Spreading good is always a worthwhile endeavor. From Rorke’s company-wide green initiatives to our individual volunteer work, here are some of the things Rorke and its employees do to better the world around us.
Rorke Data Do-gooder John Rorke helps secure Avnet grant money for Angel Foundation. John Rorke, a dedicated volunteer, hand delivered a check from his employer, Avnet (Avnet Contributions Council Mission) who generously gave Angel Foundation a grant for $2,500 to benefit the Facing Cancer Together program. This is the 2nd annual grant Avnet has given to Angel Foundation. Avnet Cares has also given $800 for “Dollars for Doers” which was a match to all the volunteer hours John has given to Angel Foundation
Rorke Data’s first ’25 for 25′ event took place January 26th with Facing Cancer Together (FaCT), an organization providing support and education to children and families who have a parent with cancer: John Rorke pulled together a group of Rorke Data employees who spent several hours at FaCT’s headquarters assembling a big calendar mailing. John has been a volunteer with the group for four years and the FaCT employees shared a video of the families that benefit from their services.
“All of us walked away feeling positive. It felt good knowing that just a few solid hours from our group went a long way to help the folks over at FaCT concentrate on some of the bigger-picture tasks at hand.” said Rorke.
Enjoy a fun video John and his old band made with the help of his Teen Group at FaCT’s summer Kids Kamp in 2009: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LAzXNt2euOM
For more on Facing Cancer Together and the Angel Foundation, please go to:http://www.mnangel.org/get-support/facing-cancer-together.
On February 11, Rorke employees, led by Lori Thrune packaged food for Feed My Starving Children, a Minnesota – based non-profit Christian organization committed to feeding God’s starving children hungry in body and spirit. The approach is simple: children and adults hand-pack meals formulated specially for starving children, and we ship the meals to more than 60 countries around the world. A single meal consisting of specially formulated ingredients that include rice, dehydrated vegetable, vitamins and minerals, and soy protein that is easily prepared in boiling water costs only 17 cents to produce, and 94 percent of total donations goes directly toward the food program. Rorke employees packed 11,800 food packages, enough to feed 33 children for an entire year! www.fmsc.org
Global Sales Director, Scott McCallum, organized a goods drive for Catholic Charities during January, February and March. Scott collected from Rorke employees 25 boxes of goods, including food, clothing and household items. Catholic Charities helps people meet their basic needs as they work to become self sufficient, positively impacting the lives of children, adults and families. Catholic Charities annually helps 35,000 people, regardless of faith. Scott delivered the 25 boxes to the St. Paul Dorothy Day Center where goods will be distributed. www.ccspm.org
In April, Rorke employees headed up by Rob Hill assisted Caring Bridge in assembling over 1400 annual report mailers. CaringBridge is a nonprofit organization providing free websites that connect family and friends during a serious health event, care and recovery. A CaringBridge website is personal, private and available 24/7. It helps ease the burden of keeping family and friends informed. Many Rorke employees have used Caring Bridge to support several of our co-workers who have become ill or have been struggling with a health crisis. Authors add health updates and photos to share their story while visitors leave messages of love and support in the guestbook. www.caringbridge.org
The Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure® is the most successful charity event ever created, and has changed the way the world views breast cancer. On Mother’s Day at the Mall of America, Jennifer Anderson, her cousins, her aunt and her sister (along with over 50,000 other participants!) raced to celebrate survivorship, honor those who have lost their battle, and most importantly, raise funds and awareness for the fight against this life threatening disease. Jennifer and team walked in honor and support of her mother who underwent treatment this past year. She is hopeful that her mother will be strong enough to join Jennifer on the walk next year!
The Twin Cities event raised over $2.5M for breast cancer research, screening and preliminary treatment programs.
