At Pace, we don’t just find joy in serving our clients, but in serving our local communities as well. (Check out Pace PuppyThon for a recent—and adorable—example!) Starting in 2018, our leadership enacted a day of service policy in which each employee can take a full paid day to volunteer with an organization of their choice. It is a great way for Pacers everywhere to stay connected with their community, and the built-in time off allows us to recharge for our work ahead while helping those in need!
I recently used my day of service to volunteer with Kisses4Kate, a local nonprofit in Greensboro that benefits children with cancer and their families. Cancer treatment can be extremely expensive, and families often struggle to keep up with the cost of bills, food and transportation to and from treatment. The volunteers at Kisses4Kate provide financial support and various other services to help more than 400 families with children undergoing treatment. The organization sponsors and assists families at hospitals throughout North and South Carolina.
I was initially connected with Kisses4Kate through the Young Professionals Civitan of Greensboro, where I serve on the board. Chartered in 2013, we are a chapter of Civitan International, which aims to build good citizenship by providing a volunteer organization of clubs dedicated to serving their communities. As Civitan’s first young professionals chapter, we aim to provide community service and networking opportunities to Greensboro’s vast and ever-growing population of young professionals. We are going on our third year of benefiting Kisses4Kate through an annual Valentine’s Day fundraiser – our Masquerade Ball last year raised over $3,000!
My day job at Pace is in strategy, but I do have a little creative side—so I was immediately attracted to Kisses4Kate’s Gowns4Girls program. As if being a pediatric cancer patient isn’t hard enough, many children are not comfortable in the standard-issue hospital gowns. To help alleviate their discomfort, volunteers at Kisses4Kate designed safe and fun gowns for children to wear while undergoing treatment. As someone who has been sewing since age eight, I loved the idea of harnessing an old skill to support these children by making them feel special, happy and normal throughout an unspeakably challenging ordeal. The organization also makes capes and teddy bears for patients, as well as pillows and bedrolls for parents or families spending lots of time on uncomfortable hospital chairs and benches through their Pillows4Parents program.
I spent the day at Kisses4Kate’s community center in Jamestown, North Carolina, which is equipped with multiple sewing stations and dozens of bolts of fabric—basically my heaven! It was relaxing, and most of all, rewarding to spend all day making gowns, bears and other necessities for the families in need. We also helped make Christmas gifts for the nurses at one of the hospitals, so there was some extra holiday cheer sprinkled in. It was truly a great day!