In a year when businesses and families are facing financial hardships, Assisted Living Services, Inc. presented a $2,000 check to the Cheshire Community Food Pantry, Inc. on Thursday, Dec. 17, in Cheshire. The donation was generated from the home care provider’s “Jeans for a Cause” company initiative. Each year, employees give $1 on Fridays when they choose to wear jeans to work. ALS then matches the total contribution and gives the proceeds to a local cause.
“We chose the Cheshire Food Pantry as our designated charity this year based on rising food insecurity in our town triggered by high unemployment rates,” said Mario D’Aquila, MBA and Chief Operating Officer of ALS. “According to the Food Pantry, 20 percent of Cheshire residents, or over 1,900 households, are ALICE, which stands for Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed. That means they are above the Federal Poverty Level but below a basic cost of living threshold.”
“The Cheshire Community Food Pantry, Inc. is different from many food pantries because it uses a client-choice model in which clients are allowed to select their own groceries,” said Executive Director Kerry Walsh. “This model provides food subsidies to low income families in crisis, while nurturing their ability to be independent. We are grateful for the donation from Assisted Living Services.”
The contribution to the Food Pantry capped off a year of charitable giving by the compassionate corporate citizen.
ALS donated $1,000 to the Child Guidance Clinic for Central Connecticut, Inc. (CGC). “Each year we participate in CGC’s Holiday Giving Program, where gifts are purchased by our office employees for children in need,” explained D’Aquila. “For many years, we have also supported the organization’s various other events and fundraisers.” The nonprofit Child Guidance Clinic provides comprehensive mental health evaluation and treatment, crisis intervention and outreach services to children, adolescents and their families in the greater Meriden Connecticut area.
D’Aquila notes that while ALS supports local organizations, the family-owned agency truly believes that charity begins at home. ALS awarded an astounding $60,000 in employee bonuses this year through its industry-leading Platinum Caregiver and Home Care Hero Award Programs. The monthly Platinum Caregiver Award program launched in 2019 awards $5,000 to a stellar caregiver who has exceeded expectations for quality care. However, during the coronavirus pandemic, the program was retooled as the Homecare Hero Award in order to recognize more outstanding employees.
“I am extremely proud of how our employees rallied together this year to not only keep our clients safe and healthy at home, but to assist our neighbors in need,” said D’Aquila. “I am humbled by their generosity as the pandemic created unimaginable professional and personal challenges.”
Additionally, ALS is encouraging others to help those in need by sharing a list of affordable gifts that give back to worthy causes in its recent company newsletter. The article shares “As a result of the global COVID-19 pandemic, millions of Americans have lost their jobs, forcing them to go without the essentials needed to survive. So why not put your money toward a present that brings joy to the recipient and helps a cause?” To make a donation to the Cheshire Food Pantry call 203-699-9226.
“We have received a lot of positive feedback about the gift list as people are looking for little ways that they can make a difference,” said D’Aquila. “We’re happy to give back to our communities in any way that we can while showing appreciation for our extraordinary staff members.”