December at Merritt Group means one thing — it’s time for Merry Week of Giving! Each holiday season, the Merritt Group team pitches in and helps out local charities in a weeklong effort that brings out the spirit of giving in each of us.
Last week, we volunteered for four different events, each with its own unique cause that enriches the lives of the people — and pets — around us.
Our team spent one morning at Homeward Trails Animal Rescue in Fairfax, Virginia, to volunteer at their adoption center. After a quick tour of the facilities (and brief introductions to a few of the puppies!) we got right to work in a few different task forces.
The first group organized donations in the adoption center's basement. The second group scrubbed away at every surface from the floors to the windows to the walls, making the entire place spotless! Before we left, our hard work was rewarded with some time to socialize with the dogs at the shelter. Overall, this was a greatly rewarding experience ... and it's never a bad morning if you get to hang out with some friendly pups!
Anyone interesting in lending a helping hand can sign up to volunteer on Homeward Trails’ website.
DC Central Kitchen
For our afternoon out-of-office volunteer event, a team of Merritt Groupers headed over to DC Central Kitchen’s Nutrition Lab to help prepare and package food to feed the local community. DC Central Kitchen provides thousands of meals each day to homeless shelters and nonprofits, corner stores in D.C.’s food deserts, and local schools. They also provide job training to prepare adults that have experienced hunger or homelessness for culinary careers.
Our team got to see first-hand all the hard work that goes into feeding so many different groups of people. From putting together kale salads and fresh fruit boxes, to prepping thousands of chicken tenders and pounds of pasta, to even baking chocolate chip cookies with sprinkles, each team got the chance to prepare food that will surely bring a smile to someone’s face.
DC Central Kitchen is always looking for a helping hand. If you are a D.C. local, find out how you can volunteer.
Food for Others
In an effort to alleviate hunger for students at risk of food insecurity on the weekends, Merritt employees donated food and then assembled “power packs” to deliver to public elementary schools to support Food for Others. Power packs included two breakfasts, lunches and dinners; two snacks; as well as milk and juice. Altogether this year, Merritt donated nearly 300 pounds of food to help students in need.
Food for Others focuses on providing a food safety net in Northern Virginia. Learn all the different ways you can help out at Food for Others’ “Getting Started” webpage.
Merritt Group did its best impersonation of Santa’s elves, buying and wrapping gifts through our local Adopt-a-Family charity, run by Fairfax County, Virginia’s Department of Family Services. Our team bought gifts for a family of six that would have otherwise had no presents under the tree. From essential items like winter coats to toys sure to make any kid happy (Legos and dinosaurs, anyone?), our team loved knowing we were making a local family’s Christmas a special one.
These families are in need all year long. To help out beyond this holiday season, visit Fairfax County’s Adopt-a-Family page for more information.