In April, Cushman & Wakefield Future Leaders (CWFL) launched its inaugural CWFL Cares National Week of Service. CWFL members harnessed the power of the organization’s collaborative network to come together with their fellow colleagues and give back in big ways that exemplified our firm’s commitment to leadership through service.
More than 280 CWFL members from chapters across the country took advantage of this opportunity and our volunteer time policy, which allows employees up to two days of paid time to volunteer with qualifying nonprofit organizations during work hours. From youth development and community improvement projects, to environmental cleanup activities and packing meals, CWFL touched the lives of many people and organizations in need, donating nearly 1,000 volunteer hours and more than $3,500 to various causes.
Below we highlight a few local chapters and their efforts.
The CWFL Atlanta chapter partnered with Junior Achievement of Georgia, an organization centered around inspiring and preparing young people to succeed in the global economy. Volunteers taught sixth-grade students skills in financial management, literacy and entrepreneurship. By educating youth and providing learning opportunities for students to grow, the event created a strong connection to CWFL’s mission of developing future leaders.
“It was an incredible experience to help students learn key skills in financial literacy and career readiness while fueling their entrepreneurial spirit,” says Patrick Grayson, Atlanta chapter lead.
New York’s local CWFL chapter also focused on youth by volunteering with United Way. CWFL members, local management and fellow employees designed tote bags and provided supplies for 500 children and families at the ReadNYC Schools in the South Bronx. The “warm weather kits” included books, sunglasses, pencils and other summer supplies to encourage children to continue reading during summer months and support reading at grade level, a critical milestone on the path to self-sufficiency.
“The New York chapter was ecstatic to partner with United Way in preparing warm weather kits for underprivileged schoolchildren here in NYC,” says Ryan Sprouls, co-chair for the CWFL Tri-State chapter. “CWFL Cares was an overwhelming success, and we’re already looking forward to our next opportunity to make a big splash in the local community.”
Phoenix’s CWFL chapter teamed up with Feed My Starving Children, a nonprofit organization that provides nutritionally complete meals specifically formulated for malnourished children. The 22 CWFL volunteers hand-packed nutritious MannaPack™ meals, designed to reverse malnutrition. Teams of 11 joined an assembly line to hand-pack rice, soy, dried vegetables and a nutritionally complete blend of vitamins and minerals into bags, which were then prepped for shipping to children around the world.
“The team’s goal was to pack as many boxes as we could,” says Victoria Richardson, Phoenix chapter lead. “After a fun two hours of work, our chapter’s volunteers helped pack 172 boxes. This is 37,152 meals and will feed 101 kids in Thailand for a year!”
The CWFL Bay Area chapter teamed up with another Cushman & Wakefield Employee Resource Group, the Women’s Integrated Network (WIN), to serve at St. Anthony’s, a food service organization located in the Tenderloin district of San Francisco. Twenty-two volunteers participated in the farmers market, a weekly event put on for seniors in the community. The market offers fresh fruits, vegetables and meats, all free of charge. Upwards of 75 seniors came through the market and were very grateful to the group for their efforts.
“Despite many of the seniors not being able to speak English, they were still able to communicate their appreciation and joy to us for the assistance we gave them,” says Shane Smith, co-chapter lead for CWFL San Francisco. “I feel fortunate we were able to serve and impact people within our local community.”
Our ability to effect positive change was on display through the actions of our chapters during our CWFL Cares event. Together as CWFL members and through our extensive network of support from the management and executive level, we can make a difference and be what’s next for our firm, the industry and our communities.
Based in St. Louis, Lauren Damico is a Manager for Cushman & Wakefield’s Global Occupier Services group and Chair of Cushman & Wakefield Future Leaders (CWFL) Employee Resource Group.