Highlight strives to make a positive impact by giving back to our community as much as possible. This year, one of Highlight’s cybersecurity teams participated in the AARP Foundation Meal Pack Challenge, providing food products to those who are stricken in poverty. Our Project Manager, Rozia Henson, discovered the AARP Challenge and eagerly took advantage of this opportunity to benefit their community. With the help of Highlight’s incredible FDIC team, AARP has packed more than 1 million servings of food for the Capital Area Food Bank to assist D.C.-Area seniors in need. According to the AARP Foundation, the Meal Pack Challenge “is a chance for all of us to safely give back to the community and help struggling older neighbors.”
Highlight’s FDIC team’s Information Technology Security Specialist, Kenneth “Ken” Zielinski, mentioned to Highlight Inspiration that his team was looking for a COVID-19 friendly way to still be able to help those less fortunate during the pandemic. When discussing the technicalities of finding a COVID-safe volunteer opportunity, Mr. Zielinski stated that “other volunteer opportunities we had considered were feeding the homeless, volunteering at a shelter, or raising money for a charitable cause. These previous opportunities did not seem plausible during the current state of events, which led us to [choose the] AARP Foundation Meal Pack challenge.”
The overall process involved requesting the number of boxes the team would like to carry out as well as purchasing several preselected items to pack. Mr. Zielinski stated that they were “[lucky that] COVID-19 did not affect the collection of resources, yet it was a motivating factor behind seeking out a way to help.” The entire FDIC team participated remotely to pack the boxes in their own time, and each person packed their own packages at home before shipping them to AARP with the specified pre-labeled stickers. The FDIC team stated that “if this opportunity returned, [they] would definitely like to participate again.”
Mr. Zielinski revealed that there is a specified time frame for participating in the AARP Foundation Meal Pack Challenge each year. According to the AARP Foundation, “the Meal Pack Challenge timeframe coincides with National Good Neighbor Day (September 28th). It is the perfect time to help our neighbors in need.” While this specific opportunity is now closed, there are still plenty of ways to offer up service time from their website. “In addition to the Meal Pack Challenge, AARP will provide no-cost virtual volunteer opportunities on Connect2Affect.org.” Our Highlight FDIC team suggests that whether you want to find a way to work with the AARP, or another organization during the holidays, there are plenty of ways to reach out to the community while practicing safety precautions. Their advice is to utilize search engines to figure out the best volunteer options within your neighborhood to benefit those who need it most.
Author: Victoria Robinson | Marketing Manager