A group of our Chicago-based colleagues recently volunteered at La Casa Norte, an organization that offers housing resources and opportunities to youth and families who are at-risk or experiencing homelessness throughout Chicago. The community-based organization offers permanent, transitional, and emergency housing options that aim to support its clients as they work towards long-term stability and self-sufficiency.
Kate Feltman, a lead technical consultant at Perficient, participated in the initiative as a way to become more involved in the community and at Perficient. She hadn’t previously heard of La Casa Norte. However, the organization’s mission statement – “to provide access to stable housing and deliver comprehensive services that act as a catalyst to transform lives and communities” – resonated with her.
“I also knew it would be a great opportunity to connect with coworkers that I might not interact with on a day-to-day basis on my team,” Kate said.
Cooking for a Good Cause
Our colleagues’ Service Team, led by Katherine Lin, a senior technical consultant, at Perficient, planned, shopped, and cooked an entire spaghetti and meatball meal with fruit salad for those staying at La Casa Norte.
“The organizer seemed particularly excited at the thought that was put into the meal ahead of time and knew that those staying at La Casa Norte that evening would be so excited to have a home-cooked meal with fresh ingredients,” Kate said.
For those that didn’t cook, they were given the option to help clean and sanitize toys. At the end of the evening, once the cleaning was finished and the food was in the oven, Perficient colleagues got together to showcase their creative sides by decorating the space for the upcoming holiday season.
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Event Brings Colleagues Together
“Everyone was very energetic and upbeat the entire time we were there,” Kate said. “We were organized into stations for cooking and cleaning. Everyone wanted to help everyone else. We had music playing. It was such a fun time to catch up with coworkers.”
“I wish I had been able to stick around late enough to see the look of appreciation on the faces of everyone staying at La Casa Norte that night,” Kate added.
Bryan Dougherty, general manger, Perficient, said the volunteer initiative “was a simple way to help a good cause.”
“Our Service Team set it all up,” Bryan said. “We just had to show up and help.”
Bryan, along with fellow colleagues, helped to clean and organize a toy room at La Casa Norte. “It was also a great opportunity to spend time with some Perficient folks I don’t often have a chance to work with,” he said.
This likely won’t be the last time the team volunteers at La Casa Norte.
“I think everyone there agreed it was a huge success. We’re hoping to plan another future event at La Casa Norte in 2020,” Kate said.
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