My passion for supporting the homeless was sparked by my children. From when they first understood the concept of homelessness, they challenged me with questions, concerns, and a perspective that only children have. I found that explaining to them why someone could be homeless and doing nothing about it was not an option that our family could live with. So we began feeding the homeless with friends at a local Salvation Army. Over the years, our desire to support the homeless within our community has grown. That’s why I am particularly proud of the recent commitment by the AT&T Fayetteville, NC Pioneers Council.

In just over a week, my colleagues donated 1,287 pounds of food – enough for 1,000 meals!

In October, when the National Pioneers challenged the AT&T Pioneers to support its Dish It Up food drive campaign, the AT&T Call Center in Fayetteville, NC responded.

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We began our drive with emails asking employees to bring non-perishable items to our office. We targeted our new hires with a friendly competition. What an awesome way to show new employees the importance of both Pioneering and AT&T’s commitment to volunteerism. And they showed us that giving back to their community is important to them too. This enthusiastic group of new hires supplied our call center with more than half of our donations! In just over a week, my colleagues donated 1,287 pounds of food – enough for 1,000 meals! The food was donated to the Second Harvest Food Bank of North Carolina.

This effort was so successful on many levels and being able to feed those in need was so rewarding for all involved. One of the most amazing benefits I noticed is how volunteerism is contagious. After the success of the food drive, a desire to support others in need ignited within our call center. To continue the giving spirit, our call center adopted 70 children from the Angel Tree of the Department of Social Service in the hopes of giving them a happy holiday.

With the New Year comes resolutions. Why not make one to help those around you? Find out what causes are important to your colleagues and consider starting a project in your office. I hope you too are touched by the generosity all around you.

About the Author

Valerie Whitelaw

Associate Director Methods and Procedures

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Valerie is an Associate Director with a passion for helping the less fortunate. Her volunteer time is spent with numerous organizations including AT&T Pioneers and Scarf It UP, which feeds and assists the homeless in the Fayetteville, NC community.

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