In March, Amber Carlson organized a goods drive to benefit the Animal Humane Society here in Minnesota. Amber’s campaign collected “wish list” items, including 9 bags of dog toys, boxes of towels, newspapers, cat toys and litter, and dog food. The AHS is a private non-profit organization striving to create a more humane world for animals. AHS offers animal adoption and surrender, educational/outreach programs fostering humane values and animal responsibility, and pet services including education and boarding. Due to the economic downturn, shelters everywhere are experiencing more surrenders than ever, and Amber felt this was a great way to show support and help the animals. www.animalhumanesociety.org
Don McDonell, based in CA, organized a raffle for a Twilight-themed quilt, handmade by his daughter Alycia Williams. The raffle raised over $830 for the Libby Teen Center in Spokane, WA which serves at risk youth ages 12-18 offering everything from educational assistance to basketball. Aly, an elementary school teacher in Spokane has focused on improving teen reading skills by using the proceeds from the raffle to start a library at the center. Under the heading of “pay it forward,” this event has an interesting and heart-warming twist: the woman who won the quilt, herself a retired Spokane school teacher, is entering it into an auction to raise even more money for the kids!
Matt Linstad’s client, CRASH+SUES joined forces with the Twin Cities advertising community, industry vendors, local businesses and bands for the first annual AD RIDE+ROCK: A 150 mile motorcycle run and live concert to benefit the Minnesota Chapter of the MS Society. Rorke volunteered riders and drivers for the event, and Matt provided marketing support and raised over $1,000.00 for the Multiple Sclerosis Society. A fun day indeed! www.RideandRock.com
Eight Rorke employees and family members volunteered on the last Saturday in July at the Bloomington Bridging facility, sorting goods and providing assistance in the warehouse. Bridging provides the economically disadvantaged with quality furniture and household items, free of charge, by effectively utilizing community resources. You can help make a world of difference by helping someone establish a new home and a better life. Each year Bridging benefits nearly 16,000 individuals (over 5,000 households) who are given a sense of dignity and stability as they rebuild their lives. www.bridging.org
Tim Olson rode in the Northland 300 River Run July 31, a 160 mile ride starting and ending in Lakeland, MN. 50 riders went north, up the Minnesota side of the St Croix River and came back down through the Wisconsin side. All donations went towards the Special Olympics. Northland 300′s mission is to raise funds for Special Olympics Minnesota through year-round activities planned by an all-volunteer Board of Directors. The Northland 300 is committed to positively impacting the lives of Special Olympics Minnesota athletes through hands-on learning experiences. By opening doors of opportunity for people with intellectual disabilities, the Northland 300 strives to teach the athletes new and improved fundraising techniques to take back and implement within their own teams. With the athletes always in mind, the Northland 300 aims to present all those involved in Special Olympics Minnesota with priceless life lessons. www.northland300.org
Rorke sales representative Jim Boas, based in PA, headed up the Shoes2Share shoe drive, collecting over 1600 pairs of shoes for the poor and needy. Shoes2Share seeks to make life more comfortable for children and their families, through the donations of “new and like new shoes”. S2S provides on-going footwear relief directly to children and their families within programs associated with orphanages, shelters, rehabilitation and feeding programs, both domestically and internationally. Over the summer, Jim and his family collected over 1300 pairs of shoes in his community, and Rorke employees in Minneapolis donated over 300 pairs. www.shoes2share.org
On Saturday September 25th, a group of Rorke employees headed by Melissa Erickson, donated their time and talents to Walk Now for Autism Speaks, a fundraising walk and educational fair at Canterbury Park. The event raised nearly $147,000 toward their goal of $160,000 to fund the most promising autism research, advance advocacy, provide free-of-charge family services and raise awareness.
Today, autism affects one in every 110 kids, and shockingly one in every 70 boys. Government statistics suggest the prevalence rate of autism is increasing 10%-17% annually. It costs the nation over $35 billion per year, a figure expected to significantly increase over the next decade. Autism Speaks has grown into the nation’s largest autism science and advocacy organization, dedicated to funding research into the causes, prevention, treatments and a cure for autism; increasing awareness of autism spectrum disorders; and advocating for the needs of individuals with autism and their families. www.autismspeaks.org
On Saturday, September 25th Rorke employees volunteered at Hope Rocks, the annual fundraising event for Faith’s Lodge. Held at Epic in downtown Minneapolis, the event featured silent and live auctions, raffles, and live music, headlined by national band, Everclear.
