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VOL. 11 | NO. 33 | Saturday, August 18, 2018

ServiceMaster Lends Helping Hand with Annual We Care Day

By Michael Waddell

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For ServiceMaster employee Betsy Vincent, there’s a special emotion associated with giving back to her local community. Vincent and nearly 700 other local ServiceMaster employees spent Friday assisting 22 local organizations with projects like neighborhood beautification efforts, delivering/preparing school supplies and food along with working with patients and disadvantaged children.

“There’s nothing better than feeling like you’re a part of a greater good,” said Vincent, participating in her fourth We Care Day event. “In many cases, we’re serving either an underserved community or individuals who are at a crossroads in life, and this could really help make an impact for them.”

Across the country, more than 3,000 ServiceMaster employees took part in the fifth annual We Care Day, assisting with more than 50 simultaneous volunteer projects in seven different cities.

For the grand finale of ServiceMaster's We Care Day, the Memphis-based company teamed up with the Grizzlies and Make-A-Wish Foundation to celebrate, Mason, a local 4-year-old boy. Mason, an avid fan of Mickey and the Roadster Racers, enjoyed a lap around the FedExForum Friday, Aug. 17 before he was rewarded with a trip to Disneyworld. (Daily News/Patrick Lantrip)

“We Care Day is our largest single day of service for ServiceMaster locally and across the country,” said Claire Rossie, ServiceMaster’s community relations manager. “Projects range from going to Le Bonheur or St. Jude to delivering food to the homeless through the Urban Bicycle Food Ministry. We feel like giving is just part of our DNA, it’s so imbedded in our culture. We love doing it, and we do it in a fun way.”

The company’s We Care Day is held each year on the third Friday in August. Employees across the country connect with local community organizations with the common goal of building stronger communities where they live and work.

Areas of focus for community outreach include youth organizations, senior living, food pantries, adults and children with disabilities, family patient assistance, veterans, education, and special interest.

This year community partners include the American Red Cross, Clean Memphis, DeNeuville Learning Center, FedEx Family House, Girl Scouts Heart of the South, Hope House, Junior Achievement of the Mid-South, Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital, Make-A-Wish Mid-South, Memphis River Parks Partnership, Mid-South Food Bank, MIFA, National Civil Rights Museum, Neighborhood Christian Center, Operation Gratitude, Ronald McDonald House Charities of Memphis, Salvation Army, Soulsville Charter School/Stax Academy, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Su Casa, UrbanArt Commission, Urban Bicycle Food Ministry, and Youth Villages.

ServiceMaster employee Sandra Knight paints a festive pattern on a crosswalk in Uptown. Knight, along with roughly 3,000 other ServiceMaster employees preformed good deeds across the city as a part of the company's We Care Day. (Daily News/Patrick Lantrip)

Nineteen ServiceMaster volunteers, including Vincent, helped load more than 200 backpacks at the DeNeuville Learning Center at 190 S. Cooper Ave. for women and children who will attend the center starting next week.

“We would never be able to provide this type of support for our students without the benefit of having the We Care Day team,” said Lori Jones Bramlett, DeNeuville Learning Center executive director. “They provided all of the supplies for the backpacks and, of course, the manpower to put them together.”

The center assists more than 300 women each year with high school equivalency and English as a second language classes, citizenship test preparation, computer and sewing classes, and other skills-based workshops.

Matt Loos and Tiffany Matthews helped work in the garden at the Soulsville Charter School Friday, Aug. 17. Loos and Matthews were just a few of the nearly 3,000 ServiceMaster employees who volunteered for the company's We Care Day. (Daily News/Patrick Lantrip)

“But the most important thing that we do here is provide on-site child care,” said Jones Bramlett. “Child care is the most common barrier for adult women who are seeking to improve their lives. At the end of the day, we’re here to help families break the cycle of poverty. Our new students will get to come in for their first day of class and be greeted with these amazing bags full of supplies. It will immediately make them feel welcomed and loved, and hopefully will encourage them to continue on their journey.”

Other We Care Day projects included packing bags for participants of the upcoming St. Jude Walk/Run to End Childhood Cancer on September 22.

“And at Su Casa, which is a new partner this year, we’re helping build a playground for their little ones and stain and seal a ramp leading out there so it is bright, shiny and new,” Rossie of Service Master said. “Fun days of service like this really impact the local community and communities where we live and work across the country.”

We Care Day concluded with a special Make-A-Wish reveal for a local child, Mason, at FedExForum. The Mickey Racing enthusiast raced an electric Maserati against Grizz and Rocky the Redbird down Beale Street to the finish line at FedExForum leading up to the big announcement that his wish to go to Disney World would be granted next week.

ServiceMaster also held We Care Day employee volunteer events in Carroll, Iowa; LaGrange, Georgia; Dallas; Phoenix; Salt Lake City; and Tampa.

RECORD TOTALS DAY WEEK YEAR
PROPERTY SALES 57 280 1,209
MORTGAGES 55 244 916
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 8 52 151
BUILDING PERMITS 158 699 2,751
BANKRUPTCIES 37 157 618
BUSINESS LICENSES 12 77 276
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 0 0 0
MARRIAGE LICENSES 0 0 0