The holidays might be behind us, but we are not quite ready to let go of the spirit that makes the end of the year so special. In fact, EBI tries to keep that feeling going all year round through our wonderful internal philanthropies.
Chilly Mornings and Warm Kitchens
We started off our “Year of Giving” on a cold January morning in the warm kitchen of Meals on Wheels of Central Maryland. In just a few hours, our sales team baked 4,800 cookies – more than double the previous one-day cookie-baking record. We packed them up and sent them off, along with Mugs of Love, to brighten the day of thousands of Meals on Wheels recipients.
EBI’s Chief Knowledge Officer Bob Capwell spent several hot hours manning the ovens, and he loved every moment.
“We want to do the right thing for our community, give back and this is a great way to do it.” But Meals on Wheels was just the beginning...
The Casey Cares Foundation
The entire EBI family dressed down and collected comfy PJs for the Casey Cares Foundation’s 4th annual Biggest Pajama Party for critically ill children.
Senior Drug Testing Specialist Brianna Dobbins took the lead on this effort for some very special children. “This is a really fun thing this foundation is doing, Casey Cares. They are collecting these pajamas to do a family movie night for the children and their families. This way they get to wear pajamas, have snacks and kind of relax and not really focus on their illness.”
A Record-Breaking Silent Auction
Our 13th annual Silent Auction was a record-breaker. Employees donated everything from themed baskets to gift cards, art, and even their cooking services. This year’s auction raised more than $1,700 for charities that are important to the EBI family… and the competition for the good stuff is fierce!
We asked Silent Auction Chair Colleen Swann her favorite part about this popular annual event. “There are two things,” she says. “Other than it being for a good cause, and it going to charity, I think it is a really good team building exercise, because those last five minutes, right before the auction closes are chaotic in a way, but really fun and competitive. It’s really interesting to see kind of strategies people come up with and their bidding techniques, I think that is very interesting."
A Summer of Giving
Over the summer, the focus was on the love of animals. The team gathered supplies for our local Humane Society, spotlighted animals who needed homes, and gave everyone the chance to show off all their special family members. We also collected hundreds of books to help the Maryland Book Bank. Their mission is to help foster a love of reading in children from underserved areas. They just gave away their millionth book – and it might have been one of ours!
Giving Back Hits Home
While most of what we do is aimed at helping others, sometimes charity starts at home. In November, EBI recognized two organizations: The Red Devils and HopeWell Cancer Support, for helping two of our employees during their battles with cancer. Heather Garner passed away from breast cancer in 2011. We lost Kathy Bertsch just a few months ago. To kick off EBI’s 25th anniversary celebration, our internal learning center, Happy University, was renamed and dedicated to these women who have left us but will never be forgotten.
Pauline Revei, Strategic Account Coordinator at EBI, was close with both Kathy and Heather and was extremely touched by the event. “Today there are no words – it was absolutely incredible and it’s a wonderful feeling knowing that no matter how long you’ve been here, whether it be a year, 10 years, 20 years, or even those people who are not here any longer – they are still remembered. They are still part of us. It’s an absolutely wonderful day.”
EBI's CEO, Rick Kurland, wrapped up the year with a philanthropic effort that will reach far beyond our walls. The Just One World Foundation is a 501(c)3 that will raise money for The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, The Herman & Walter Samuelson Children’s Hospital at Sinai in Baltimore, and the Hope for Henry Foundation.
Hope for Henry held a special place in the heart of Lenny Robinson – one of EBI’s initial investors – also known to many as the Route 29 Batman. He gained national notoriety after a YouTube video showed him getting pulled over driving his Batmobile in full costume. Lenny spent much of his time trying to make life better for children who spent too much time in the hospital. During the announcement of the foundation, EBI unveiled the LBR Bat Lounge.
“What Lenny set out to do was to change lives of children,” says Kurland. “He touched so many of them, and our hope with the JOW Foundation is to help fuel his emotion and his cause and his drive. And forever drive that bat mobile to continue to help and give children hope in a time of need.”
It really has been a busy year, and we would love your help paying it forward. If you are interested in finding out more about the Just One World Foundation you can go to JustOneWorld.org.