With almost two decades of creating innovative solutions for the workers’ compensation industry, the ReEmployAbility team has never faltered in its mission “to connect people to a greater purpose so they can have a better life.” Building a deeper relationship with our nonprofit partners has been an integral part of carrying out our mission and has met remarkable success through the dedication of our team.
This Fall, ReEmployAbility’s Nonprofit Relationship Manager Lindsey Bressi, was on a mission to strengthen the connection between the company and our nonprofit network in the Chicago, IL area. Five days, 20 nonprofits, three volunteer opportunities, and 504 miles away from home. Lindsey was determined to make her recent trip one for the books. During her trip, she was able to connect with volunteer coordinators, light-duty workers, and the communities they serve. Lindsey states, “The stories I collected on this trip were inspiring, heart-warming accounts of individuals who have dedicated themselves to serving a greater calling.” She had learned that many of the light-duty assignments became much more – they became a way for these individuals to find a deeper connection with their communities. Habitat for Humanity Chicago ReStore Volunteer Coordinator explained, “Some of my favorite volunteers come through ReEmployAbility and they become a meaningful part of the team.”
Some injured workers participating in Transition2Work love the work they do at their assigned nonprofit. Once recovered they even go as far as pursuing a full-time or part-time position. A former HHPLift volunteer through Transition2Work, unfortunately, became unemployed during the pandemic. His hard work hadn’t gone unnoticed and was offered a full-time position at the nonprofit. Volunteer Coordinators Ava and Alejandra said, “He was such a good worker that we couldn’t imagine our team without him.” Three years later, he became a supervisor who works very closely with current injured workers. A great full-circle experience with Transition2Work!
Lindsey’s Impact on Chicago Communities
Lindsey was given a wonderful opportunity to enhance the partnership between the ReEmployAbility team and the people we work with every day. She explains, “We may not be serving on the front lines or seeing the immediate impact of our efforts, but everything we do plays a part in something bigger and more beautiful than we can imagine.” Every day through the Transition2Work program, team members like Lindsey are supplying an avenue in which light-duty workers can continue to harness their skills as they recover. The Transition2Work program has been proven to open doors to lasting relationships that go beyond the conclusion of light-duty assignments, and as Lindsey states, “It’s an insanely amazing thing to get to witness and be part of.”
Catholic Charities Archdiocese of Chicago: Meeting Human Need Through Charity
Making her way to Catholic Charities in Cicero, Lindsey had arrived just in time for their food distribution. She decided this would be a great opportunity to offer her assistance, and volunteered her services right on the spot. She spent her time sorting and packaging the bags of fresh produce, then completing the orders for shoppers. Catholic Charities is a “choice pantry” food bank, which allows people to have the option to select their own groceries. This nonprofit serves about 75-100 individuals and families at least three times a week during their distribution times. Volunteer Coordinator Sharon Holmes oversees eleven different pantries within the downtown Chicago area. Sharon and her team appreciated Lindsey’s volunteer efforts, and are ready and eager for more light-duty volunteer support provided by ReEmployAbility’s Transition2Work program.
On another occasion, Lindsey volunteered at St. Vincent Center in the heart of downtown Chicago, another one of Sharon Holmes’s pantries serving about 80-100 individuals daily. Here, people are provided with ‘survival kits,’ which include sandwiches, bottled water, snacks, and hygiene items. Lindsey spent some hours with a couple of volunteers assembling the kits for the next day’s distribution. Every evening, St. Vincent Center also hosts a dinner service where groceries are provided to families, including fresh produce, eggs, milk, and non-perishable goods they receive from food bank partners and grocery store drop-offs. The nonprofit has a clothing closet and case management services to help the homeless population connect with different community resources. Lindsey enjoyed her time with the volunteers and staff, commenting, “Latonia runs this location and is such a positive force! She is so proud of her work and being able to help her fellow neighbors.”
To learn more about Catholic Charities Archdiocese of Chicago branches, follow the link >>
Food for Greater Elgin
No better way to end ‘Hunger Action Month’ than to volunteer at another food bank! Lindsey’s final volunteer service led her to Food for Greater Elgin, where she connected with Supervisor Veronica Noland who gave her a tour of their warehouse space. The shelves were filled with a variety of canned and boxed goods, fresh produce, and refrigerators with dairy products and meat. The nonprofit receives daily donations from local grocery store partners, like Aldi, Target, Wal-Mart, and Costco. After finding out the food bank was short on volunteers for the night shift, Lindsey jumped at the opportunity to offer her assistance. Food for Greater Elgin hosts food giveaways five days a week to people in need of groceries, and as a ‘choice pantry,’ they allow individuals to shop for items they need with dignity. They serve roughly 6,000 households each month, and on the night Lindsey volunteered, their distribution provided groceries to 184 individuals and families. Lindsey had a positive experience volunteering, stating, “It was a great thing to be a part of, and the other volunteers were so fun to work with!”
To learn more about Food for Great Elgin, follow the link >>