I have fond memories of doing community service at every stage of my life. Growing up in the Manayunk area of Philadelphia, I was involved in many service projects — through my school, different organizations, and family members. I can even remember volunteering at a Blue Crew project with my godmother, who is an IBX associate, when I was younger. The details of what we did are a little fuzzy, but I can still remember wearing a Blue Crew T-shirt that was way too big on me. Even as a kid, I thought it was so cool that IBX associates did so much for the Philadelphia community.
I’m now a rising sophomore at Xavier University of Louisiana, where giving back to the community is a part of the culture. In fact, to the students, it’s as important as academics. In my first year of college, I’ve volunteered through school organizations and through what they call “Service Saturdays.” I’ve enjoyed helping in animal shelters and homeless shelters and with tutoring programs.
Volunteering with the Share Food Program
I was excited to learn that I would be spending the summer after my freshman year as an intern at IBX. Once again, I found myself in a Blue Crew T-shirt by my third day of my first week. All the college and nursing interns were invited to participate in Community Impact Day, and I was thrilled. First, I had a great job opportunity with IBX for the summer; second, I could give back to my community with the Blue Crew. It was a double win.
We all packed into a bus to spend our day volunteering at the Share Food Program. As we pulled up, I realized that this awesome organization was less than ten minutes from my house — and I never knew it existed! The staff greeted us warmly and gave us a brief overview of Share, their mission, and the history of hunger in Philadelphia, which I learned was the poorest big city in the U.S. We were then broken into smaller groups and given job assignments.
Every Small Task Matters!
My group of five was assigned the task of breaking down cardboard boxes and putting them in a compressor for recycling. This may sound boring to most people, but I had such fun bonding with my fellow interns, crushing boxes, and jamming to songs playing on the radio. Our group was joined by Jeanie Heffernan, senior vice president & chief human resources officer at IBX, and the six of us worked side-by-side together.
While we were working, Steveanna Wynn, the executive director of Share, stopped by to talk to us. She told us all about the history of the program and her staff. She had a contagious positive energy that everyone in the group fed off. We felt so proud when the staff at Share told us that we had accomplished in one day what would normally take them a month to do!
Serving Our Community Together
My experience at Share strengthened my love for volunteering — especially being able to serve in my own community. And participating alongside my fellow interns and members of the Blue Crew reminded me why I appreciate IBX so much. They are a company I watched growing up as they took care of the people they serve. And now that I’m older, I can see the extent that IBX cares for its employees and community.
IBX is a company that encourages giving back, and its employees often know first-hand the people they are serving. I am grateful my summer internship at IBX allowed me to work alongside people who are passionate about serving their community — both through their work and through volunteering. I hope that those who are impacted by IBX and the Blue Crew’s generosity can see that IBX is so much more than just a company with a big building in Center City Philadelphia. They are part of our community.