Meeting the People behind PSA’s Annual Charity Drive

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As part of our annual Thanksgiving tradition, we give back to the community by donating food, hygiene products and cash to help make this holiday more special for those in need. We are proud to support the Community Assistance Network (CAN), which is one of our long-standing non-profit clients who provides nutritionally balanced emergency food to low-income Baltimore County residents.

Leading the drive

Every year, Becky Barth, System Administrator & Trainer, spearheads the charity drive with the assistance of PSA’s Spirit Committee. This group is comprised of employees who volunteer throughout the year to organize company events, culture initiatives and our community engagement including the CAN drive.

When I asked Becky what motivated her to lead this effort, she responded with a huge smile, “I like helping people. It feels so good to give. It made me very happy to see everyone at PSA coming together for a greater cause.”

The evolution of our charity campaign and its results

“I am very proud of how our drive has evolved over the years, which coincidentally led us to a valuable realization about our organizational culture,” Becky noted. The first year we structured the drive as a competition between departments, while in the second and third, it was a race between genders. In those years, the results were strong, but we suspected we could do even better, which prompted us to seek different ways to improve. Hence, based on employee feedback in 2015, we eliminated the competition and encouraged all employees to work together. As an incentive, Becky also proposed closing the office at 4 pm on Fridays in January 2016 if we collectively met our company goals. This proved to be our most successful charitable campaign yet, as we increased participation from 30 to 100 percent and more than doubled our contribution compared to our donations in previous years. “It is incredible to see the power of our collaborative culture – once again we’ve been reminded that together we are much more capable than divided,” Becky concluded.

We have raised $1,081 in cash and collected 1,525 pounds of food and hygiene products, which is a significant increase from last year’s results of $300 cash and 878 pounds of food and supplies. She noted with great pride, “I received a phone call from CAN thanking us for our largest donation ever, which speaks volumes.”

The force behind the 2015 donation

Although it may only take one person to make a difference, we prefer to make a greater collective impact, which takes every employee at PSA. “We could not have exceeded our goals, without the generous donations of everyone.  And for that, I am greatly thankful,” said Becky.

This year, several interesting contributions are worth mentioning that reflected exceptional effort and creativity:

  • Becky led by example. With the help of her family and friends, she gave 272 pounds of food and hygiene products as well as $10 in cash, which made hers the largest donation in the campaign.
  • Following in second place, Owen Ashbrook, Commercial Lines Account Executive, took a win-win approach. He asked his grandchildren to help shop and deliver over 142 pounds of food and hygiene products. Owen thought this would be a great opportunity to teach them the importance of community engagement, while also completing their school’s service project assignment.
  • JoAnn Kirschenhofer, Personal Lines Associate, set a personal goal to give 50 pounds of products, which she eventually exceeded by a pound.
  • Thinking outside of the box Katie Kirlin, Employee Benefits Client Manager, raised over $75 by baking cupcakes and selling them to her colleagues.
  • In an effort to raise even more money, PSA offered up gently used computer monitors for $5 each with all proceeds going to CAN. Lee Rock, Insurance and Financial Advisor, also found a creative approach to contribute to the cause by purchasing and donating 10 monitors to the Cockeysville Middle School. The cash benefited both CAN and the school Lee’s children attended and his wife led in various leadership roles for over 15 years.

Join us in giving back to the community by helping CAN. While Thanksgiving is the most popular holiday to help, they welcome and need assistance all year around. Visit CAN’s website to learn more about how you can volunteer or donate.

The PSA Family is thankful for the dedication and loyal support of all our clients, partners and friends. We wish you have a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday with your friends and family.

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