Once a year Vanick Digitals stops everything to do a full day service work together as a group. This has proven to be one of the most rewarding experiences across the board for our company as we were able to work together on service projects in our communities. Each one of our locations - Memphis, TN, Nashville, TN, Hermosillo, Mexico and Arenales, Puerto Rico had their own experience.
Both the Memphis and Nashville offices served at Youth Villages. Youth Villages is a private nonprofit organization dedicated to helping emotionally and behaviorally troubled children and their families live successfully. They help more than 22,000 children and families each year from more than 20 states and Washington, D. C. Their Evidentiary Family Restoration® approach involves intensive work with the child and family, a focus on measuring outcomes, keeping children in the community whenever safely possible, and providing accountability to families and funders. The EFR approach produces lasting success for children with success rates twice that of traditional services at one-third the cost of traditional care.
The Memphis group got to spend an entire day volunteering with the children during their PE time. They got to engage with each group of children as they came in throughout the day for their regularly scheduled physical education classes. Both the children and the Vanick team had a great time playing various types of dodge ball, basketball, and even going through obstacle courses. The day ended with Vanick getting to watch the children’s team take on one of the other Youth Village location’s team in a game of flag football!
The Nashville group volunteered in a day of indirect service projects (not working directly with the youth). Some of the children live in group homes if they don’t have a home to return to after their time in the program. Our Nashville group was able to help with a beautification project at a couple of these homes for Youth Villages. They helped with landscaping and basic lawn care at these homes. These guys spent a day of sweat and hard work to make the children a nicer place to come home to.
Both groups were able to learn more about how the programs work and how to be more involved. There are many opportunities to help at Youth Villages. They offer many ways for individuals, families and groups to get involved in helping change the lives of youth and families in their various programs. By getting involved, volunteers provide new opportunities and additional social support to youth working to overcome their circumstances to live successful and productive lives.
If you are interested in Youth Villages, please contact them: Nashville, Lyndsay Wilkinson - Lyndsay.email@example.com and Memphis contacts Joseph Wilson – firstname.lastname@example.org or Patrick Hampton – Patrick.email@example.com.
In our Hermosillo, Mexico office, the group found a local nursing home that provide homes to people that have no family or have been abandoned. They were able collect money to buy groceries and some materials to help fix some of the flooring for the facility. They worked together to do some repairs as well as make a new wheel chair ramp for them.
They also spent time with the residents playing games like dominoes and Loteria (a game similar to bingo). They even brought a guitar and sang songs with them.
In Puerto Rico, we were able to help a local church in a local low income community called Arenales with Back Pack Saturday. We set up bouncy houses, provided lunch, and handed out backpacks filled with school supplies.
We hope to strongly encourage other companies to serve together for their own communities. As one of our teammates described the experience…
“I just really wanted to thank you and the other partners for choosing Youth Villages for our service day yesterday. Based on how tightly controlled most public school campuses are, it never occurred to me that a facility like Youth Villages would not only allow volunteers but actually need, appreciate, and encourage them. The responses from the kids almost made me cry a couple of times because you could see how heartfelt their thanks were. I never would have had this opportunity without our service day, and I really want you to know how much it meant to me. I'll definitely be going back to volunteer and finding out other ways I can help them. Thank you so much for the opportunity. It was truly a wonderful experience I am so grateful to have had.”