Earth Day has quickly become a global event, with more than 1 billion people from 192 countries taking part each year. This year PAE and Luma took Earth Day one step further by implementing our first Week of Service. This company-wide event takes place over an entire week with a focus on giving back to our local communities in various ways. This year the Community Service Team in each office organized multiple opportunities for everyone to donate their time and resources.
In Portland, Sydney Mills - who leads the office’s Community Service committee, arranged for volunteers to collect trash along the riverfront. They teamed up with SOLVE, an organization that aims to “take care of Oregon,” by improving the environment and protecting it for years to come. Together 24 volunteers removed 230 pounds of trash, dug up blackberry roots from over 1000 square feet of riparian area, eliminated 5 gallons of invasive lesser celandine and thistle, and mulched 30 native plants!
“We enjoyed the physical labor and being able to know that we are making a difference in a place we spend a lot of time in,” Sydney said.
Melanie Brown, Stephanie Ellis, and Christine Cornelius of the Seattle office organized two days of service where they gave back to the local community. One group removed overgrown English Ivy that had taken over The Arboretum. For three hours the team dug in and removed ivy along with employees of The Arboretum Foundation.
The Foundations Volunteer Programs Manager Alyssa Henry commented on PAE’s support, “We really appreciate that you are making a commitment to sustainability in our community!”
The second group of volunteers went to The Bread of Life, a soup kitchen in Pioneer Square. They served food to those in need for 2 hours and the immediate feedback from those receiving the food was humbling as many of them won’t know when they will eat their next meal.
With the San Francisco office located in the Tenderloin, the desire to give back for the week was strong. Sarah Dawson was able to rally 25 volunteers for five separate events! On Tuesday PAE and Luma staff volunteered at the Curry Senior Center and served 200 nutritious meals to seniors. Another event was with the Tenderloin Neighborhood Development, for the Rosa Parks Mini Urban Farm where 250 square feet of garden beds were prepped for fruits and vegetables that when ripe and harvested, will feed the seniors living in the Rosa Parks apartments. On Thursday, volunteers assisted librarians in organizing elementary school classroom libraries which provides access to books to some of the 3,500 children living in the Tenderloin. To finish out the week, 12 volunteers assembled hygiene kits for the Downtown Streets Team for distribution to the homeless. Jack Hill from Downtown Streets Team said that 1/3 of the kits PAE and Luma made were distributed to people experiencing homelessness over the three blocks between their office and ours!
The first annual PAE Week of Service was a definite success with a great turnout of volunteers. We will continue to help those in need in our local communities throughout the year, and we are excited for next years’ Service Week.
Want more opportunities to volunteer? Join us! We offer paid volunteer time, up to 20 hours annually to perform volunteer work for charitable causes during business hours. Check out our career page to learn more.