At ZS, impact comes in many forms and from many places. ZS Cares, our firm-wide corporate social responsibility initiative, ensures that our firm’s mission—to have impact where it matters—is not merely a tagline, but an actionable motto for life at ZS. Early this summer, ZS Cares in Philadelphia organized a day of service, offering various volunteer opportunities which appealed to an array of interests and passions: food security, youth education and empowerment, environmental conservation and animal rights and protection.
The first group of ZSers ventured to Share Food, a nonprofit focused on food distribution, education and advocacy. By the end of the day, the group packaged nearly 400 boxes of food for underprivileged people in the greater Philadelphia area. Jamie, the ZS Cares organizer, believes the team’s efficiency was a result of apparent “ZSness.” “We had an assembly line set up and the group kept ‘optimizing’ the way the boxes were packaged to improve speed and accuracy,” he shared with a laugh.
Another cohort of volunteers went to the Boys & Girls Club, where they helped run a “Friday Funday Carnival,” featuring obstacle courses, carnival games and arts and crafts. “It was rewarding to see the smiles on the kids’ faces, to support a great organization, and to also spend time with different groups of ZSers in a completely new setting,” said Cathy, who coordinated the volunteer site. The group loved interacting with the children and even managed to make it out of the water games station without being completely soaked.
The next group of ZSers spent the day outdoors with Friends of Wissahickon helping clean up an important access point trail. ZSers were excited to help the organization accomplish its goal in the most efficient way possible—filling nearly 40 garbage bags with trash. “Seeing the difference in our before and after photos made our work rewarding,” explained ZS Cares committee member Frankie. After the hard work was done, the group gathered for lunch and an informal game of baseball, enjoying the park they helped clean.
The last group went to the PSPCA, Pennsylvania’s Society for the Prevention of Cruelty of Animals, supporting the organization in different ways throughout the day. First, they donated and assembled four shelving units for the organization’s new protective custody housing unit, which serves as a home for animals seized from cruelty and neglect. Later, they cleaned out animal crates, conducted dog socialization for dogs up for adoption and built animal toys for playtime. Along the way, ZSers learned more about the organization and the importance of its work.
“It was impactful to hear from PSPCA staff about the conditions in which animals come to them and all of the work that the PSPCA does to get them into forever homes,” shared Lucy, a ZS Cares committee member.
By the end of the day, everyone involved was smiling; the volunteer coordinator was thankful for the extra help, ZSers felt they made a meaningful difference in a worthwhile cause and the animals received well-deserved love and affection.