ITC not only invests in its people through benefits such as health insurance and employee training, but also by being a positive and proactive role model in the communities they reside in. Employees in Hudsonville, Elkhart, and Dongguan are encouraged to give back through volunteer efforts or donations. To further encourage and support employee efforts, ITC set up a program giving employees opportunities to be reimbursed for volunteer efforts that take place during the work day.
In 2015, President Mike Camarota formed the Sharing and Caring Committee to expand ITC’s reach. The employee run committee works to identify areas of need and distribute resources. The committee is responsible for allocating funds, organizing fundraisers, donations drives, volunteer opportunities, and even some friendly office competitions, to encourage employee involvement. Over $30,000 monetary and non-monetary donations have been distributed since the committee was founded.
Toys for Tots
Over the past few weeks, ITC employees have been collecting unused and unwrapped toys to donate to the United States Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program. The Toys for Tots missions is “to collect new, unwrapped toys during October, November and December each year, and distribute those toys as Christmas gifts to less fortunate children in the community in which the campaign is conducted.” As of 2016, the Toys for Tots Program had collected over 512 million toys. Thank you to all of the ITC employees who donated a gift and made this year’s effort a success!
To learn more about the Toys for Tots program click here!
Can Drive – Community Action House
Community Action House is a nonprofit organization located in Holland, Michigan. Their mission is to “provide area families and individuals with food, clothing, shelter and the opportunity to build necessary skills to achieve a stable and prosperous life.” Each year Community Action House holds a Holiday Donation Drive, and this year the organization has three goals: collect 100,000 pounds of shelf-stable food, collect personal care and cleaning supplies and collect 1,000 turkeys for families to cook for Thanksgiving. Over the past couple of weeks, ITC had the opportunity to hold a canned food drive and assist in their efforts.
To learn more about Community Action House and how you can get involved click here!
Sack Suppers – Kids’ Food Basket
Kids Food Basket is a nonprofit attacking childhood hunger. Developing and living well starts with having the necessary nutritional needs, which is why they started Sack Suppers. Kids’ Food Basket started the sack suppers program serving 125 kids each school day. Through volunteers, snack and fund drives they are now serving 7,500 kids each weekday! ITC was able to participate in packing over 200 sack suppers this past week! To find out more about Kids’ Food Basket and how you can help click here!
Backpack Buddies – CASA
As July comes to an end the planning for back to school parties start and thoughts about what is needed for a successful school year start to take over the thoughts of parents, while the kids think about what teacher they will have and if they will make a certain team. For a foster child, those back to school thoughts are magnified with more than just making the team or who is going to be their teacher. For most, they are starting this school year in a new home and a new school, wondering who will take them in as a friend and if the other kids will know the details of the hardships. CASA started Backpack Buddies to help foster children start the year feeling prepared with a new backpack and all the supplies they need for a successful year. ITC was honored to be a part of this year’s fundraiser and thankful for all of our employees that helped contribute!
For more information and how you can can get involved or for more information about CASA click here!
Todd’s Trip to Sierra Leone, Africa
Written by: Todd Sadler
About a year ago, I joined a running team with a goal of running a marathon to raise money for water wells in Africa. Sounds simple enough, right? A marathon is 26.2 miles, or 42.2 km, long. The goal is to run this distance all at one time, not over a week! I had never run that far before or ever wanted to run that far before. This was a real challenge. The cool thing about running is that you must do the homework to do well in the race. You can’t just show up and do well without the training. I started training in April, 2016 for an October 23, 2016 race, which came down to over 6 months of training for this one race. I did fundraising for this run as well, and with ITC’s help, was able to raise over $1,500 dollars (10,335 RMB) for this race. It was awesome to receive support for this great cause of clean water wells in Sierra Leone, Africa. Our team of 81 runners raised over $100,000 (689,199 RMB) for wells in Africa! This was enough for 10 wells. The cost to drill one well is about $9,800 (67,539 RMB).
I ran the marathon and felt I was drinking enough, but ended up having leg cramps at mile 25 (40 km). I did complete the race, but it was a struggle. I look to hydrate better this year!
In January 2017, I was approached with an opportunity to go with a small group of our runners to Sierra Leone and see some of the water wells in operation. We would also be able to dedicate them to the villages. Traveling to Africa was a little out of my comfort zone; to go that far away from the USA into one of the poorest places in the world was daunting, but also a great opportunity. I spoke to my wife (wise) and prayed about it (more wise) and said yes.
The trip was from April 29th – May 7th 2017. It was an amazing week, learning how people live and experiencing life in their environment. It was very humbling to see how they live versus how we live. Many have no shoes, hardly any clothes, no electricity, no floor, no indoor plumbing, no house – just a grass hut. It was like something on National Geographic. I was not prepared for the poverty I saw, and yet these people had joy. It was so humbling to accept the gratitude showed for this gift of clean water. The villages were so appreciative. The people just thanked us over and over again. The new wells are drilled right in the villages, so now the villagers do not have to travel, sometimes miles, to get water that is not even clean. The villages always wanted to show us the old source for water, and we made the trek with the entire village to the old water sources. This was an emotional experience to know that they had made this journey, in some cases for 35 years, getting dirty water. Now they have clean water and do not have to make that daily journey with a heat index of 111 degrees (43.9 Celsius).
