For Extend Communications President, Scott Lyons, everything they do as a company is about building people up and growing them towards their dreams. In fact, that’s their new company Vision – To Extend our People, our Clients, and our Community, from where they are today to where they Dream to be.
Yes, they manage client phone calls and emails along the way, but the goal is to help their team achieve their personal goals, while helping their clients achieve theirs. At the same time, they want to support community groups and organizations in a similar manner. Over the past couple of years, Extend Communications has implemented several initiatives internally that will help them execute their VISION.
Back in the summer, Scott saw an Expositor story about a breakfast program, supported by Brant Food For Thought. An amazing group of volunteers led by retired teacher, Sherron Birkett, operated this morning program that spanned decades, and made a difference in a local school. Some of the volunteers were expressing a desire to retire but didn’t want to see the program fold. Lyons spoke with Birkett and was touched by the unmet needs in the community, and by all the great work that Brant Food For Thought was doing to support hungry children in our schools.
This conversation was the key that led to a formalized Corporate Social Responsibility Philosophy. Lyons new vision for Extend included an increased emphasis on community support and a potential partnership with Brant Food For Thought that looked like an ideal fit.
Brant Food For Thought met with their team to solidify a mutually beneficial partnership with a local school in their vicinity, and on November 5, Extend Communications served their first breakfast at Central Public School. Their commitment is extensive. From providing a group of 25 dedicated personnel on a rotating volunteer schedule to serving breakfast weekly, to monetary contributions for food purchasing so as not to compete with school fundraising efforts. Lyons allows staff member Lindsay to coordinate the breakfast menu and volunteer schedule, while another staff member shops for food on company time. He knows that his people will experience personal growth by volunteering their time to serve at the school.
Lyons vision extends beyond his current staff complement. As they look to hire and add new people to the Extend team in the future, outlining the company’s involvement in the breakfast program and volunteerism expectations will help them identify people who are passionate about others and about supporting the community as a whole.
“We sincerely thank Scott and his staff at Extend Communications for partnering with us,” says Judy Maidment, Volunteer Development Coordinator at Brant Food For Thought. “Their enthusiasm and investment of time and resources to help facilitate a universal student nutrition program at Central Public School is greatly appreciated.”
Many staff have shared with us how positive and rewarding their volunteer experience has been. “This has been an extremely rewarding experience for me,” shared Laura. “I’m just amazed at how appreciative and polite the children are.” Jess volunteered recently in a Christmas themed breakfast, complete with seasonal tablecloths and snowmen pancakes. The kids loved it! “It’s so rewarding for me, and when 7 am comes, it honestly doesn’t feel like a drudgery,” shared Jess. “The kids are amazing – they even made special cards and letters for the volunteers. It feels good to be helping others.”
Dina from Recruiting and Training at Extend Communications expressed her experience so well.
“I have just started as a volunteer with the breakfast program and I am beyond excited and looking forward to being part of the program. There are really no words that can explain the feeling of knowing that I am contributing to making a difference in not only a child’s life but in the lives of their parents and teachers as well. These children are our future and it is such a great feeling to know that my volunteering is contributing to make a difference by helping a child just come to school, stay awake and focused in class, and not be hungry.” Dina also knows that she is role modelling as a volunteer. “I am so proud to be setting an example to my young son so he can follow in these steps as well and help others whenever he can”.
Lyons truly feels that this new relationship with Brant Food For Thought is a win-win for their team and for the community. He expressed, “We look forward to building our volunteer base and the work that we do in the months and years ahead. I strongly encourage other businesses in Brantford and Brant to consider getting their teams involved with organizations like Brant Food For Thought. We can never do enough to support the community that supports us!”