Editor's Note: It's that time of year again, which means our signature holiday program, SDGivE, is back and better than ever. Through SDGivE, employee volunteers dedicate their time and talent to spread kindness and cheer to those in need.
This holiday season, employees have put together more than 50 volunteer service projects ranging from holiday meal distributions for unsheltered individuals to essential items and holiday gift drives for women, children, and refugees. Including time and talent, we are donating more than $130,000 to support our employees and the causes in which they care.
Sharing & Caring for San Diego's Refugee Community
The holidays are about sharing, caring, and spreading joy – not just for family and friends but also for others. Volunteering or donating can make a significant impact on people experiencing hardship. San Diego County is home to nearly half of all adult refugees and more than half of all refugee children in California, many of whom are the most struggling across our region. For a refugee, it is not uncommon to arrive to the United States with only a few belongings, needing necessities such as food, sanitary supplies, diapers and more.
In light of what's been happening in Afghanistan, our financial and business planning team is arranging a fundraiser through the International Rescue Committee (IRC) of San Diego to purchase urgent need items for refugees. In addition to fundraising, employees will assemble back-to-school kits and sanitary supply bags for refugee children and families recently resettled in San Diego.
Over the past decade, San Diego has resettled approximately 2,400 refugees a year. Eighty percent of those refugees are women and children. Our employees also teamed up with MAKE Projects, a local nonprofit serving youth and women refugees and immigrants this holiday season. As an employment social enterprise, MAKE Projects offers paid employment programs for low-income refugee and immigrant women and youth looking to gain on-the-job training and improve their job-readiness skills.
During the holidays, MAKE Projects and International Rescue Committee's Small Business Development Center are teaming up for their 3rd Annual Holiday Bazaar, which features local refugee and immigrant-owned businesses, artists, and vendors to showcase and sell their work. A team of 15 of our employees visited MAKE Projects urban farm, restaurant, catering, and events space in North Park to assist with packaging holiday bazaar products.
Over the weekend, another team of employees grouped up with Border Angels— a nonprofit organization dedicated to advocating for human rights, humane immigration reform, and social justice with a special focus on issues related to the US-Mexican border. Volunteers helped distribute 80 care packages to day laborers as part of the organization's day labor outreach program. Care packages include food, water, clothes, and hygiene products.
The term "day laborer" is applied to individuals searching for work in construction and landscaping project-based work. Workers will stake outside home supply and construction stores such as Lowes and Home Depot, waiting to get hired for a job. Unfortunately, many day laborers are undocumented and homeless and are often subject to discrimination.
Visit Border Angels' website to learn more about their direct action to defend the rights of migrants and refugees. re than 300 of our employees will be out
Season of Giving
Through SDGivE, more than 300 of our employees will be out in the community, serving the causes that matter most to them. Check out our NewsCenter each week to see what they have been up to in our community!