I would like to say thank you to the team at Pitney Bowes for making me feel very welcome at my first-ever volunteering day as a member of the Catalytic Foundation team. The volunteering day, held in early July 2022, supported both our Edu2022 campaign and our Warm Winters campaign.
The day started with the team forming a very enthusiastic assembly line to fill backpacks with school supplies like pencil cases, stationery, books, lunchboxes and drink bottles. Each bag was assembled taking into consideration what a child of that age would like and need. We assembled 40 backpacks in total. We had quite a few laughs as we passed the backpacks around and it was a lot of fun.
After a quick break for morning tea, we moved on to sorting through a massive pile of clothing donated by the NZ Olympic Committee. We ensured all clothes were in excellent condition (they already were!) before sorting them into summer and winter piles. We then neatly folded them and packed them into bags ready to donate to De Paul House.
Once we had loaded the cars we headed to De Paul House in Northcote where we were met by Lesley. Lesley told us that often families turn up to De Paul house with nothing because they have urgently had to leave a domestic violence situation or they have been displaced from their housing with little notice and no option to return to collect their belongings. For the children in these families, this means they do not have the necessary equipment to go to school. We gave all 40 backpacks to De Paul House. The Social Workers were very excited about them because they would help the kids in De Paul house settle into school and feel more secure with a daily routine. De Paul house also offers parents courses, like cooking and budgeting, during school hours so the whole family can be supported and helped towards a better life. Finally, we had a tour of the facilities in De Paul House and learnt quite a bit about the type of support they both give and need.
De Paul house was also thankful for the very warm jackets and winter clothes donated by the NZ Olympic committee. With the weather starting to turn icy, they were going to work to get them out to their community straight away.
We finished the volunteering day with a relaxing lunch at a local café, which was kindly funded by Pitney Bowes. We talked about what we had gained from the day, and more specifically, about the work of De Paul House.
The summer clothing will be kept for another campaign when the weather starts to warm up.
Pitney Bowes is an American based company that specialises in mail technology solutions, like letter folding machines and envelope printers, support and encourage their staff to be involved in giving back to the community by matching pay-day giving and giving staff paid opportunities to do volunteer work. We know that these are important factors in encouraging staff job satisfaction and retention. If you would like to know more about how the Catalytic Foundation can help your organisation establish an environment of corporate social giving, please contact us.
I am looking forward to being involved in more volunteering days like this.
By Jacqui Barker, Communications and Administration, Catalytic Foundation