ARAMARK Building Community Increases Commitment To Philadelphia-Area Community Centers
More than 300 ARAMARK employee volunteers to give much-needed facelift to the Lutheran Settlement House and the North Light Community Center
Philadelphia, PA. – Two Philadelphia community centers will receive a much-deserved face-lift on April 24. More than 300 employees of ARAMARK, a global provider of professional services, will dedicate their time, energy and talents to enhance the facilities at the Lutheran Settlement House (1340 Frankford Avenue) and North Light Community Center (183 Green Lane).
The day of service is part of ARAMARK’s ongoing partnership with the Federation of Neighborhood Centers (formerly called the Greater Philadelphia Federation of Settlements), whose 15 member community centers support 45 Philadelphia neighborhoods. The partnership, which was launched in 2008, is part of ARAMARK Building Community, a company-wide initiative that fosters long-term support for local community centers in more than 25 cities.
“ARAMARK Building Community allows our employees to use their diverse talents outside of their daily jobs to strengthen the community in a meaningful way,” said Joseph Neubauer, chairman and chief executive officer of ARAMARK. “I couldn’t be more proud of the amazing results our employees are achieving here in Philadelphia and around the world.”
A recent study found that 61 percent of Americans believe that in the current economic climate, community centers play a more essential role than ever *. Respondents note that providing basic needs like food and clothing, affordable childcare and preschool, job training and after school programs are the most important services that community centers offer. The Lutheran Settlement House and North Light Community Center both provide these valuable services and more to many of Philadelphia’s working class and lower-income neighborhoods.
The Lutheran Settlement House will receive two new clothing and supply rooms for victims of domestic violence, while the North Light Community Center’s existing computer lab will be turned into a workforce development room. At both centers, ARAMARK volunteers will also refurbish and landscape outdoor garden areas by building vegetable beds, picnic tables, and mural benches. In addition, they will paint inspirational murals, host a children’s book drive, and build bookshelves for newly donated children’s books.
City Year Greater Philadelphia, a group dedicated to engaging youth in full-time community service and ARAMARK’s volunteerism partner, will work side-by-side with ARAMARK employees on the 62 enhancement projects taking place that day.
“Today’s current economic landscape places even more importance on community centers who are on the front lines in addressing some of our nation’s most pressing social issues –poverty, education, joblessness, obesity, youth development and caring for seniors,” said Diane Cornman-Levy, executive director of the Federation of Neighborhood Centers. “In Philadelphia, more than 100,000 individuals and families rely on our centers for these basic support services and many are in desperate need of improvements and expertise in nutrition, workforce readiness and basic human services - areas in which ARAMARK continues to provide us with lasting assistance.”
This day of service is one of several initiatives that ARAMARK and the Federation of Neighborhood Centers began to introduce in 2008. The two organizations are also working together to develop programs to help connect people to jobs and to educate them about how to live a healthier lifestyle. Key initiatives will include job shadow days for high school students, quarterly job fairs, a family health and wellness fair (June 6) and nutrition workshops (spring and fall), as well as food and clothing drives throughout the year.
*The study was conducted for ARAMARK via telephone by International Communications Research, an independent research company. Interviews were conducted November 7-11, 2008 among a representative sample of 1017 adults aged 18 years or older. The margin of error is +/-3.07% at the 95% confidence level. More information about ICR can be obtained by visiting www.icrsurvey.com.
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