Mark Frasco - President
As a child, I remember my parents helping neighbors and family members. But in general, I didn’t grow up with a deep sense for helping others in need. I was married when I was 27. Not unlike many guys, that was the time of my life when my personal development and sensitivities began to take shape – you might say I began to see things through eyes other than my own.
COACT has always included team members with benevolent attitudes. In our earliest years, we adopted a family for Christmas, ran in charity races, and volunteered at homeless shelters. Last year, our People Track began to think more deeply about how we could make a bigger impact on our community; finding need and doing what we could to help.
As a company, in January 2015, we posed a challenge to every person in our company to volunteer at three different charities, this calendar year. We wondered if it were possible to meet the challenge. After all, we have full-time jobs, many with children and others with busy personal lives. Wouldn’t it be a great accomplishment, if those who had not experienced helping others in need, suddenly gained the love and appreciation that a giver receives?
As of this writing, I can report that we are sure to exceed all expectations that our challenge set out. This year so far, our team of 25 associates has participated in over 75 instances of volunteerism. We have completed over 500 hours of volunteer work in our community. Evenings, weekends, our team organized, gathered and shared their time and talent with others, who in many cases were unable to help themselves.
An interesting byproduct of our volunteer work has been a noticeable shift in our attitudes, productivity, and teamwork. Some had this spirit built in, others were helped along, but one thing for sure, our team was the biggest benefactor of this challenge. Many in our organization have now felt the gratification received from helping others. Our Monday morning meetings are delayed by conversations of the weekend’s work and plans for the next outing. It is a comforting distraction from our daily responsibilities.
I wonder how my childhood and life might’ve been impacted, if at a young age I understood the act of helping others as a normal life activity. How would my community be different; how would I be different?
I noticed many of our people brought their children to help volunteer. They served others, they carried things from here to there, they weeded flower gardens and they saw the grownups in their lives doing the same. How will those young lives be different? Together, they shared a story… a story that was outside of themselves. They learned to find need and lend a helping hand.
As the holiday season comes upon us, we at COACT wish to thank our friends and families for helping make our story meaningful. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your loved ones.
Questions or comments? Please contact Mark Frasco at mfrasco@teamCOACT.com.