Community Engagement

How We Connected with the Local Community in 2020

Aug 3, 2020 by IDEX Health & Science

Every year we enjoy volunteering and donating to a variety of local non-profit organizations. We strive to create a positive impact by working with local groups such as food banks, youth programs, and environmental organizations to inspire success and provide a brighter future. The coronavirus pandemic may have encouraged a new socially distant life in 2020, but, we have continued to support the following organizations working from home or from 6 feet away.

Thanks to the IDEX Foundation, our facilities in the US were able to donate a total of $76,000 to the following local food banks.

COVID-19 has affected minority populations greater than other demographics. Typically, lower income families work in frontline jobs that cannot be done remotely. Therefore, when the Rochester, NY city school district switched to 100% virtual learning, parents in these frontline jobs were struggling to juggle work and care for their children. Schools also provided a meal for kids who otherwise would not have food available at home. Going virtual keeps everyone safe, but, it also has created challenges for families with lower incomes.

Recently, we researched local demographics and household income levels in New York State versus Rochester, NY. In New York State, 17.6% of the population is Black and 19.3% of the population is Latinx. In comparison, the city of Rochester is made up of 40.3% Black and 18.3% Latinx people. In New York State, 13% of the population experiences poverty. In comparison, the city of Rochester experiences 2.5 times the poverty rate of New York State at 32.6% and 56.4% of children face poverty.

The Boys & Girls Clubs of Rochester has a club membership of nearly 1500 young people ages 6 to 18. 98% of their membership is of African American descent. 67% of their club members reside in single parent households while 91% qualify for free lunch programs. While anyone residing in Monroe County can become a member of the Club, the majority of club members reside within the poorest parts of the city of Rochester called “The Crescent.” It represents the “C” that surrounds the City of Rochester where all the poverty in Rochester resides.

We discovered a way we could help! Our Site Coordinator partnered with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Rochester to understand their needs. There top needs included tutors to moderate kids taking online classes, additional shields to keep the kids safe in the computer labs, and more meals. We then coordinated with IDEX foundation to able to provide a $22,800 donation to Boys & Girls Clubs of Rochester. This donation will cover the costs of 1 tutor for 9 months, additional space barriers for the STEM classrooms, and breakfast for 50 kids for 9 months.

By providing these funds we are allowing parents to focus on needed income, while their kids have a safe place to continue learning virtually, and be fed breakfast in addition to lunch. Thank you to Boys & Girls Clubs of Rochester for continuing to provide a fun, safe environment where kids can be who they are – and become who they are meant to be.

Stephanie Snow, our Content and Digital Marketing Manager, is proud to be on the Board of Directors for Rochester Childfirst Network. She enjoys leading United Way Day of Caring events to renovate the location, loves reading to the youth, and is helping develop marketing initiatives. In the last 2 years she has raised donation dollars for a new outdoor classroom, a playground and renovations to their garden area for classroom activities. Stephanie loves helping this non-profit in their mission to advance the quality of early education and care in Western New York, through leadership, advocacy, and innovative direct services to children. Learn more about Rochester Childfirst Network.

In memory of a remarkable teacher, Laura A. Martins, our IDEX Foundation awards $2,000 to a student from Middletown High School each year who aspires to be a teacher. This year the award goes to Andrew and Ashanti. Andrew will study at SUNY Albany to become a math teacher and Ashanti will study at New England College to become an elementary school teacher. Congratulations!

Learn More About Our Annual Scholarship and Check Out Winners From Other Years

Prashant Prabhat, our Product Manager for Imaging, is proud to join the Board of Directors for the Boys & Girls Club of Rochester. He enjoys leading yearly STEM events to teach youth about the Life Sciences and supporting the club’s mission to inspire and enable young people of all backgrounds to realize their full potential as productive, responsible, and caring citizens. Learn more about the Boys & Girls Club.

Before the pandemic hit in the United States, we were able to participate in a few in person events. Our Strategic Sourcing team volunteered with the Summit Assistance Dog program in Oak Harbor, Washington during their quarterly meeting. The team’s assignment was to assemble 10 “snuffle mats” for dogs in the organization. Made from strands of fabric attached to a strong backing, snuffle mats are typically used to encourage slower eating habits. Used as a calming tool, they also teach dogs how to find items and keep dogs’ brains engaged and healthy.

Summit Assistance Dogs is an organization providing highly-skilled mobility-assistance dogs for people living with disabilities in Washington. The organization creates life-changing partnerships for people living with disabilities, gives them increased independence, and renewed confidence. Learn more about Summit Assistance Dogs.

Around Valentine’s Day, we hosted a bake sale at our Rochester, NY office to raise money and collect donations for a local pet rescue, GRASP. We raised $750 and filled 2 large bins with pet food, toys, blankets, and other pet supplies.

Our Global Commercial team volunteered to create donation boxes of food at the Central Texas Food Bank in Austin during our annual meeting. During the 2-hour volunteer activity, we were split into sub-teams to inspect, clean, sort, and box food donations for distribution to partner agencies and the families they serve.

Through teamwork and great training from the team at Central Texas Food Bank, we were able to prepare 1.5 tons of food and non-food items including napkins, paper towels, paper plates, coloring books for children and more! In addition, the IDEX foundation donated $5,000 to Central Texas Food Bank which will provide nearly 20,000 meals. Overall, the team was able to provide 23,375 meals for Central Texans in need.

Check out the video we made of this volunteer event.