This January our Human Resources team in Milwaukee, WI volunteered to serve the hungry with our long-time community partner, The Gathering. The organization serves meals at three different sites throughout the city, helping those who face food insecurity. The Gathering prides itself in treating every individual who comes for a meal as a guest and this compassion was noticed by our volunteers.
John Dixon, Senior Manager-Human Resources, has volunteered for The Gathering several times, but this was the first time he helped at the 27th Street location. “The population downtown seems much more tilted toward deeper poverty and homelessness. On 27th Street, the location is smaller, it seemed many people knew each other and sat together and talked. The 27th Street location was attended by more couples, children and families. The pre-meal orientation described the population there as more “working poor”, people who have a roof over their heads but need a bit of assistance to make it through, and that seemed to be spot on.”
“The primary aspect that I see in common between the locations is the friendly and respectful nature of the guests. The Gathering truly does provide more than just a meal. It is a warm, safe place where people can find a respite from the outside world as well” said Dixon.
For Phil Vasquez, Receptionist, the experience reinforced what good teamwork looks like. “Participating as a department makes the experience enjoyable and easy because you’re around people you know and work with. It inspires all of us to be the best of ourselves and help us learn as a team outside of our normal everyday jobs. Volunteering as a group gives a satisfaction that we can be as good a team regardless of what were involved in.”
In 2017, employees volunteered on seven different occasions to support The Gathering and its mission to provide meals and associated services to those who would otherwise go hungry. Support of The Gathering is in line with our focused giving to answer the need for basic Human Services in the communities in which we operate.