In November, more than 100 associates from T. Rowe Price gathered for a Community Service Day to support Kits to Heart. They even invited us to stop by to share our story before kicking off an afternoon of service. We are deeply grateful for their incredible efforts, including hosting a collection drive for much-needed items for our cancer care kits!
Learn from the organizers about how they managed to host such a successful event across three locations with this special interview below.
Kits to Heart: We were so excited to hear about T. Rowe Price’s Asian Advisory Council hosting a Community Service Day to support Kits to Heart! How was the experience for you and the volunteers?
María Ralston and Suzanne Cho: Over 100 associates volunteered across our firm’s three locations (Owings Mills, Baltimore, and New York offices) for this great cause where they rolled up their sleeves to create 261 cuddly, functional cuddly bears using hand towels and write 77 inspiring notes. We received feedback from participants who expressed how much fun the event was and that it was a nice break from their day to day work responsibilities. More importantly, they were delighted to be contributing to such a wonderful mission. Having the founder, Sonia Su, be present at the Owings Mills site where she shared her personal story and passion for her cause was a definite plus and made the event that much more personable.
KTH: We loved the idea of hosting both the service projects and the collection drive on the same day. To help anyone else who may be interested in planning something similar, could you please briefly walk us through the planning process? What made the council interested in supporting Kits to Heart?
MR & SC: The Asian Advisory Council is a subgroup of the MOSAIC Asian Heritage Community at T. Rowe Price, where our mission is to help create an inclusive work environment with equitable opportunities for our Pan-Asian associates. Hosting a Community Service Day was one of our 2022 goals to forge a connection with our community and give back. There were many nonprofit organizations to choose from, but we knew we wanted to support a local, Asian-led nonprofit organization, if possible. We discovered Kit to Heart online and was moved by their mission to bring smiles and solidarity to those affected by cancer, one kit at a time. The Kits to Heart website was so thorough in describing how people can help by detailing the types of volunteer activities available. We selected the towel care bears and inspiring letters as feasible projects, because associates can volunteer for a short period of time during their workday, and it’s for all skill levels and only minimal supplies are required.
Planning and coordination took place a couple months prior to the event, and the actual sign-up for volunteers and the collection drive took place via our electronic internal communications channels a month prior to the event. Based on the number of volunteers signed up, we purchased the materials ahead of time. Although the event was organized by the Asian Advisory Council, participation was open to all associates.
KTH: That's awesome! So what would you say you enjoyed best about volunteering for Kits to Heart?
MR & SC: I enjoyed volunteering for Kits to Heart, because the event helped to promote team building and camaraderie, while also helping to support a great cause at the same time. In fact, an entire team participated at one of our sites. It was great seeing everyone come together for an in-person event, especially since our firm is currently working under a hybrid setting.
KTH: Do you have any advice or suggestions for others who may be interested in these service projects?
MR & SC: If coordinating a service project, I would definitely start the planning stage as early as possible and solicit for help from others with the coordination. I would also recommend ensuring the project selected is appropriate and feasible for the individuals who are participating. Lastly, purchase more supplies than you think you need. Associates really got into creating the bears and letters, so we actually ran out of supplies at most locations!
Huge thanks to Maria, Suzanne, and the 100+ associates from T. Rowe Price who shared their love and support for Kits to Heart!!
Interested in hosting a service day and/or collection drive? Learn more about our service opportunities!