ASEA corporate held their first Have an Impact, Make a Difference day at a local family shelter earlier this month, spurred by the Advancing Life Foundation’s initiative to bring service opportunities to ASEA employees and associates.
The Advancing Life Foundation hosted a clothing drive at the ASEA corporate office where employees provided gently used coats, clothing, and blankets. In addition to in-kind donations, employees volunteered to sort clothes, donate food, prepare meals, and serve dinner to families at the Road Home family shelter in Midvale, Utah.
Volunteers signed up with the intent to give back to the community; little did they know how much they would take away from the experience:
”As we pulled into the parking lot, I passed a small family pushing a stroller along the dirt road to the building,” remembers ASEA employee and Make a Difference Day volunteer Chris Draudt, “It hit me that under different circumstances this very well could have been my own family. My appreciation for what I had the opportunity to do instantly multiplied. We were not only helping individuals; we were helping families. What an awesome feeling!”
Overcome with emotion, volunteers entered a packed shelter operating well over its capacity. One of the most shocking realizations came when volunteers scanned the faces of the people they were serving—and were greeted by the small eyes of children. These smallest citizens left the biggest impression on ASEA employees.
“I think people have preconceived ideas about what homelessness looks like,” said Sarah Bailey, one of the event organizers. “After spending time in service of these families and seeing such gratitude expressed in the sweet smiles of children, I was forced to reevaluate what is important in my life. I have so much; it’s time to take steps to share it with those who need it and be an example of giving and kindness to my own children.”
Between the sorting, meal preparation, and serving, ASEA’s team volunteered 270 hours of their time to the Road Home. The hours spent with the families at the shelter reminded the volunteers what life is really about.
“We all have a tendency to get wrapped up in our own busy lives and concerns. For me it was a good opportunity to set those things aside for just a few hours and think about people whose needs are much greater than my own,” said volunteer Dave Barton.
Giving back to the community and helping others in need is central to ASEA’s core mission and values. The service project at the Road Home was the first of what will likely be many ASEA corporate Have an Impact, Make a Difference service projects.