Faith’s Lodge is a Minnesota based non-profit that provides a place where parents and families facing the serious illness or death of a child can retreat to reflect on the past, renew strength for the present, and build hope for the future. In its North Woods setting, Faith’s Lodge provides a peaceful escape for families to refresh their minds and spirits while spending time with others who understand what they are experiencing. www.faithslodge.org
Rorke employees, led by Melissa Erickson, sent hand-made greeting cards to troops through the “From Our Hearts” organization. These cards were crafted and packaged by several Rorke employees at our facility, with the careful guidance of Melissa on how to create these special, heart-felt cards. Everyone who participated had a lot of fun. We had 13 volunteers over two days – a great turn out for a wonderful cause. From Our Hearts is an organization that collects cards from crafters and artists all over North America and delivers them to our service people in Iraq and Afghanistan. The recipients of the greeting cards are then able to send special greetings home, to their families, in a much nicer way than if it were written on notebook paper. They have spouses, kids, parents…all the same occasions, just like we do. But they can’t run to the store and buy a card to let their family members know that they miss them or wish they could be there for a special day. These service men and women are so grateful for donations and so are the people who receive them from their special soldier. www.fromourhearts.info
Twice a month Iva Bonc, Rorke sales representative in Italy, volunteers her weekends to drive patients to the Croatian costal town Rovinj to receive dental care. The majority of people are older, who never been outside of Italy and cannot afford the dental work in Italy. Croatian dentistry offers high quality dental care at almost 50% of the cost in Italy. Iva rents a car and drives them to the Croatian costal town and then helps them with translation, and when necessary with accommodations for longer stays due to dental surgeries. Also after their dental visit for the day, Iva takes on the role of tour guide showing them Croatian culture and introducing them to Croatian food and wine! Without Iva driving and helping these people, they would never be able to go to Croatia for this much needed affordable care, and get the bonus of a personal tour guide!
Matt Linstad, Media and Entertainment representative at Rorke Data has been an active member of Minnesota Bow-hunters Resource Base (MBRB) of the past 5-years both as a Hunt Coordinator, managing a hunt group of 12 hunters. This season Matt has logged in over 120 hours of his personal time this year working with the MBRB organization and the community. MBRB is a non profit organization that is contracted by our cities parks and land managers, private land owners, farmer’s etc. to help reduce the deer herd which in turn provides a healthier environment for all. This is done in compliance to the DNR, State and Federal law. MBRB is a very structured organization which is run by a volunteer Board of Directors. MBRB has about 15 Coordinators and 400 hunters which apply each year to help out in this effort. Each hunter must go through and pass an 8-hour education course and an annual shooting qualification to participate. MBRB has an agreement with 3 butcher shops in the Twin Cities where the deer are being processed and are then donated to local food shelves, including “Sharing and Caring Hands”. www.mbrb.org
During October and November, Lori Thrune organized a book drive, initially to help her daughter Emily’s school, collecting books for 7th and 8th graders. Soon, the drive encompassed books for all age ranges. Researching other groups that needed books, Lori came across Maria Keller, a book-loving 5th grader who wants to make the world a better place one book at a time through her non-profit literary organization Read Indeed. Maria’s goal is to collect and distribute 1,000,000 books to needy children by the time she is 18. Already, she has collected and distributed over 425,300 books since she started at age 8. Based in Hopkins MN, Maria distributes these books to a multitude of worthy organizations. To see more about Maria and where these books are going see www.readindeed.org
This November, Rorke employees participated in a coat drive benefiting Harbor Light Homeless Shelter. As Minnesotans, we know how harsh the winter can be, so Rorke employees donated over 70 warm winter coats which were then distributed over Thanksgiving weekend to those in need. Harbor Light Homeless Shelter is the largest homeless shelter in Minnesota, housing over 500 people a day. www.usc.salvationarmy.org
Several Rorke employees and family members volunteered their November Saturday afternoon to help set up for Fraser’s Annual Fundraiser at the Minneapolis Hilton. Our auction set-up crew finished in record time and the auction area and ballroom looked spectacular! The benefit went on to raise over $260K that evening! Fraser is a nationally renowned Minnesota nonprofit serving children and adults with special needs through comprehensive education, healthcare and housing services. Fraser is a leading provider of autism services at a time when the need is critical. Since 1935, Fraser has been helping children, adolescents and adults in the greater Twin Cities area reach their potentials. www.fraser.org
