Unemployed Florida

corporate America on a guilt trip?

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corporate America on a guilt trip?

Post  nancym on Fri Dec 03, 2010 10:30 pm

I just started doing just a few hours a week of volunteer work at a nearby soup kitchen and homeless center where they needed a teacher/tutor to help some of the less computer-savvy use their little computer lab (old donated computers, but they work fine with XP and networked). It's a new endeavor for them, but I figured with so many libraries cutting their hours and so many (I imagine) who can no longer afford an internet connection, this is one way to help fill the gap. But we are fortunate here to have a wifi cloud in the eastern part of the city and lots of franchises with free wifi also for those who own a laptop.

I mention this not to just pat myself on the back for volunteering (I don't even know if anyone will sign up yet, it starts next week!), but to tell a little story the director of the facility told me. She told me what we all know, everyone on this board who has become or has come close to being homeless, or knows people who are--that the crowd showing up at places like that has a very different face than in years past. More and more families, mothers with kids, and those with lots of education who most of the employed would never dream would end up homeless unless they had a drug problem or some extreme circumstance.

So the director tells me that in the last few months she has had a number of new commitments from a variety of corporations who have made it mandatory for their employees (or maybe just upper management, I don't know) to offer some kind of community service on a regular basis. (In the past, I know there were always a few companies who did that, and were usually mentioned as the few who made it a point to give back in that way, but this is apparently a new trend, at least around here.)

So now this director has all these stylish people show up and puts rubber gloves on them to dig in a work like everybody else. (I immediately thought--it's their marketing departments; I'm sure they let their CEOs know that their corporate image couldn't possibly get much lower!) So these well paid people have to step out of their bubble for a few hours a week and are taken aback at the kind of people they see using the kitchen--men, women, and children who look just like their own families (but probably in more outdated fashions!).

The director told me that after their first visits the facility gets a veritable flood of cast-off designer clothing, expensive hand-me-downs, etc. So whether it's an epiphany or a guilt trip, the director says, "I'll take it!," with a smile.

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Join date : 2009-07-12
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