Southwire’s employee volunteer program, Project GIFT, recently partnered with ALLiED, one of the company’s employee resource groups (ERGs), to donate hygiene kits and letters of encouragement to CHRIS 180 in honor of its annual Pride celebration.
Southwire’s ALLiED ERG advocates for a work environment that respects, welcomes and supports people of all sexual and gender identities and enables them to bring their whole selves to work, allowing them to perform to their full potential. In past years, during October, ALLiED has participated in Pride celebrations in Atlanta and Carrollton, Ga. This year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the in-person celebrations were cancelled, so ALLiED chose to honor Pride in a new way.
CHRIS 180 is a nonprofit organization based out of Atlanta that serves homeless youth with targeted outreach to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ+) youth, who are disproportionately homeless. Since 2000, the organization has become an acknowledged subject matter expert in helping and working with LGBTQ+ youth. Project GIFT and ALLiED worked together to donate hygiene products, totaling 1,152 kits, each with personalized letters of encouragement from ALLiED’s safe space certified employees.
Tonya Moore, Southwire VP of Human Resources and ALLiED committee champion, explained that, even though the group could not participate in an in-person Pride celebration this year, they still wanted to give back in some way. In addition to the committee members, the ERG decided to open this opportunity up for all safe space certified employees to allow participation for those that would usually come to the Pride event.
“All of our safe space trained employees have completed a voluntary opportunity to learn about LGBTQ+ identities, gender and sexuality, as well as examine assumptions and unconscious bias,” said Moore. “The goal of this is to create a network of visual allies at Southwire who are prepared and willing to support, and many of these employees would typically participate in our celebration of Pride. Unfortunately, the Pride in-person celebration was cancelled, but I am thankful that we were still able to honor it through this donation effort.”
Grace Garde, CHRIS 180 volunteer coordinator, said that all donations are incredibly important to the organization, as many of the clients arrive without simple or basic necessities. In 2019 alone, CHRIS 180 had nearly 4,000 visits to their drop-in center. This year, with the pandemic, their need is larger than ever.
To learn more about Southwire’s commitment to inclusivity, visit the Southwire sustainability site here.
“We are so grateful for donors like Southwire because we truly couldn’t do what we do without y’all,” said Garde. “Hygiene kits are the donation that our staff requests the most, as it allows for everyone we serve to feel clean and healthy, and it truly makes a difference.”