I cannot adequately express the emotions of this Africa trip. Clean water is a game changer for the beautiful people of Sierra Leone. They will be healthier, they can concentrate on other things like schools, churches, and expanding their communities. This water will enhance their quality of life in a huge way! I am thankful for this great opportunity and look forward to continuing to be part of this great cause called Hope Water International. We are making a difference! Please support this cause if you are able. I will be running again this fall and will be looking for your support!
CASA – Cherish Every Child Fundraiser
ITC was honored to help with marketing materials for the Cherish Every Child Fundraiser. Attending will help support expansion and development of more CASA of Michigan programs. Below, is a short video and detailed press release for the event.
Born in an Ohio prison to a teenage mother, Antwone was placed into foster care, where he remained for most of his childhood. During these years, Antwone was abused physically, verbally, and sexually. The 2002 movie Antwone Fisher, written by Fisher, was directed by and starred Denzel Washington. The film highlights Fisher coming to terms with the aftermath of the foster care system after joining the United States Navy, with the help of a Naval Therapist played by Denzel Washington.
Today, Antwone Fisher is an American screenwriter, poet, lecturer, best-selling author, and advocate. His advocacy work includes book-writing, public speaking, playwriting, and even testifying before the Senate Finance Committee on behalf of Child Welfare. The work he has done is invaluable, and his words are not to be missed.
The Fundraiser will be held on Tuesday, May 23, 2017, with cocktails beginning at 5:30 p.m, with the Honorable Sara Smolenski welcoming us at 6:30 p.m. Cocktails, refreshments, and dinner will be provided by the Downtown Market Grand Rapids, MI. Business attire preferred.
Hope Water Project
In October 2016, employee Todd Sadler ran the Hope Water Marathon to raise money in support of the Hope Water Project. After his fundraising efforts, Todd decided he wanted to do more so he signed himself up to go to Sierra Leone to do some hands-on volunteering. Hope Water Project is a non-profit working year-round to provide clean drinking water to the people of Western Kenya. Over the past thirteen years they have been able to build over one hundred fresh water wells, each costing $9,800. Check back in this summer to read about Todd’s hands on experiences!
Harbor Human Society
Harbor Humane Society is a non-profit, on a mission to provide a safe harbor for animals and are committed to finding those animals a secure future in loving home. This past year, they were able to provide shelter to over 2,100 cats and dogs of all sizes. To help these animals the shelter relies on donations made from the community. With many donation options available, ITC decided that sponsoring a large dog and cat kennel was the best option. For a whole year, our donation will go towards providing food, medical care, and anything else needed.
West Godwin Book Donation
Before Reading month started in March, West Godwin Students and Staff set out to collect books to donate to children in need. For every fifty books the students of West Godwin read, they would donate a book to one child in need. They reached out to the community to help gather books to donate. ITC was able to help by donating over a hundred books! ITC was so happy to hear that West Godwin students could take a book home and send a book to Africa! The students and staff wrote, “The joy and excitement they had while picking out a book for someone else and then for themselves was evident in the smiles and discussion with teachers and friends. This was made possible because of your support. Every day, we work to teach our students the valuable lesson of giving to others. This means spreading kindness, working hard in our school/community, and thinking beyond ourselves. Beyond supporting literacy for students in our community and the world, your actions are an example of a company and their employees who think beyond themselves. Thank you for the hundreds of books children will be reading and for the incredible lesson in the generosity of a community.” -Thank you from West Godwin Staff and Students.
Boys and Girls Club New Gym Floor
The Boys and Girls Club of America has over 4,000 club facilities in the US providing local children with a safe place to learn and grow. The children benefit from ongoing relationships with caring adult professionals through life-enhancing programs and character development experiences which provide them with hope and opportunity. ITC President, Mike Camarota holds a spot on the board for the local Holland Boys and Girls Club, and when hearing about the need for a new gym floor at the Holland South location, he brought the need to ITC. The new gym floor was funded by ITC and completed in early January. A new gym floor provides, the kids of the club, a great place to come together year-round and participate in different physical group activities.
Gugma Sa Katataan (Love for Youth)
ITC employee Marilou and her husband Steve, took a holiday trip to her hometown of Cagayan De Oro City in the Philippines. This year, instead of hopping off the plane and relaxing with family, they hopped off and got right to work. With a donation from ITC and its employees, they worked until early morning buying and wrapping presents for a Christmas celebration event for the 35 children of Gugma Sa Katataan (Love for the Youth). Gugma Sa Katataan takes in abused and neglected children of the streets and provides them with a stable place to live, while promoting a path to a better life. On the day of the event, they arrived and started the festivities with a prayer (a Philippines custom). The day was then filled with lots of games including egg toss, limbo, newspaper game, and much more. The day ended with gifts and dinner from their favorite restaurant Jollibee (like McDonald’s). Overall, Marilou, Steve, and their friends had an amazing time getting to know these children and making sure they had a Christmas to remember!
