Combating hunger, supporting homelessness and helping families during trying times are all very important priorities for the PowerDMS Give Back Committee (GBC). The past few months have been busy with opportunities to support these issues and let others know someone cares.

ronald-mcdonaldOne of our partner organizations, the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Florida, Inc., reached out to let us know our local Ronald McDonald House was completely out of snack packs. The snack packs are kept in the family room on the pediatric oncology floor of the hospital and are essential to families who are not willing to leave their sick child’s side.

ronald-mcdonald-foodMembers of GBC went on a snack buying spree and returned to the office, where the rest of the team was standing by to assemble the packs—each containing granola bars, fruit chews, cookies, juice boxes and other treats. One of our staff members, together with her five year old son, dropped the snack packs off at the House and received a tour of the beautiful facility. It was a rewarding experience to see how much they were appreciated and a great opportunity to teach the importance of giving back.

coalition-homelessNot far from our PowerDMS headquarters, the Coalition for the Homeless of Central Florida, provides food and shelter to over 600 people—one-third of which are children—each night. Recently, members of our team volunteered to serve those residents during a dinner service.

The Coalition is more than a shelter; it is a comprehensive program designed to empower homeless individuals and families to become self-sufficient. In addition to food and shelter, the Coalition provides programs and services including education, job skills training, case management, licensed day care, child development programs and housing placement.

change-this-world-foodProviding nourishment continued when the PowerDMS team participated in one of our favorite give back activities: a food-packing event for our partner charity, Change This World.

Change This World provides meals to children and families in developing countries as a tool to bring hope and change lives. The goal is to reach young people before they need to be rescued—providing them with education, training, and an opportunity to break the cycle of hopelessness and poverty. Each meal delivers the ingredients needed to sustain life, and by partnering with strategic organizations the food also opens doors for education, practical training, the ability to plan for the future, and the strength to see it realized. These meals equal hope for communities around the corner and around the world.

After an entertaining how-to video, everyone filed into two lines and dove into their respective roles—pouring, measuring, weighing and packaging. In less than an hour, our energetic group packaged thousands of meals. These meals are then shipped off to ensure empty tummies around the globe are filled with quality food and love from our team.

ocps-logoPowerDMS is headquartered in Orange County, FL where the local public school system is the 10th largest in the nation and the fourth largest in Florida. The National Association for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth estimates that 10% of students receiving free and reduced meals may be experiencing homelessness. In Orange County Public Schools, the true number of homeless students could reach more than 10,000. Given the challenges of identifying this population of students due to the stigma associated with being homeless, Orange County Public Schools (OCPS) identified 4,391 students as of March 2012.