Wilbert Cares is one of my favorite programs at The Wilbert Group. The program involves a variety of contributions to our community and the industries we serve, including volunteering with local organizations, such as Open Hand Atlanta and Lost-n-Found Youth; offering pro bono and in-kind services to groups such as City of Refuge and ULI Atlanta; and supporting our industries through involvement with PRSA Georgia and our fellowship program.
As we wrap up the 2022 Annual W: Cares report, one thing is clear: enthusiasm for the program and for serving others remains high. Employee participation in 2022 remained above 90%, which means that most of our team members participated in a volunteer project, served on a committee or worked closely on a pro-bono project.
Another key metric we track is our overall donation, for which we calculate the value based on our employees billable hours. In 2022, that number was around $81,000! When we formalized this program in 2019, that donation number tracked around $40,000. I’m so proud of how far we’ve come since then, growing that number annually and donating over $360,000 of services to local organizations.
In 2022, we continued to partner with ULI Atlanta, acting as its agency of record. ULI Atlanta, a District Council of the Urban Land Institute, has over 1,400 members throughout the Atlanta and eastern Tennessee region. With ULI, we work on crafting media materials, draft member spotlights and consult as-needed. I have been a proud Advisory Board member for a few years, and in 2023, I’ll co-chair the Awards of Excellence with Thurston Cooke.
For City of Refuge, we assist with social media, media relations and speaking consultation. We’ve worked with the team to highlight numerous stories and milestones over the years, with our latest efforts centering around on the nonprofit's 25th anniversary, its various affordable housing investments on Atlanta's Westside and the new on-campus Tech Transformation Academy that trains students for careers in cyber security and coding.
My W: Cares committee members are the real brains behind the program, and they have really stepped up in 2022 to create new ways for the rest of the team to get involved.
When asked about a memorable moment from W: Cares 2022, Aliya Seymor said,
This year, W: Cares was filled with new and enriching experiences that allowed our team to meaningfully serve our community. Each service project was different from the last, whether cuddling with pups at the Atlanta Humane Society or packing orders of clothes at Foster Cares, an organization that offers support for guardians of foster children. Those experiences provided us with an expanded perspective on where our city could use an extra hand. It was great to see our team always ready to pitch in and help, no matter the task!
My highlight of the year was creating holiday goodie bags filled with treats for underserved kids in the community for Lift Up Atlanta. With each goodie bag tied, I knew the child who would receive it would be so excited. Knowing that Wilbert was helping to shine a light for kids who deserve to enjoy the wonder of the holiday season was an awesome feeling!
And Sarah Schmidt had this to say,
2022 was a great year of giving for The Wilbert Group. From working with pets looking for forever homes at Atlanta Humane Society to packing meals for those in need at Open Hand Atlanta, our team continues to explore new ways to give back to the community all year long.
The most meaningful and rewarding experience for me personally this year was volunteering at the Lost-n-Found Youth organization, an Atlanta-based nonprofit that provides services to LGBTQ+ youth experiencing homelessness. Even with a small (but mighty) group of Wilbertonians in attendance, we were able to make an impact that was truly valued and appreciated. LnFy's mission of creating a world where everyone feels safe and supported to live and love authentically is so important, and I'm excited my team at
TWG can be a part of that. Looking forward to what the new year holds!
2023 is already shaping up to be another great year for W: Cares. Our Q1 volunteer project will be at PAWS Atlanta, which strives to build a community of caring, by people helping pets and pets helping people.
While 2022 was a banner year for Wilbert Cares, I have high hopes that this year will be the best one yet. We already have our first hands-on project planned for March, and this year, each employee can choose a cause that is special to them and volunteer for up to four hours during work hours.