AEO associates share our commitment to doing better, being better and building a better world. We’re proud to spotlight our people who are making a real and lasting impact in their communities.
AEO’s Global Asset Protection team is passionate about giving back. John, Supervisor – Corporate Security and Alyssa – Executive Staff Assistant share how the team works together to achieve their common goal of helping those in need.
Tell us about your volunteer service! What events have you engaged in, both personally and with your team? What causes are you passionate about?
Alyssa: Through the Global Asset Protection team and the Veterans and Military Employee Resource Group (VMERG), we have focused our attention on raising funds and awareness for veterans and first responder nonprofit organizations. Most notably, we hosted two 5K events that raised a combined dollar amount of $8.2K for the All Clear Foundation and Fisher House. The team also volunteers annually at Inspired Hearts and Hands, a nonprofit that focuses on addressing economic hardship and food insecurity. We volunteer particularly during the holiday season, packing and wrapping gift boxes for underprivileged children. It’s great that we get to take advantage of AEO’s Team of 10 and Matching Gifts programs to help further our support for these organizations.
Outside of work, I volunteer my time at several different animal shelters in Western Pennsylvania. I am involved in a work exchange program at a local yoga studio, the Om Lounge, which has done a lot in the Pittsburgh community to make yoga a more accessible activity. I am also passionate about supporting underprivileged women in the community, donating food and clothing to the Women’s Shelter, and participating in local Dress for Success events , which help clothe women entering or returning to the workforce.
John: The Global Asset Protection team contributes to organizations that are making a difference in communities that many of us are a part of. I love spending time in and out of work raising money and awareness for veteran and first responder organizations. In my personal time, I donate and volunteer at group rides. In the last month I’ve donated to the Brian Shaw Memorial Scholarship Fund, and I also joined the Chief McIntire Thunder Run memorial ride to honor the late Chief Justin McIntire from the Brackenridge Police Department.
Why is volunteering important to the Asset Protection Team and to you as an individual?
Alyssa: Something that has really stuck out to me since joining the team is everyone’s willingness and dedication to volunteering with organizations that are important to them, and rallying together when someone on the team is in need. I think for myself and the team as a whole, volunteering time and energy to causes that are important to us creates a strong sense of community. I get great joy out of helping others – when you get to the root of things, we are all just human beings, and we should be helping and supporting each other through life as much as we can!
John: After working with this team for so many years, it’s clear we all have genuine interests in helping those who have given so much to our community through their personal sacrifices. Through all of the volunteer events I’ve been to, I’ve seen how the nonprofit organizations we donate time and resources to have impacted and improved people’s lives.
What are some of the benefits you have found in volunteering? How does getting together as a team to volunteer impact the way you work together?
Alyssa: I’ve found many benefits in volunteering, including meeting new people that I wouldn’t otherwise, sharpening my event planning and teamwork skills, and getting people excited about a cause. Seeing the end result of a successful volunteer event is always incredibly rewarding. Volunteering as a group with the Global Asset Protection team and VMERG has helped strengthen the bond we have in the office. Everyone in the department is on board to help and support when someone comes to the table with a volunteer or fundraising idea, and we all have different areas of expertise that we contribute to making these volunteer events successful.
John: One benefit for me is meeting those who have been positively affected by the support the community gives. Knowing that what we do has an actual impact is what personally keeps me going to do more. It’s easy to work together as a team when we all have a common goal in mind:helping people.
How do you think that being an active participant in your community helps to build a better world?
Alyssa: There are so many areas of the community that could benefit from extra help and support. No matter where you choose to volunteer, it makes a difference. Building a better world, to me, means giving back to those who need it the most, and positively contributing to the health, wellness, and equality of the community.
John: When you choose to volunteer, you show those in need they are not alone or forgotten. We can build a better world through small acts of kindness and support.