Re-published from the National Apartment Association’s UNITS Magazine
The Piedmont Triad Apartment Association (PTAA) and its members join together every summer to help fill the shelves of the Second Harvest Food Bank of Northwest North Carolina.
Summer is the optimal time to support the food bank because children are out of school and demand becomes greatest. This year, the food drive was held May 1 to July 31 with a goal of collecting enough food and cash for Second Harvest to provide 160,000 meals. With the support and dedication of PTAA members, 198,725 meals were provided.
There were many contributing factors to the success of this year’s food drive. Matt Ketterman and his company, Got You Floored, one of the PTAA’s vendor partner members, hosted its 7th annual 10k race to benefit the food drive, raising 47,530 meals! PTAA also partnered with two local minor-league baseball teams, the Greensboro Grasshoppers and the Winston-Salem Dash, and collected food at the teams’ games on July 21. To garner the public’s support, the local NBC affiliate donated advertising time and produced commercials with their sports reporters to promote the food collection effort, which was dubbed “Fill the Stands with Cans.” As a result, 19,563 meals were collected.
PTAA Executive Director Jon Lowder offered his personal marketing assistance to member companies that made a donation. Several took him up on his offer, including Blue Ridge Companies. He volunteered with them at the Second Harvest Food Bank of Northwest North Carolina and collectively they packed more than 8,000 pounds of food to be distributed throughout the community.
Blue Ridge Companies Executive Vice President Susan Passmore comments, “Giving back strengthens our communities and gives our residents and employees an opportunity to make a positive impact in their local areas. This is what Blue Ridge is all about.”
By “buying” Lowder’s time, PTAA members collectively contributed enough cash to provide 7,000 meals.
“Our annual food drive, and really any community service project we undertake, is an important for several reasons,” Lowder says. “From an organizational point of view, it’s important because it creates a lot of positive energy. Sure, our educational and social events are mission-critical activities for us, but there’s something about doing community service that builds a level of camaraderie between our members that you just don’t find in our other activities. It also gets members involved who we don’t see at many of our other events.”
Lowder says community service is a great opportunity for our industry to highlight the positive impact it has on the larger community.
“Because we’re working with community-based organizations with boards comprised of local leaders, from industry and local government, we get to build positive relationships withthem that can be helpful when we need to work with them for any number of reasons. It shows that we’re a positive contributor to the communities in which we work.