Deloitte Impact Day Strengthens Erie House Efforts in Little Village
July 6, 2016 | Chicago, IL
Deloitte volunteers participate in a conversation group with an English as a second language (ESL) student in Little Village. PHOTO COURTESY ARIANA ESCOBEDO
On Friday, June 10, a team of volunteers from Deloitte US visited Erie Neighborhood House to lend a hand to its participants and staff in Little Village. It marked the 17th annual Impact Day for Deloitte, an international professional service network that delivers an array of accounting services to its clients around the globe.
Designed to engage Deloitte professionals in community service, Impact Day enlists more than 20,000 volunteers in roughly 1,000 projects at various nonprofit organizations. The coordinated effort is part of the company’s overall commitment to local communities, and it is making a tangible impact—both on the people and communities benefitting from their commitment as well as the volunteers themselves.
“It’s very rewarding,” says Ariana Escobedo, a senior tax consultant at Deloitte. She recalls signing up for her first Impact Day several years ago, volunteering at Erie House and how it felt to connect with people in the community. “I loved it,” says Escobedo, “and I wanted to do it again and again.”
Today Escobedo coordinates the Deloitte team visiting Erie House each year for Impact Day, and she has also volunteered at the agency’s Holidays with Heart event held in December.
“I love the connections we have made,” she says. “You receive hugs from the participants, and I think you can see and feel the impact we make.”
Escobedo also appreciates the opportunity to support program initiatives at Erie House in addition to doing a variety of maintenance-related tasks typical of a corporate volunteer project. “That’s actually one of my favorite things,” she said. “It’s those kinds of activities that make it even more worthwhile.”
This year, the volunteers engaged in conversation groups with English as a second language (ESL) students and led a computer software workshop for participants in the technology program.
“It was the best part of the day,” says Jon Leist, who helped lead a Microsoft Word activity in which participants worked on developing their personal narrative. ”Everyone raved about it.”
Leist had volunteered at December’s Holidays with Heart event but enjoyed his first Impact Day visit to Erie House last month. He also helped coordinate logistics for the volunteer project while Escobedo was out on maternity leave.
“We had heard that in previous years this particular Impact Day project was very successful,” he says, noting that this year’s project did not disappoint. “We were so glad to be able to come, and we loved getting to know some of the people at Erie House.”
Following their engagement with participants, the Deloitte volunteers teamed up to paint some classroom walls at the Little Village space.
Sandy Pundmann, managing partner for the internal audit practice at Deloitte & Touche LLP, was part of the team volunteering at Erie House on Impact Day. She is also a member of the board of directors at Erie House, and executive director Kirstin Chernawsky says this sort of engagement from board members and their colleagues is vital.
“Whenever a board member can volunteer at Erie House and interact with our staff and participants, I think it gives them a more well-rounded perspective,” she says. “We’re really grateful for the commitment Sandy has made toward strengthening our partnership with Deloitte.”
Chernawsky also expresses gratitude for the overall contributions Pundmann’s colleagues at Deloitte made on Impact Day. “We’re always happy to host volunteer groups, but it is great to see how Deloitte has invested energy in supporting our programs and getting to know our participants,” she says. “That makes a tremendous difference.”
Deloitte Impact Day will happen again next summer on date yet to be announced. Other corporate groups looking to volunteer at Erie House should contact Lucero Cervantes, special events and annual fund manager, at email@example.com.