Tampa Bay, FL, May 25, 2011 – A partnership that began with a few employees hosting a toy drive has expanded to include more than 100 ARAMARK volunteers, who will donate their time today to The Spring of Tampa Bay, revitalizing the organization’s facilities to provide a safe, comfortable environment and outdoor sanctuary for individuals and families seeking shelter there.
"The Spring was founded by a community of caring men and women, and community support is what will keep our doors open to the hundreds of adults and children who each year seek refuge from the violence in their homes,” said Joanne Lighter, President and CEO of The Spring. “ARAMARK’s participation continues this tradition of one-to-one caring for innocent children and their parents who find safety, hope, and renewal at The Spring.”
This project is part of the company’s signature philanthropic and volunteer program, ARAMARK Building Community, created to enrich the lives of families in need by strengthening local community centers. ARAMARK develops long-term partnerships with centers to improve facilities, prepare youth and adults and connect them to the workforce, and encourage healthy lifestyles through education and awareness.
“ARAMARK has always been dedicated to enriching the lives of our clients, customers and communities,” said Mark Lashley, Regional Vice President, ARAMARK Healthcare.
“Our employees are committed to using their skills and expertise to help places like The Spring. In today’s difficult economic times, it’s more important than ever that we help organizations like this continue to do their work even better. Our partnership with The Spring can leave a lasting, positive impact.”
ARAMARK’s involvement with The Spring began several years ago, when employees of the company’s Uniform Services division in the area started collecting toys for children at The Spring. ARAMARK employees also helped build a playground, and before long the connection “blossomed into a relationship,” Lighter said.
The enhancement project is the newest aspect of that relationship. The employee volunteers will help transform the facility into an even more tranquil, comfortable and safe place for women and families by painting walls and murals, building picnic tables and benches, and landscaping grounds. They will also remove debris, and plant outdoor flower and vegetable boxes, in addition to constructing a meditation garden.
"The completion of the meditation garden by the ARAMARK team will provide a tranquil and soothing area of respite for those who seek safe haven and peace behind our walls,” said Lighter.
During 2009 and 2010, The Spring provided almost 40,000 nights of shelter and directly helped almost 2,000 victims with counseling, child care, referrals and other services. The Spring also responded to nearly 9,500 domestic violence-related hotline calls.
Launched in 2008, ARAMARK Building Community will be in more than 50 cities with nearly 13,000 volunteers by the end of 2011, and will impact 2.5 million individuals and families in the US and abroad.
ARAMARK is a leader in professional services, providing award-winning food services, facilities management, and uniform and career apparel to health care institutions, universities and school districts, stadiums and arenas, and businesses around the world. The company is recognized as one of the "World's Most Ethical Companies" by the Ethisphere Institute, as the industry leader in FORTUNE magazine's "World's Most Admired Companies," and as one of America's Largest Private Companies by both FORTUNE and Forbes magazines. ARAMARK seeks to responsibly address issues that matter to its clients, customers, employees and communities by focusing on employee advocacy, environmental stewardship, health and wellness, and community involvement. Headquartered in Philadelphia, ARAMARK has approximately 255,000 employees serving clients in 22 countries. Learn more at www.twitter.com/aramarknews.
About the Spring
The Spring of Tampa Bay is the only certified domestic violence program serving Hillsborough County. Founded by the community in 1977, The Spring has assisted over 60,000 individuals seeking safety from harm at the hands of a loved one. The Spring serves each person individually, helping them to become empowered to make decisions about their future. The Spring provides safety at the moment of danger, helping them to gain hope for their future that comes through renewal of their spirit and self esteem to go forward.