With a core mission of enriching lives through investment in service, Holladay Properties has always been a big proponent of giving back to the community and helping out wherever it can lend a hand. Because of this, the company dedicates one week each fall and spring to participate in community service at 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations, aptly called ‘Week of Service.’ This spring, the company worked with a few organizations within the Region, including VNA Hospice of NWI and Guardians of the Green Mile dog rescue.
On Wednesday, May 11, Holladay employees volunteered their time at the VNA, packing and delivering emergency meal kits for 240 Meals on Wheels clients for Memorial Day weekend. Following the deliveries, they jumped in to help out with gardening and landscaping around the Valparaiso property as well.
“They reached out to us–they like to do different community projects throughout the year, and so they thought this would be a good fit for them and something they wanted to learn about. We were more than happy to have them come and join us and help us out,” said Lauren Myers, Meals on Wheels coordinator for the VNA.
The event proved to be a major success, and Holladay employees were inspired by how well the VNA tends to those in their final moments of life while also working with their family and loved ones.
“One of our maintenance crew guys already wants to sign up as a driver to deliver meals once a month and use a couple hours of his VTO [volunteer time off] that he gets for the year from the company to help,” said Holladay Project Architect Laura Small.
The following day, Thursday, May 12, Holladay employees then had a chance to spend some time with their new four-legged friends through volunteering at an animal adoption event hosted by Guardians of the Green Mile Dog Rescue in Portage.
The Guardians of the Green Mile pet adoption event brought together four foster dogs all in need of a permanent home: Kenna (two years old), Cali (seven months old), Jesse (five years old), and Woody (three years old).
Noticing how much the Holladay staff liked dogs, Nick Sebert, a construction project manager at Holladay, thought this adoption event would be the perfect addition to Holladay’s Week of Service.
“I worked with this organization when I was in college. Everyone in our office loves bringing their dogs so everyone we know is a dog lover. The organization is starting to get into adoptions, and I figured it'd be a good thing to reach out to try to put this thing together,” Sebert said.
The adoption event was open to the public, allowing people to personally meet and interact with the dogs and purchase Guardians of the Green Mile T-shirts or donate. Sebert hopes this event will serve as a good fundraiser and get the names of the dogs out there so they can find loving homes.
“I’m looking forward to seeing the dogs find nice, happy homes where they don’t have to go from foster to foster,” said Holladay Properties Leasing Consultant Tabitha Castro.
Marcia Nowak, volunteer for Guardians of the Green Mile and foster of Kenna, was excited that she and other fosters could bring their dogs to scout out candidates for a permanent home. Nowak has volunteered as a foster with Guardians of the Green Mile for a few years and even adopted one of her fosters. She became a foster for Kenna last July and is eager to find a forever home for her soon.
“I'm hoping we’ll get someone to adopt her. She should be with a young family with kids,” Nowak said. “She loves to play ball. You throw the ball all day with her and she catches it and brings it back. She gets along with my other two dogs, and they're both rescues. I just want to see her with a family.”
Small loves the sense of community that these projects bring as they help to foster positive, uplifting relationships both externally with the organizations they work with and internally within Holladay as well.
“I think it's twofold–it's the teamwork and the team bonding that we get to have with our groups because we're not always with our property maintenance crews, or property management team, or our construction crews. Sometimes we're just in the office or on our own jobs and in our own department,” Small said. “So this gives us the opportunity to hang with everybody, enjoy team bonding, and most of all, give back to the community because that's part of our mission. I totally believe that we're here to help others and give back to our communities.”
Small added Holladay is always eager to volunteer with any organization looking for some extra help, as all employees are gifted 32 hours of VTO to volunteer at any organization of their choosing, each with a strong set of skills beneficial for a variety of tasks.
“We love that we have that opportunity to help organizations, so if there's other 501(c)(3)s, or even smaller ones that we really don't know much about, we’d love to help,” Small said. “If they want to reach out to us and Holladay Properties at our Portage office, we are always willing and able to get a group of people to come out and do any type of volunteer work. We've got construction crews, maintenance crews, and a lot of different opportunities.”
Guardians of the Green Mile welcomes anyone looking for a cute companion to check out their website here for more information on how to adopt a pet. For more information on VNA Hospice of NWI and how to get involved with volunteer opportunities there, its website here, and for more information on Holladay Properties, be sure to visit its website here.