Led by Rorke Group Vice President Executive and General Manager Joe Swanson, a team of Rorke employees served hot breakfast to the homeless at Caring and Sharing Hands Homeless Shelter in downtown Minneapolis on the Saturday following Thanksgiving. They started by washing down tables and chairs and then prepared and served breakfast. Each month CSH serves over 20,000 meals prepared completely by volunteer partners. CSH’s Food Shelf supplies food to hundreds of needy poor each month. They also give out clothing, household goods, house wares, towels, cleaning supplies, and much more in an ongoing commitment to the poor of our community. Each month over $400,000 is spent on the needs of the poor. www.sharingandcaringhands.org
Rorke’s own Santa Claus, Carl Immediato, organized Rorke employees to ring the bell at the Salvation Army’s red kettle at the Cub Foods location in Eden Prairie, MN. Although the temperatures were in the teens, employees braved the cold, taking shifts ringing the bell to help warm the hearts of those in need. Carl has been volunteering as Santa Claus and Father Christmas in various capacities with them for the past 17 years. The Salvation Army, established in London in 1865, has been supporting those in need without discrimination for the past 130 years in the United States. Nearly 30 million Americans receive assistance from The Salvation Army each year through the broadest array of social services that range from providing food for the hungry, relief for disaster victims, assistance for the disabled, outreach to the elderly and ill, clothing and shelter to the homeless and opportunities for underprivileged children. 82 cents out of every dollar The Salvation Army spends is used to support those services in 5,000 communities nationwide. www.salvationarmyusa.org
Rorke employees collected over 100 lbs of goods for People Reaching Out to People (PROP). PROP is a nonprofit, multi-service organization serving children, families, and adults in Eden Prairie and Chanhassen. The agency partners with community members in need to realize self-sufficiency goals. PROP operates a food shelf, provides emergency services and offers short-term case management to qualified participants. Since it began in 1971, PROP’s mission has been generously supported by local businesses, civic organizations, churches, schools, and individuals. www.propfood.org
Despite a blizzard dumping 20 inches of snow that day, employees braved the weather and got into the Christmas spirit by volunteering their time to help the Adopt-a-Family gift-giving program, working in various sections of the operation from unloading, staging, processing, or meet and greet. Adopt-a-Family is Volunteers of America’s 11th annual event to benefit low-income older adults, families, at-risk youth attending alternative schools, youth receiving mental health services, foster children and persons with special needs. Sponsors “adopt” a child, family, or older adult(s) and purchase gifts from a wish list written by the recipient themselves. www.voamn.org
Joe Rorke, VP Marketing and Business Development at Rorke, organized a blood drive through the American Red Cross, bringing together 18 employees, including Santa, to donate the gift of life. The Blood Mobile came to Rorke’s facility, set up in the large conference room, and throughout the day employees came in to donate blood, during a particularly crucial time of year for the ARC – when they have the greatest need for blood.
The American Red Cross Biomedical Services plays a critical role in our nation’s health care system. It is the largest single supplier of blood and blood products in the United States, collecting and processing more than 40 percent of the blood supply and distributing it to some 3,000 hospitals and transfusion centers nationwide. The Red Cross also plays a leading role in protecting the safety of donors and patients and increasing the availability of blood. It has been among the first to help develop and implement testing for infectious diseases and is frequently the single major contributor to clinical trials to improve blood safety. Providing life-saving blood and blood products to patients is a key component of the Red Cross mission to help people in times of emergency and disasters. www.redcrossblood.org
Rorke employees helped Second Harvest Food Shelf in packaging hundreds of pounds of food at their warehouse facility in northeast Minneapolis. Second Harvest Heartland works to reinvent hunger relief through leadership and innovation. As the Upper Midwest’s largest hunger relief organization, their goal is not only to help our hungry neighbors today, but to provide the means for everyone to be fed tomorrow. They’re known for distributing great amounts of food quickly and efficiently; in 2010 alone, they will collect, warehouse and distribute nearly 60 million pounds of food—but they are also constantly pioneering ways to reduce waste and better use the abundant resources available in this land of plenty. www.2harvest.org