After seeing the immense need for assistance from volunteering to supplies after the impact of Hurricane Ian, Associate Mark Trejo organized a drive to get supplies to local organizations and charities. The RSM US Foundation’s Community Impact Fund amplified his efforts and funds were designated to the charity’s childhood nutrition programs that provide emergency food to hungry children in their community.
The first images of Hurricane Ian’s devastation to the southwest Florida area were truly heartbreaking and unforgettable. We were looking at remnants of areas we loved being washed away. At that moment, I couldn’t comprehend the dire need for supplies in our area.
I immediately began researching ways to help out and finding organizations that would distribute supplies to those that needed them. After volunteering with the Harry Chapin Food Bank and Community Cooperative of Fort Myers, I started to think about how RSM’s resources could make an impact. I reached out to the entire Naples, FL team with places to volunteer and a simple ask for any supplies possible. People began sharing my flyer with their colleagues in other offices as well, and once the flyer made its way to the East Coast offices, Victoria Roque assisted in making an Amazon charity registry to allow more people to donate from other areas.
Before I knew it, the link was spread across the country to other offices with so many graciously donating. We collected nearly $8,500 in hurricane relief supplies! The Naples, FL conference room was turned into a distribution center overnight with the Naples team all volunteering to unpack and organize supplies. I spent the weekends distributing the received supplies to organizations or creating care packages to be delivered to individual homes. The Naples team took some days to volunteer with community restoration efforts, and as an office, volunteered with the Harry Chapin Food Bank to assemble over 600 emergency meal kits.
I want to express my sincere gratitude to the RSM US Foundation for working with me to make the greatest impact by making a match donation for everything donated and the volunteer hours worked. The devastation I witnessed and the countless stories I was told while volunteering are something I will never be able to forget. Despite all the tragedy, the most unforgettable part of it all was seeing my team, the community and the firm come together to help.