To celebrate our 15-year anniversary in 2020, we decided to express our gratitude for our team, clients, and opportunities to perform meaningful work in our communities through 15 acts of kindness throughout the year.
Read on to see how we volunteered, donated, honored colleagues and community members, cared for our neighbors, protected our environment, and acted globally to celebrate 15K.
Gratitude: One of our initiatives that we celebrated all year long is gratitude for our staff and community members. We started this off in February by awarding our first MVP award to Sr. Civil Designer Kyung Han. Neil and Kyung started working together in 2004. Kyung is one of our first employees and is well loved by our team for his expertise, kindness, positive attitude, and willingness to help. This award was quickly dubbed the “Kyung Award” and will be presented to future MVPs who, like Kyung, exemplify Emerio’s culture.
Kindness Closet: Additionally, we started a “kindness closet” stocked with goodies and snacks. Staff were encouraged to express gratitude and appreciation for team members who go above and beyond with a thank you note and treat.
Adopt-a-Park: Emerio has adopted Hyland Woods Natural Area for the 2019/2020 season. Throughout 2020 (and continuing in 2021), our team will be improving the park by removing invasive plants, planting native vegetation, and providing litter pickup and trail maintenance. We were lucky to have nice weather for our first work party in February!
Honduras Well Projects: Introduced to Emerio by our accounting team member, Nicole Hartenstein, donations were collected during March to support this organization that provides clean and safe water sources in northern Honduras by drilling wells. We are proud to say we reached our fundraising goal and raised $1,000 for Honduras Well Projects, enough to provide the equipment and resources for two well drilling teams.
To celebrate Earth Day we rolled out the following initiatives:
• To reduce the amount of usable appliances, furniture, house décor, etc from entering the waste stream we created a “Share Board” to allow staff to offer their usable items to fellow teammates.
• To reduce drive-alone commutes, Emerio is offering 50% toward monthly TriMet passes and our Green Team has created a program to help teammates plan a bike or transit route and assist in removing any barriers stopping them from taking the next step.
• To reduce paper waste from single-sided printed pages, we will soon start diverting those pages from the waste stream and into a special tray in one of our printers for reuse.
Every Child Oregon: during May our team assembled Flash Boxes for foster families in our community through Every Child Oregon. Flash Boxes are filled with activities, gift cards, and items for both the guardians and kids to encourage and support foster families. Our team donated enough items and supplies to assemble 5 boxes worth approx $650!
Africa New Life: Introduced to the Emerio team by our founder Neil Fernando, Africa New Life’s goal is to see lives transformed through meeting basic needs and to give hope for the future for those living in poverty in Rwanda. In June the Emerio team raised money and wrote birthday cards for Neil’s sponsored students, Kevine and Delphin. We collected $400 in donations which Neil generously matched, bringing Emerio’s total donation to $800. This money will be used to provide food, soap, and face masks. We also sent 14 birthday cards.
Sunshine Division: Introduced to the Emerio team by Executive Assistant Julie Winters, the Sunshine Division is a local non-profit that provides food and clothing relief to Portland families and individuals in need. For the month of July we collected monetary (over $750!) and food donations to help Sunshine Division continue their critical work.
Girls Inc: Our August initiative continued our theme of gratitude by thanking those who are helping build future STEM leaders. Girls Inc is a non-profit with a mission to inspire girls to be strong, smart, and bold through after school programs and experiences. Recognizing that women are severely underrepresented in STEM professions, they have developed a program called Operation Smart which brings in STEM professionals and provides hands-on activities to allow girls to explore, ask questions, and solve problems to inspire enthusiasm and develop skills in science, technology, engineering, and math.
We showed our gratitude to Girls Inc staff by delivering a basket of treats and thank you notes to their office, thanking them for encouraging and educating the next generation of STEM leaders.
Our 15K celebration aligned perfectly this year with our 3rd Annual Serve September, a way for us to offer care, energy, and support to our community. This year our September was full of opportunities!
Summer Recycle Day: Hosted by our Green Team, we collected electronics, batteries, bulbs, styrofoam, small propane tanks, and packing supplies. This popular event allows our team to safely recycle items that would otherwise end up in a landfill.
Red Cross Blood Drive: This yearly event hosted at our Beaverton HQ in support of the Red Cross was a huge success! We had 23 presenting donors who donated a total of 18 units — enough to save 54 lives!
Neighborhood House: Team Emerio collected non-perishable food for the Neighborhood House the largest food pantry program on Portland’s west side, serving over 1,400 individuals each month to meet this most basic of needs.
For our October 15K initiative, we took it all the way back to the beginning: Emerio’s very first client! We reached out to our initial client to see if we could extend an act of kindness to a specific cause or organization that is near and dear to their hearts and so, in honor of the clients that started it all, our October initiative was a financial gift to the Knight Cancer Institute at OHSU. Our clients shared that their family has been impacted by breast cancer specifically, and with October as Breast Cancer Awareness Month, we’re thrilled to be able to support OHSU in their efforts to provide incredible care for cancer patients and their families while also researching new treatments and prevention.
For November, we showed our gratitude to first responders by delivering a basket of treats and Thank You notes to the Beaverton Police Department and Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue. We are appreciative of their service and dedication to our community!
In December, Emerio partnered with Candlelighters For Children With Cancer to send 27 Christmas gifts to three families with children who are fighting cancer. A favorite organization among Emerio staff, Candelighters provides support for families every step of the way from diagnosis through treatment and beyond, providing programs such as emergency financial assistance, an annual family camp, family activities, bereavement support, and a hospital meal program that offers comfort and support for families during a difficult journey.
Thank you to our staff and community members who partnered with us on this year-long initiative!