By Elissa Nesbitt
The people of Xerox are deeply connected to the communities where we live and work. We do our part to protect our planet and improve the lives of people around us. There’s no better example of this than what happened yesterday at United Way of Greater Rochester’s Day of Caring.
“What a great day I had giving back to our community,” said Steve Hoover, Chief Technology Officer for Xerox. “ I always tell everyone how proud I am of the passion Xerox people bring to their work, and seeing their outstanding efforts today proves it. The demonstration of teamwork, the friendships and the compassion is truly heartwarming. It’s a great way to give back and reminds me of what makes Xerox a great company still – our people and their commitment to have a positive impact on our customers and our community.”
Steve pitched in with three Day of Caring projects in Webster, N.Y., part of more than 500 people who participated in and around Monroe County. We mulched, weeded, painted, packed supplies and pitched in to spruce up camps, community centers, schools and other non-profits.
Take a look at how we spent our days:
YMCA summer camp is prepped
The Office of General Counsel sent 15 current and retired employees to Camp Cory for the 7th year. The lawyers, paralegals and staff built a bridge, stained furniture, painted, and weeded around the camp, and overall made it camper-ready. Camp Cory, a branch of the YMCA of Greater Rochester (N.Y.), offers families a variety of different activities and experiences that they can’t get anywhere else, not the least of which is a natural environment free of electronics and smartphones. Offerings include: overnight camp and day camp for children, family camp weekends, and women’s wellness weekends.
“It was a wonderful day of fun, productive, and rewarding work,” Wende Knapp wrote.
Painting, gardening and spring cleaning at Tryon Park Estates
Corporate Marketing and Communications sent a crew to Tryon Park/Tryon Estates in Rochester, N.Y., which offers housing for people with traumatic brain injury. Upon arrival, they came upon paint, brushes, rakes, and assorted implements of sprucing up. The crew got to landscaping, staining a deck, picnic tables and front stairs, and some indoor spring cleaning.
Community garden and clean up for homeless shelter
Open Door addresses the causes of the homeless and working poor in Norwalk, Conn., as well as the complexities that impact their lives. Open Door
provides shelter, food, clothing, case management services, treatment services, transitional planning for short and long term goals, subsidized housing, education, employment, and a path toward independence and success. Open Door’s staff focused on their mission while our Corporate Strategy and Marketing employees spent the afternoon in the community garden where the Open Door chef grows food for her meals. Afterwards, our people roamed the streets with grabbers and garbage barrels, and picked up butts, glass, paper and pieces of garbage in various states of entropy.
Lollypop Farm cleans up for a new season
Lollypop Farm helps build lifelong bonds between people and animals through education, community outreach programs and the prevention of cruelty. The farm is run by the Humane Society of Greater Rochester.
About 100 people from our Technology Development Group joined forces with a crew from Excellus BlueCross BlueShield. The scope of the projects assured their time was well-spent:
- Cleaned out and around a barn filled with “junk,” and made $250 from a scrap metal recycler.
- Cleared out trees and branches in and around an unused horse paddock so that it can be used this summer.
- Sanded and varnished seven benches.
- Carpenters in the group built new feeding troughs for goats and nesting boxes for chickens.
- Cleaned out a two garage bays.
- Painted an office.
- Created small gift boxes for Lollypop’s upcoming gala.
- Built some obstacles for the equine training center.
- Spring cleanup — mowing, raking, pruning bushes, weeding, installing landscape fabric, spread (a lot of!) mulch, planted annuals, and spread stones on the pathways.
Renewed home for a farm animal rescue
Build and hang new doors on a barn, replace wall panels on a cow barn, clean horse stalls, washed water buckets and horse blankets, sweep the horse barn, cleared brush on trails and in creeks, weed the gardens, paint and more. This was not a typical day for our people from our Consumables Development and Manufacturing Group.
