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Midan Gives Back on the First Annual Diversity & Inclusion Volunteer Day

Midan Marketing

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“We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.”

— Winston Churchill
Everyone wants to help. To contribute. To give back. But there’s often a gap between “wanting” and “doing.” It’s sometimes hard to take that first step toward becoming a volunteer. There are so many worthy causes, where do you start? Sometimes you just need that extra little nudge to put others before you.

After Midan’s Diversity & Inclusion (D & I) Council was created last year in response to George Floyd’s murder, we sat down to hammer out our goals for our first year. Sponsoring a company-wide Volunteer Day quickly jumped to the top of the list.

“You may ask what volunteering has to do with the D & I Council,” said Alex Tyre, chairperson of the Diversity & Inclusion Council. “Working toward a greater good, expanding your world view and helping others are just a few things volunteering has in common with diversity and inclusion.”

On Friday afternoon, April 23rd, to coincide with National Volunteer Week, Midan had our first ever Diversity & Inclusion Volunteer Day. This year, we chose to serve the United Way.

This isn’t Midan’s first volunteering rodeo. In previous years, our Chicago office has volunteered at various food banks such as Lakeview Pantry. The Mooresville office served meals at a soup kitchen and worked on a house for Habitat for Humanity. Our remote team members contributed in various ways in their own communities.

But there had never been a company-wide, coordinated team effort where everyone worked on the same project at the same time. Until now.

Each participant bought and organized items into kits to be handed out to local Chicago United Way partners. They included hygiene kits, snack boxes, baby baskets and literacy kits.

Across the country, Midan team members pitched in:

  • In the suburbs of Charlotte, Laura Azran and her daughter Chloe created a baby kit. They even went the extra step of making a tie blanket to include in it. “Being a mom is a hard job. Helping a fellow mom, even in a small way, felt good.”
  • In Lawrence, Kansas, Kelly Loganbill and son Cody teamed up to put together literacy kits to be distributed to early learning centers and elementary schools to improve literacy in diverse communities. “Being avid readers and advocates of early childhood education, we were drawn to the literacy kits, Kelly said.” “Reading is something we often take for granted and forget that literacy is a real problem in many parts of our country. We were happy to help in any way we could.”
  • Burt Dellinger and his wife Patty shopped for and prepared a hygiene kit of self-care supplies in Hickory, North Carolina. “We enjoyed looking for products we thought the family would find refreshing while stretching every dollar further,” Burt said. “There’s a real joy that comes from putting other people’s needs first.”
  • In Colorado, Jordan Hinton and her young daughters Savannah and Sydney assembled snack kits for children who often come to school hungry. “This was a great way to teach my daughters to appreciate what we have and the importance of giving back and helping those less fortunate,” Jordan said.
At the end of the day, we met back up for a “Virtual Happy Hour.” After some opening words from Danette Amstein, principal, Midan Marketing, Lauren Welke from the United Way of Metro Chicago joined us. She thanked everyone for their help and talked about how our kits would be put to good use. She also spoke about the United Way’s overall mission. Afterward, we played games and talked about what volunteerism meant to each of us. It was the perfect cap to a fun and meaningful afternoon.

Many thanks to the team members who helped organize this year’s Volunteer Day, and to everyone who gave their time Friday afternoon so others might have a brighter tomorrow. A very special shout out to Rochelle Johnson for designing our Volunteer Day shirts, and to Myasia Burns who was the driving force behind the vision for a company-wide Volunteer Day. She then executed it, in the midst of a global pandemic and while planning her wedding, no less. And of course, deep gratitude to Midan principals Michael Uetz and Danette Amstein for not only giving everyone eight hours a year to devote to volunteering, but for generously picking up the tab for the supplies needed to create the kits.

Speaking of eight hours, we only used four, so our team members will continue to find worthy causes to devote the remainder to.

See you at next year’s Diversity & Inclusion Volunteer Day! (Hopefully in person!)