United Way Shoebox

By on May 18, 2018 in Giving

Before you discard an empty shoebox or a duplicate Happy Meal toy, think again. Those seemingly small items can go a long way toward promoting health and happiness for women and children in need.

The Shoebox Project is a program hosted by the United Way. A few weeks before Mother’s Day each year, United Way delivers shoeboxes filled with essential items to women in homeless shelters, often mothers. The shoeboxes are filled and wrapped by volunteers.

Yardi Atlanta has participated in the Shoebox Project for as long as anyone in the office can remember. It’s a year-long process. Employees contribute a variety of supplies such as toiletries, feminine hygiene products, first aid supplies, small toys, crayons, ponchos and socks. Then at the end of April, the supplies culminate into one large donation.

Marilyn Duffield, Residential Project Manager, Client Services at Yardi explains the process once the items are collected:

“We setup a conference room for people to stop by at their convenience—on lunch, between calls, at the end of the day—to wrap a shoebox or two, fill it with items from our stock-pile, and place a rubber band around it. We also collect monetary donations to use for wrapping paper or to buy more of an item that we need,” says Duffield.

The versatility of the shoebox project allows all employees to get involved. Volunteers donate time, money, or items. Employees are encouraged to get creative with low- or no-cost options by bringing in extra hotel soaps or free toothbrushes from the dentist.

When the 2018 project ended, Yardi delivered 115 boxes to the United Way. The donations completely filled Duffield’s car.

“It is a feel-good project that reaches women and children all over Metro Atlanta,” smiles Duffield. “It’s such a great way to honor the mothers in each of our lives.”

Like others in the Atlanta office, Duffield is proud that the branch is able to use Yardi corporate grants and employee volunteer efforts to reach marginalized members of the local community. The office’s philanthropic committee aims to serve a diverse range of nonprofits, addressing multiple areas of need.

“It is not a perfect process, but I think that when we partner with existing organizations that already have the established network throughout the community in place, all of our efforts are multiplied,” reflects Duffield.

She adds, “Meeting critical needs in even the smallest of ways serves to strengthen the community as a whole.”

Yardi employees are Energized for Good! Learn more about Yardi’s philanthropic outreach on our Giving page.