They spent their day at the Cracker Box Palace, a farm animal rescue. They take in farm animals that have been abused, neglected or abandoned — horses, cows, sheep, pigs, chickens, goats, rabbits and more. Mary Novick, a Xerox retiree, heads up things at Cracker Box Palace. “I used to let volunteers vote on where to go,” Wendy Richards wrote, “but after a few years with everyone voting for the Cracker Box Palace, we just sign up and go.”
A dance company prepares a move
Garth Fagan Dance creates cultural, educational and charitable activities, including furtherance of the production of dance theatre of the highest quality, and developing new works by the Founding Artistic Director Garth Fagan. The troupe hosts several community outreaches to the underprivileged in Rochester area. Members of Asians Coming Together, a caucus group for Xerox employees, helped the GFD clean-up, organize and prepare for a move.
Spruce up a historic site
Sodus Bay Light House, a museum that emphasizes local maritime history in Wayne County, N.Y., preserves historic sites, structures and monuments. They serve the educational and cultural needs of the Sodus Bay area. A crew from our Global Development Group’s AltaLink Controller Development Team spent the day at yard work and gardening at this historic site.
Rest in peace
Mount Hope Cemetery, one of the most remarkable Victorian cemeteries in America, is a veritable museum of funerary sculpture and mausoleums spanning more than a century and a half. Friends of Mount Hope creates educational programming, preserves cemetery monuments and structures, and maintain select horticultural specimens within the grounds. A crew from Xerox Information Management helped out with the spring cleanup with rakes and good, old-fashioned stooping down to pick up sticks.
Clean up at affordable housing for seniors
Providence Development has created more than 900 affordable housing units in the greater Rochester area, including the St. Salome Senior Community where employees from our Western Hemisphere Supply Chain performed ground work and leaf removal.
Fresh coat of paint for a new safe house
The note to employees of the Office Solutions Business Group says it all: “The building is furniture free and the walls have been prepped and taped. All materials will be ready to go. Please bring
them along step ladders or extension rods for rollers, if you have them. Our goal is to work in five areas in teams of three. The plan is to add two coats of paint to each section. Please make sure you wear appropriate painting clothes. My plan is to work until 5 p.m., or later.”
The Margaret Home provides a beautiful and warm home as a refuge for expectant mothers who want help to choose life for their babies. The mothers live with the skilled professionals who will help the mothers and their babies to become secure and independent members of society.
“As this will be a safe house for woman with young children,” the note to our employees added, “please do not share the attached address. I look forward to a fantastic day.”
A halt to invasive plant species
A team of 10 volunteers removed invasive plant species at Ganondagan State Park in Victor, N.Y., which harm plants that are culturally significant to the Seneca tribe. Wild flora rose bushes, honeysuckle bushes and garlic mustard weeds sound kind of sweet, but they had to go. Ganondagan is the only New York State Historic Site dedicated to a Native American theme, and includes the only Seneca town developed and interpreted in the United States.
Helping those who help others
Heritage Christian Center provides care for people with developmental disabilities, as well as respite care for over extended families. The agency supports 1,800 people in upstate counties in New York with residential support, day programs, service coordination, respite, community habilitation, employment supports and licensed home care services. Xerox employees from a number of business groups spent the day at weeding, painting, carpentry and woodworking, as well as fence repairs at several HCC facilities.
Back to school
James P.B. Duffy School #12 in Rochester is diverse in many ways – academic offerings, student population, the variety of arts and cultural activities, and in partnerships with community organizations. Employees from Xerox Information Management spent the day on cleanup, mulching gardens and flower beds, and spent time reading with the elementary students as well as craft projects. Some of the 8th graders, who have big dreams to work in business and game design when they grow up, lent a hand in the gardens.
Xerox people also rolled up their sleeves to help Bivona Child Advocacy Center, Catholic Charities, Fairport Baptist Homes; Foodlink, Genesee Land Trust, Lifetime Assistance, Homesteads for Hope, Never Say Never Foundation, Williamson-Pultneyville Historical Society, and Multiple YMCAs around Monroe County(N.Y.).
If you missed this year’s Day of Caring and want to be part of it next year, check out the full list of projects and contact a team captain. If you’re interested in volunteering with other, Xerox sponsored programs, let us know.