business Alliance partners agreed to help by filling boxes or barrels with donated food. Each partner that supported this effort had their logo displayed on the Abraxas fence during the campaign. With the help of the Milham Business Alliance, the Food Drive grand total was 3,000 pounds of donated food! This was an amazing contribution and provided 2,970 meals to children and adults in need of food assistance. If you would like to learn more about ways to volunteer or donate to Kalamazoo Loaves and Fishes, please visit http://www.kzoolf.org
Habitat for Humanity
Habitat for Humanity is primarily a volunteer organization that seeks to improve the quality of life of its partners, volunteers, and entire community. They are dedicated to eliminating substandard housing locally and worldwide through constructing, rehabilitating and preserving homes; by advocating for fair and just housing policies; and by providing training and access to resources to help families improve their housing conditions.
On September 26, Abraxas employees had the opportunity to participate with Habitat for Humanity in the building of a home. This was yet another reminder that our obligation to give back is in fact a privilege. The day was spent outside, split between landscaping and building a driveway. Volunteering with Habitat taught not only practical skills they could put to use around the home, but left employees with a sense of accomplishment knowing that our Abraxas family had given back to the community in a valuable way. Visit http://www.habitatkalamazoo.org/
to learn more and find out how you can make a difference.
Abraxas believes in getting involved and building lasting opportunities for a good life for all who live in our community. Whether you give money, volunteer your time, or advocate for solutions to our area’s most pressing needs, you are LIVING UNITED.
Our United Way Campaign kicked off on Monday, October 28 and ran through Friday, November 1.We not only had 100% participation, but we surpassed our goal and raised $43,513.52! The amount was matched by the company for a total donation of $87,027.04! What an amazing contribution, and it could not have been done without the effort and compassion of every Abraxas employee.
Thank you to everyone for such a wonderful and successful 2013 United Way campaign. Please visit http://www.changethestory.org
to learn how you can LIVE UNITED.
Giving Back During the Holidays
On Tuesday, November 26, some of our employees volunteered at The Salvation Army, helping assemble and distribute Thanksgiving Baskets for families in need this holiday season. They all had a great time and certainly got their workout for the day!
The Red Kettles provide the funds necessary to brighten the holidays for struggling families and seniors here in our community. Holiday programs include vouchers for coats, Thanksgiving & Christmas food baskets, food vouchers for seniors, and toys for an estimated 4,000 children in our community. An estimated 1,500 household’s sign up for these holiday programs each year.
The Salvation Army of Kalamazoo had set a Red Kettle goal this year of $500,000. Abraxas participated in the campaign to help reach this goal. Our employees had a great time singing Christmas Carols and ringing bells to raise money for our local Salvation Army chapter.
The annual Red Kettle Campaign and Christmas Appeal is the organization’s single largest fundraiser; providing basic need assistance programs and services for all ages during the holidays and all throughout the year. To donate or learn more about the Red Kettle Campaign please visit http://tsakalamazoo.org/red-kettle-campaign/ring-bells
Abraxas employees participated in the Salvation Army Toy Shop; helping families choose Christmas gifts for their family members. Our employees thoroughly enjoyed giving back and providing assistance picking out presents. They are looking forward to volunteering for this opportunity again next year.
In 2013 Abraxas hosted two blood drives for our employees. Donating blood is a selfless act and we are proud to work with MiBlood. Our employees feel good knowing that they are possibly saving a life and helping someone in need.
For more information on how you can help visit http://www.miblood.org
As a company, we feel an accountability to give back to the community in which we live and work. We are committed to being good citizens sharing of our time and talents for those agencies who serve the less privileged. We believe there is strength in numbers; we can make a greater impact by working together and focusing our efforts to support local non-profit agencies by fundraising, advocacy and volunteerism.