As COVID-19 continues to affect so many people, helping each other has become more important than ever. For Brenda Bautista, a senior account manager at Staff Management | SMX in Fayetteville, N.C., that meant putting her non-profit experience to work.
With some associates' families affected by COVID-19 and all associates working long hours, the Staff Management team wanted to do something to help. Quickly, what started as a food drive for COVID-19-affected associates became much more.
“I put the word out through my groups and within 24 hours, I was contacted by our local Compare Foods, who contributed over $1,500 worth of canned food, chicken and water," she said. "We also received individual food and water contributions, over $600 in Walmart gift cards and $500 in cash that we gave to three sisters who all tested positive and were in the hospital so that we could assist with rent and utilities.”
With these donations, on May 8, the team distributed 125 bags of food to associates and their families.
“We wanted to make sure our associates affected by COVID-19 and the associates who are working so hard at the site know they’re appreciated,” she said. "With the outpouring of generous folks, we were able to collect and distribute to all of our employees. Both offices and the reception area were full of donations.”
Doing good is nothing new for Bautista. She is the vice chairperson of Fayetteville Justice For Our Neighbors, which provides legal services, education services and advocacy services to immigrants in North Carolina’s Sandhills region. She has a long resume of non-profit work, including as a founding member of the Fayetteville Migrant Assistance Program, which helps bring food and shelter to migrants coming from the South to find their families in North Carolina and across the East Coast. Since its founding in December 2018, the organization has helped more than 1600 people.
“The joy is in the small things," she said. "Those smiles from children that hadn’t smiled in a long time. The heartfelt thank-yous, handshakes and hugs and the fellowship that is created when a group of strangers answer a common call to serve.”
The team felt that joy during the food drive. The client was supportive and kept space open for storage and distribution, all while making sure staff and associates maintained proper social distance. Based on this success, the team may do it again.
“This is incredible work by our Fayetteville team,” said Jerry Wimer, senior vice president and general manager of Staff Management | SMX. “With the great work Brenda does for her community, it’s no surprise that she led the charge on this. I am incredibly proud of Brenda and the Fayetteville team for all they’ve done to help the associates and their families. Keeping our associates and staff healthy and safe in the workplace is always our top priority. It’s rewarding to be able to give a little bit of security to our associates at home, too. Stories like this make me proud to be part of Staff Management | SMX.”
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