Kansas City, MO, Thursday, August 6, 2009 – The Don Bosco Centers, serving the Northeast Kansas City community, will receive a much-deserved facelift on Thursday, August 20, by more than 100 employees from ARAMARK, a global provider of professional services. This project jump starts a new partnership which is part of ARAMARK Building Community, a company-wide initiative that fosters long-term support for local community centers in more than 25 cities.
ARAMARK employees will dedicate their time, energy and talents to enhance the indoor and outdoor facilities throughout The Don Bosco Charter High School and Family Support Center. The project will include the refurbishment of the Charter High School’s library with the construction of 20 new bookshelves, shelving books and creating 12 inspirational murals.
The economic downturn has increased the number of those who need services through Don Bosco’s six interrelated community centers. There is an especially great need for emergency assistance, food, housing and job placement help. Approximately 29 percent of the population in Don Bosco’s service area lives at or below the poverty level*; it is in communities like this where disparities in income, education, and housing are highest, and where emergency services like those offered by Don Bosco are essential.
“Our partnership with ARAMARK is significant and provides us with a solid, long-term corporate ally to assist with our mission to improve the lives of our clients,” said Nicholas Scielzo, president of The Don Bosco Centers. “This ongoing relationship with ARAMARK will not only provide us much-needed volunteer, in-kind, and financial support, but will complement our existing client services with programs to help prepare and connect people to jobs and help families live healthier lifestyles.”
Other volunteer projects at the Family Support Center include building planter beds, repainting the interior of the building and sorting clothing for the clothes donation room. Also at the Charter High School, volunteers will repaint classroom and hallway walls. Colorful murals will also be painted on seating benches and distributed throughout the two properties and Don Bosco’s Senior Center.
“Partnering with local community centers is a natural fit for ARAMARK and our employees,” said Joe Tinney, executive vice president of Facility Services, ARAMARK Business and Industry Group and local ARAMARK Building Community executive sponsor. “Our focus on communities is about connection—linking our expertise, resources and time to help neighbors in need. We are proud about this new partnership with Don Bosco, which will allow us to collectively impact Northeast Kansas City in a meaningful way.”
A recent study found that 61 percent of Americans believe that in the current economic climate, community centers play a more essential role than ever**. Respondents noted that providing for basic needs, such as food and clothing, affordable childcare, preschool, job training and after school programs are the most important services that community centers offer.
The enhancement project at Don Bosco, and others across the country, reinforces ARAMARK’s commitment to volunteer service and supports “United We Serve,” a national effort launched by President Obama to engage more Americans in serving their communities this summer. United We Serve encourages corporations and non-profits to work together to address community issues in four key areas: education, health, energy and the environment, and community renewal.
This project is one of several ARAMARK Building Community programs under development in the Kansas City area. Last spring, clients from Don Bosco’s Family Support Center and Youth Development Center participated in an ARAMARK job fair. In addition, ARAMARK will support The Don Bosco Centers over the holidays by adopting multiple families – providing gifts and other needs – and hosting food and coat drives.
* According to data from Census 2000.
**The study was conducted for ARAMARK via telephone by International Communications Research, an independent research company. Interviews were conducted November 7-11, 2008 among a representative sample of 1017 adults aged 18 years or older. The margin of error is +/-3.07% at the 95% confidence level. More information about ICR can be obtained by visiting www.icrsurvey.com.
About The Don Bosco Centers
The Don Bosco Centers empower individuals and families to achieve self-sufficiency and independence through a comprehensive network of services designed to enhance the quality of life in the ethnically rich and culturally diverse Northeast Kansas City community. It accomplishes this through six interrelated community centers: a Charter High School, Counseling Center, ESL Center, Family Support Center, Senior Center, and Youth Development Center. Nearly 2,000 people a day benefit from the services of The Don Bosco Centers. For more information, visit www.donbosco.org.
About ARAMARK Building Community
ARAMARK Building Community enriches the lives of families in need by supporting local community centers to help people of all generations learn, earn and thrive. ARAMARK recognizes the important role community centers play in addressing the comprehensive needs of individuals and families and is providing a range of resources including grants, volunteers and in-kind contributions. Through ARAMARK Building Community, volunteers use their expertise to help youth and adults develop critical, employable work skills and connect them to career opportunities; support families with nutrition and wellness education; provide basic needs such as food and clothing; and help partners run cleaner, safer and more efficient facilities on an ongoing basis.
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. In FORTUNE magazine's 2009 list of "World's Most Admired Companies," ARAMARK was ranked number one in its industry, consistently ranking since 1998 as one of the top three most admired companies in its industry as evaluated by peers and analysts. 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 260,000 employees serving clients in 22 countries. Learn more at www.twitter.com/aramarknews.
Don Bosco Contact
(816) 691-2902 (direct), (816) 719-3901 (cell)
Krystin Williamson, Allison & Partners
(619) 533-7974 (direct), (619) 886-9256 (cell)