We are fortunate that the men and women who join our team are deeply committed to the communities in which they live and work. Individually, we are involved in supporting a range of not-for-profit organizations. The sense of fulfillment we experience through philanthropy and volunteering has helped to create a corporate culture of service that aligns with our company objective of caring for the well-being of others. By accessing that spirit, we believe we can be a small company that makes a big impact. Every year, the partners and management team travel to our main offices where our staff, their spouses and family get together for volunteer days in support of special organizations and causes that resonate with staff members.
In October 2015, the New England Region Office and Tech Office held their annual Volunteer Day at The Chrysalis Center in Hartford, CT.
The Chrysalis Center offers community support services to help individuals and families living in poverty cope with mental illness, substance abuse, HIV/AIDS, release from incarceration and homelessness.
The crew planted new shrubs and bushes in the front gardens, cleaned up the parking lot and the Railways Garden, stocked shelves in the Fresh Place pantry, and cleared out a room filled with old computers, printers and monitors. It was truly a productive and rewarding day.
For more information or to support The Chrysalis Center, visit http://www.chrysaliscenterct.org.
In July 2015, the Eastern Region Office staff participated in Volunteer Day at The Trail of Hope in Lyons, NY.
The trail meanders through planned gardens and into a natural wooded area where native plants predominate. A viewing platform overlooks Black Brook. This trail is part of Trail Work’s Forever Wild for Everyone project, a concept that enables persons of impaired mobility to enjoy access to nature. Our primary assignments were weeding the gardens, painting, planting and mulching.
For more information or to support The Trail of Hope, visit http://www.trailofhope.org.
In April 2015, the Volunteer Day for the Western Regional Office was held at Loaves and Fishes in Sacramento, CA.
Loaves & Fishes provides a variety of services to the homeless of the Sacramento area, including meals, shower facilities, legal and health clinics, an animal shelter, mental health counseling, a daytime shelter for women and children, and a school for children of the homeless, just to name a few.
The team’s assignments included working in the Kitchen / Dining Room helping to prepare and serve lunch to almost 800 guests, assisting teachers in the classrooms of Mustard Seed School, sorting and packaging toiletries and other goods for women and children at Maryhouse, assisting in the Friendship Park at the Shower facility and distributing meal tickets, and painting a large playground structure.
For more information or to support Loaves and Fishes, visit http://www.sacloaves.org.
The Performing Animal Welfare Society Wildlife Sanctuary in California is a place where abandoned or abused performing animals and victims of the exotic animal trade can live in peace and dignity. For more than twenty years, PAWS has been at the forefront of efforts to rescue and provide humane sanctuary for surplus animals providing the space, natural habitat and quality of care which they deserve. PAWS is a true sanctuary–a permanent home where animals come first. PAWS is internationally recognized as a leader in animal welfare– among its greatest concerns is the treatment of animals in traveling shows, animal acts, television and movies; captive breeding, the exotic animal trade and inadequate standards of care for captive wildlife.
The animals living at the sanctuary include elephants, tigers, primates, bears, African lions, mountain lions, and others.
While this may sound intimidating to some, the RPA team jumped right in (fortunately, there were large fences, similar to those in Jurassic Park, separating our team from the animals). RPA worked at the organization San Andres Sanctuary location, which is the largest of their three locations, at 2300 acres. The team focused on clearing and doing controlled burns of brush that had accumulated to protect the animals from wildfires that are prominent in that area. In staying with many of our core concepts of protecting patients/residents that are unable to protect themselves, this is one group that needs to be protected from fires as they can’t just open the gates to let them run free in a wildfire.
RPA recently volunteered at the Cracker Box Palace. This is a registered non-profit farm haven in Alton, NY. It is a unique place in Wayne County where farm animals of every kind come to recover from illness, neglect or abuse. Some of their resident farm animals come to live there due to family deaths, or because their owners can no longer give them the care they need. All animals are taught that they still have friends and all people are not bad. Families are ensured that their beloved pets will not become someone’s dinner. Once the animals are given necessary adjustment time and veterinary care, they become available for new people to love through adoption or a unique foster care program.
In 1988, Paul Newman opened the Hole in the Wall Gang Camp in Connecticut so that children coping with serious illnesses could have a special hideout where they could simply be kids. The Camp, which served 288 campers its first year, celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2012-13 with 20,000 children and family members now experiencing “a different kind of healing” annually. Each year, 2,500 are served onsite and 19,000 visits by the Hospital Outreach Program bring the fun and friendship of Camp into more than 20 sites throughout the Northeast – all free of charge.
The RPA team determined the camp and their Hospital Outreach Program would be a central focus. In December of 2011, after a devastating round of storms across New England (Tropical Storm Irene, tornadoes in MA and CT, substantial thunderstorms and flooding), RPA offered to move out of our comfort zone and design the fire and emergency management plans for the Camp. Everything the Camp focused on was to ensure the campers could be surrounded by normalcy while battling serious illness. Our job was to support the leadership, counselors and medical staff to protect them from any other impacts while they stay there.
RPA researched specialty camps providing medical support to campers, surveyed the camp, interviewed leadership and staff and then designed a plan covering topics from active shooter to tornado response to fire safety. A major mindset took place to shift from our typical CODE RED philosophy to “Smokey the Bear is visiting the Red Cabin.”
In 2012 and 2013, RPA put more than 70 staff through hands-on training for smoke in cabins, putting out fires on campers or in their areas, command center operations for handling disasters and bringing law enforcement together with the RPA team to run everyone through an active shooter drill. It was a meaningful experience for our team and one we hope to continue with The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp for many years to come.
The Western Region Office volunteered at Wind Youth Services. This organization provides services to homeless and at-risk youth in the Sacramento, CA area. Their Mission Statement pretty much sums it up:
Our mission is to engage youth experiencing homelessness who need safety from the streets and access to resources to help them move from crisis to healthy functioning and independence.
In addition to providing overnight shelter for those in need, they also serve over 12,000 meals a year, offer shower and laundry facilities, hygiene supplies, medical services, mental health and therapy sessions, and much, much more.
Russell Phillips & Associates has instituted a “Be Healthy” Initiative Program to encourage and reinforce healthy activity for all staff. Employees are challenged to exercise on a daily basis. Each employee has been asked to select a charity of their choice and, at the end of the quarter, the employees who have met the exercise requirement will have a monetary donation made to their chosen charity by RPA.
Our company is encouraging a healthy life style while helping to support charitable organizations our employees are passionate about.
Some of the Charities include:
Jen’s Friends Cancer Foundation
Friends of Fisher House CT
Open Door Soup Kitchen Winsted
Valley View Ranch Equine Rescue
Cracker Box Palace
American Bullmastiff Association Rescue Service
Vicitim Resource Center of the Finger Lakes
Vets Helping Heroes
Habitat for Hope
In addition to our ongoing company-sponsored events, we support the personal service passions of our staff and often make special donations to organizations that have impacted a team member or family.