On any given work day, Senior Community Partnerships Coordinator Alyssa Howe is busy building relationships to better the Portland community. But for one week in June, Howe was hard at work digging, building, and gardening in the South Bronx, N.Y.
Each year, KinderCare Education is invited to In Good Company, a week-long, sustainability-focused community service trip hosted by Clif Bar, one of our CCLC clients. Clif Bar’s In Good Company project aims to make a big impact both on the community the project serves, and on the employee volunteers who give their time.
Along with volunteers from companies like Klean Kanteen, Annie’s Homegrown, Timberland, and Seventh Generation, Howe worked with several Bronx-based community groups and non-profit organizations to clean and beautify the neighborhood’s community garden.
“It was great getting to know so many good people who are so passionate about the work they do, and who work so hard,” said Howe.
In one week, Howe and the In Good Company team removed eight tons of debris from the Bronx community garden, created a paved pathway to make the garden wheelchair accessible, built 10 raised gardening beds, and much more. Howe could see the impact her work was having on the community right away—more often than not, Bronx locals were out in the dirt helping, too.
“There’s a real sense of community in the Bronx,” said Howe. “I’ve never seen a group of people so passionate about and proud of their culture.”
Howe says she left In Good Company feeling inspired by the philanthropic work other companies are doing, and excited to bring what she learned to her role.
“In Good Company is all about the ripple effect. I’ve returned from New York with a renewed sense of inspiration that’s driving me to think about how I can make an impact on our Portland community through volunteerism,” said Howe. “My time in the South Bronx exceeded my expectations. I knew it would be eight days of hard work, but I had no idea I’d be met with a neighborhood with such an awe-inspiring sense of community, citizens and volunteers with strong work ethic and kind hearts, or that this would have such a deep and lasting impression on my personal life and my role at KCE.”