One of the things I like about working at Maugel is everyone’s commitment to giving back to the community. It’s not conspicuously displayed on a wall plaque in the reception area to impress our clients; it’s ingrained in the culture and it’s done without fanfare. You see it through the lives of our employees—in the emails soliciting support for a favorite charity, in the events that our teams attend, and in the quiet conversations that co-workers share while waiting for their brew-of-choice at the Keurig machine. How people allocate their time will tell you what they value. I never asked Brent, but I would guess it’s probably one of the requisite qualifications for being hired at Maugel.
One of the charities that needs your help, especially around the holidays, is Loaves and Fishes, in Devens, Massachusetts. Loaves and Fishes is a food pantry that provides food to those in need—the working poor, the elderly, single parent families, and people with disabilities. Their clients come from every ethnic group and are the people you meet at the store, at church, and at your local school. On Monday, a group of us volunteered to help with the Thanksgiving distribution. Deb had organized Maugel’s participation by setting up the donation boxes and scheduling the volunteer shift—Brent, Debbie, Christina and I took the first shift. Heather, Meg, Sarah and Colby worked the second.
Having been a local Girl Scout leader, I had been familiar with Loaves & Fishes. Our troop often collected food, boxed it up, and then dropped it off at the back door. Whenever a request for donations came home from school, I always loaded the kids’ backpacks with canned goods and sent them on their way—thinking I had done my share. But it wasn’t until I arrived for the morning shift that the impact of what they do (and how little I had been doing) hit home. As I drove up to the building, I was struck by the length of the line of people in need, and its diversity—especially the number of elderly and young families. The pantry had expected 150 families for the morning distribution—249 had come. By the end of the evening shift, the pantry had serviced 368 families (a 20% increase over last year). This is a wonderful organization, doing great work. They are always in need of donations and volunteers. Please take a look at their website and see if there is any way that you can help.
When I finished my shift, I stopped to say goodbye to Patty Stern, the executive director. As I turned to leave she said, “Don’t forget us. Christmas is just around the corner.” I replied, "I'll be there." And I will.