Check out the profiles below to see how our employees are making a difference everyday.
Giving back isn’t just an idea at Abraxas, it is a mission and summons. It drives us to fulfill our deepest purpose and most essential mission. Our fundraising, outreach, and advocacy bring value and transformation to our personal lives, our community, and our business.
We are proud of our relationships with dozens of organizations that bring value and meaning to tens of thousands of people every year. We don’t just support these organizations, we join them in bonds of friendship and encouragement to find our truest selves in our deepest calling: giving back. By promoting volunteer opportunities and matching contributions to the United Way campaign, we have become a part of the United Way’s $100,000 club for the last three years. Our participation not only fosters and encourages economic development, but, most importantly, it allows the Abraxas staff to be a postitive and active part of our community.
Our partners – whom we are proud to call friends – include: Housing Resources, Inc., Big Brothers Big Sisters, YMCA, Salvation Army, Loaves & Fishes, Habitat for Humanity, United Way, OutFront Kalamazoo, and the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts. We cherish these and so many more relationships that are helping today’s community, tomorrow’s leaders, and our future’s hope.
Check out the profiles below to see how our employees are making a difference everyday.
For 26 years, the Annual YMCA Strong Kids Golf Classic has provided funding to benefit thousands of kids and their families in Greater Kalamazoo and Portage. Your participation demonstrates your commitment to making a real and lasting difference in our community.
Abraxas is proud to be the Title Sponsor for this event on June 5, 2017 at The Moors Golf Club. We support the YMCA’s efforts to create programs that build a healthy spirit, mind, and body for all in our greater Kalamazoo community.
This is our fourth year participating in event. This event, like several others, aligns with the Abraxas mission of giving back to the community, since the money raised supports after-school programs for the underprivileged youth.
Abraxas employees took on the #ALSicebucketchallenge in a big way, with 23 team members dousing themselves in unison.
“One of our employees was challenged and suggested we open it up to the whole team,” said partner Renee McParlan. “This is just one more example of how working together helps raise awareness and results in contributions towards important causes.”
Renee joined her colleagues who took the Challenge on August 21. With a video camera rolling, 23 of our team members dumped ice and water over their heads—appropriately, using plastic-lined record storage boxes.
“I’ve never felt something so cold in my life!” Renee said. “But it was fun to do for a worthy cause. I’m really proud of our team for taking the Challenge. It’s a great fit with our Giving Back commitment.”
One of the core values at Abraxas, Giving Back promotes volunteer opportunities and philanthropy for social areas that matter to employees and their community.
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS, is a neurodegenerative condition, commonly called Lou Gehrig’s disease, that results in paralysis and death. An estimated 30,000 Americans have ALS. The Ice Bucket Challenge became a social media phenomenon this summer; individuals challenge others to donate to ALS research or pour a bucket of ice water over their heads. (Many people do both.) Through August 21, the ALS Association reported receiving $41.8 million in donations through the Challenge.
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.
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
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 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.
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.
Scanning Team Member
How long have you worked at Abraxas?
Since December 2009
Which charities and nonprofits are you involved with?
Awana, a children’s ministry at my church.
What encouraged you to become involved with this particular organization?
The ability to help kids.
Why do you enjoy working with this organization?
I find it very fulfilling to contribute my time to a worthy cause.
What level of involvement do you have with this organization?
Have been a leader and mentor to the kids.
How long have you volunteered with this organization?
Over 13 years.
How did you become a volunteer and what were your reasons for doing so?
My child was in the program when she was small and she seemed to really enjoy and learn from the experience. I wanted to share that feeling with more kids.
Can you suggest any other reasons why people should volunteer their time?
It helps other people and it gives you a sense of goodwill and fulfillment in your own life.
How would you define the term ‘volunteer’?
I think being a volunteer is about giving beyond yourself to make others happy.
Why do you think volunteering for a charity or helping out the community makes Abraxas a better company?
It shows we care for our community and help to make a difference. We are able to do so much more as a group than we are as individuals.