JM Rodgers is on a mission to give back to both our local and national communities. For many years, our company had been active in donating to organizations and charities, always happy to help in fundraising efforts. My father, who was CEO before me, had been especially active with a local group Roots & Wings, which offers support to children who aged out of the foster care system.
But even with the charities we had been supporting for years, I felt that as a family owned business with this kind of tradition it was important for us to start giving back more.
Initial Efforts Locally
Our renewed efforts began when I spoke to a friend who was involved in coordinating local homebuilding projects for Habitat for Humanity. Eager for a project, I knew that my mostly young and energetic sales team would be a perfect fit.
We began on a house in Morristown, NJ that was being gutted and totally remodeled into a two-family home. The team spent a cold winter day digging out foundations, attaching insulation, and jackhammering away old concrete. While it was a hard departure from their usual office jobs, it was an excellent team building experience that everyone came away from feeling like they made a difference.
After the success of this first build, the team was eager for more. We returned to the same site a few months later to help finalize the now nearly-completed home. Since that time have sent our volunteers back more than 13 times to sites all around Morris County, including several trips to their “Hammer for Heroes” project in Dover, NJ, which was a small development of homes for veteran families.
Expansion of the Program
In February of 2017, we sent a team of volunteers to host a coffee and donut social at the VA hospital in Lyons, NJ. Our volunteers brought snacks and coffee, but most importantly spent several hours socializing and getting to know the veterans who were permanent residents of this rest home. Since then, we have been going several times a year and have even expanded this theme by becoming regular visitors to the New Jersey Fireman’s Home in Boonton, NJ, a retirement home for firefighters.
Our volunteer program continues to expand. We have sought donations and gathered food for the Interfaith Food Pantry in Morris Plains, participated and donated to Marine Corps Law Enforcement Foundation, volunteered and hosted events for local Police Benevolent Associations, and volunteered time serving food at the Manna House Soup Kitchen in Newton, NJ.
Not long ago we expanded this program to our Elmont, NY offices, where a team of brand new volunteers spent a day at Long Island Cares preparing bags of food for the needy to be distributed across Long Island from Hauppauge to Elmont.
“Days Of Volunteering”
Last year we began our formal program of “125 Days of Volunteering.” The idea was that over the course of a year, employees would individually add up their days of giving back until we had 125. This gave us a target for our commitment and a goal to achieve.
In 2018, we increased this to 150 days, and thus far we are well on our way to hitting that mark. As we expand the programs at our headquarters even more and continue to involve more employees, our goal is to increase that to 200 in 2019.
Donation of Revenues
Over the past few years we have committed to donating 1% of our total net revenues to various charities that we support. Next year, we are promising to donate 2% of the net revenues of new business to the charity of our clients’ choosing. This program will continue expanding, as we show our clients that we are committed to using the money we earn for good.
The management and employees at JM Rodgers are committed to not just being a great company, but being a force for good. You can see the full list of our ongoing events by going to https://www.jmrodgers.com/philanthropy/. If you have suggestions for any groups or organizations that need help, please reach out to us, and we will be happy to consider your suggestion.