CANA Advisors through its CANA Foundation – supports our people and offers opportunities to ‘give back’ in many ways. One specific form of support this past 2017 holiday season was to give our team members company time to spend “volunteering in their local community.”
To quote our company’s Founder and President, Rob Cranston, the CANA Foundation “provides the CANA family of employees an opportunity to connect with and give back to community areas we feel passionate and care about.”
Below are a few stories of how our team members chose to ‘give back’ using this time.
Bicycles for Monterey
Principal Operations Research Analyst Harrison Schramm used his volunteer time in support of a project with Monterey County Behavioral and Mental Health – procuring and providing bicycles for kids in need. This project started several years ago in a casual conversation between Harrison and the Project’s leader. She knew that Harrison was in to riding bicycles and wondered if he could help build a few. One thing led to another, and he ended up with a wrench in his hand the week before Christmas 2016.
Clinicians in contact with families provide a list with information such as age, height, and gender. An anonymous donor contributes money. Harrison and a few others convert the money into age appropriate bicycles. The clinicians then pick up the bicycles and deliver them to the families. The process is ‘double blind’ in the sense that the providers and recipients of the bicycles will never be introduced.
Harrison completing the 2017 Bicycle Build: Six bikes and one Scooter.
“That doesn’t stop me from wondering, though” Harrison said. “Sometimes, I’ll be out on the Rec-trail, see a kid coming and wonder ‘did I build that bike?’”
The bicycles are all brand-new, and a helmet is provided with each.
“A bicycle isn’t just a toy for a kid on the [Monterey] Peninsula. It’s exercise, it’s a way to get to school and work, it’s a way to put everything behind you – if only for a few minutes.”
Harrison says that he prefers to get the bicycles un-built from stores if he can, because he can fit more in his car that way.
Kitsilano Neighborhood House
Operations Research Analyst Lucia Darrow spent her volunteer hours at the Kitsilano (“Kits”) Neighborhood House, helping out with the Kits Club after-school childcare program. The Kits House develops programs to meet the needs of the community, ranging from childcare and senior living options to hosting farmers markets and ESL circles for newcomers to the city.
Through volunteering with the Kits House and assisting with special events, Lucia says she enjoys connecting with the community and learning about the rich history of Vancouver’s Westside.
Lucia on the steps of the Kitsilano Neighborhood House.
Samaritan’s Purse Operation Christmas Child
Norm Reitter, our Director of Analytics, spent an afternoon at a Samaritan's Purse run "Operation Christmas Child" gift distribution center where he inspected and enhanced gift boxes that were collected from many donation sources. These boxes were then routed through the Denver, Colorado distribution center and shipped to children in need who would not otherwise get Christmas gifts.
Operation Christmas Child counts on thousands of volunteers to collect and process millions of shoebox gifts every year. Samaritan's Purse provides this approach so that kids get meaningful and useful Christmas gifts. Norm and Annalisa were busy inspecting donations, adding age appropriate items to gift boxes, and packing the gift boxes into larger containers for shipping.
Norm said that seeing all the donations and knowing the positive impact on each child that would receive a gift box made this a very meaningful experience for him and Annalisa.
Norm and Annalisa at their local Colorado Operation Christmas Child gift distribution centers.
CANA Foundation has enjoyed a wonderful inaugural year of growth and giving back to our communities. We are excited to continue our upward momentum and build upon that success.
In 2018, we will continue to create more opportunities for our team to participate, facilitate our team’s ideas to give back, and continue to develop meaningful relationships with other organizations. Onward and upward!!
If interested in learning more about the CANA Foundation or in partnering with us, please reach out to Kenny McRostie, our CANA Foundation manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org.