Data Masons is pleased to present our blog series, Giving Back. We are very proud of our team members who have chosen to volunteer and make a difference in their communities. Data Masons provides paid time off to any employee that wishes to give back to their communities and we proudly highlight the people and worthwhile charities to which they have dedicated their time.
Jackie Thomas has been a Project Manager with Data Masons for the past two years. She enjoys the camaraderie among her coworkers, stating that she communicates more with her colleagues in her remote position than she has working in physical offices in the past. We’re thrilled to have her as part of the Data Masons family, and excited to share the story of her experience with the Urban Challenge program through the Romero Center in Camden, New Jersey.
Jackie participated in the week-long program with her daughter and other teenagers and families. Each day, they visited a different organization in the Philadelphia and Camden areas, such as assisted living facilities and food pantries. One day they assisted MANNA in Philadelphia with preparing nutritious food for vulnerable clients. Another day, they went to Cathedral Kitchen in Camden, a food pantry that serves up to 250 people per meal. But their duties did not just include serving meals, as Jackie notes. She and the other volunteers were there to engage with the kitchen’s visitors, understand them, and listen to their stories as a “friend for the moment.”
At the end of each day, Jackie and the other volunteers returned to the Romero Center for a debrief. Jackie says that her favorite part of the week was listening to the high school volunteers share their stories about how they were affected, and the people they met each day that gave them a new perspective.
Jackie knows there are many people who want to make a difference in their communities, but aren’t sure how. The first step, she says, is getting out there, because your closest opportunity is as close as next door. Local churches and food kitchens are often looking for group or individual volunteers, but there are so many different organizations that need support and volunteers. “People need someone to reach out and help, and sometimes just someone to talk to.” If everyone does one day here and there, Jackie says, who knows how many lives they can touch, and how many lifelong volunteers can be created?
Thank you, Jackie, for sharing the story of your incredible week with us. We have many more amazing stories of our employees’ efforts to come. Subscribe to our blog so you don’t miss the next one!