Toys for Tots
Toys for Tots Program makes a difference by providing children who are economically disadvantaged, with a tangible sign of hope. Over the life span of Toys for Tots, 512 million toys were distributed to over 237 million less fortunate children. Each year the Toys for Tots Foundation has over 700 local campaigns, covering all 50 states. Members of the community drop off new, unwrapped toys to designated campaign collection sites. From there the local coordinator, with the help of volunteers, distribute the toys to the less fortunate children of the community. ITC and our employees have been busy filling up our donation box. We thank all our employees for participating in our efforts to bring joy to others this holiday season.
Learn more about the Toys for Tots Program here.
The Big Thank You/Military Care Packages
This November, ITC employees hand wrote thank you letters to the US troops as part of The Bert Shows “The Big Thank You”. The aim of The Big Thank You is to get a thank you letter into the hands of every service man and woman stationed away from their family during the holiday season. Along with “The Big Thank You”, ITC collected personal care items, snack, and puzzle books/playing cards to pack up care packages for the troops. A few staff members gathered together on their lunch break to help assemble the packages. We had a total of 18 packages.
Harbor Humane Society/Shelby’s Place
Since 1856, Harbor Humane Society has been helping people help animals. For the last month, ITC and our employees came together to help in their mission. We have been busy filling both of our donation baskets with pet supplies and gift cards. Along with the donations to the Harbor Humane Society we have been collecting for Shelby’s Place of Holland, MI. Shelby’s Place is a thrift store that accepts all household donations and donates all proceeds to the Harbor Human Society. We are thankful to all ITC employees for helping to support our community outreach program. Learn more about the Harbor Humane Society and Shelby’s Place Thrift Shop here.
Hope Water Project & Grand Rapids Marathon
Hope Water Project is a non-profit organization on a mission to provide clean drinking water by drilling wells for the world’s most impoverished communities. Throughout the last thirteen years they have installed over one hundred wells. In each community, these wells provide much more than clean drinking water (a necessity), they provide time. Time to go to work, to care for children, and to go to school. Each well drilled costs $ 9,800.
ITC employee Todd Sadler is running the Grand Rapids Marathon on October 23rd to raise money, supporting the mission of this great Organization. He has been training since April in cold, rainy weather and a lot of hot, humid summer nights and mornings. ITC is happy to support not only this great organization, but also Todd’s fundraising efforts.
Check out Hope Water Project here.
Check out Todd’s Fundraising page here.
August 26th- September 3rd 2016
Boys and Girls Club
ITC was honored to be able to help with advertising signage for the Boys and Girls Club clothing sale. Featured at the sale are name brand clothes 60-90% off their retail value. All of the proceeds of this event will directly benefit the club of Greater Holland.
The event will take place from August 26th – September 3rd, excluding Sundays. They will be open from 11 a.m – 7 p.m, in the strip mall located at 12729 Riley St., Holland, MI 49524.
To learn more about the Boys and Girls club check out their website!
Crazy Horse Donations
Through Tragedy our community has come together to support the needs of the victims in the recent ambulance accident. Crazy Horse of Holland, MI is collecting gift cards for the families of two EMT drivers that were injured in the accident. We are fortunate to be able to help in the effort and to have employees who are willing to participate with their personal donations as well.
We Fight for Bubba
The We Fight for Bubba race is organized and run by the family of Lois “Bubba” Weiss, who lost her battle with breast cancer in April 2014. The race is held annually, in St. Charles, Illinois, at Old Towne Pub & Eatery. The ultimate goal is to bring others together to fight for all loved ones that have been affected by cancer and by doing so making a positive impact on as many lives as possible. This year with all their fundraising efforts and help from the community they were able to raise $28,500 dollars, 3,500 dollars over their goal. The money raised was donated to the Kelly Cares Foundation, who strives “to support organizations, initiatives, and programs that align with their values of Health, Education, and Community”.
Follow We Fight for Bubba on Facebook so you can join in the fight!
ITC sponsored four employees on May 24th for The Community Action House’s annual fundraising golf scramble. Thank you to our four employees who participated in the outing and took 3rd overall in the scramble!
In June, ITC sponsored a tee at the Red Cross annual golf scramble, to help reach their fundraising goals.
The Center for Women in Transition
April showers bring “May Baskets” at ITC! We are excited to be donating to the Center for Women in Transition whose mission is to “respond to, reduce, and prevent domestic and sexual violence. This mission will be achieved through education, collaboration, and advocacy, with crisis and supportive services to victims and survivors.” We are thankful to all our employees for collecting and gathering toiletries and household supplies for their May Basket Campaign.
For more information about this organization and how to get involved check out their website.
Wheatland Music Organization
ITC donated 19 high output LED flood lights to the music festival whose mission is to “serve as a resource center for the preservation and presentation of traditional music and arts.” Traditional arts are considered those that are passed from one generation to the next, and influenced by culture, family, ethnicity, and era. One of ITC’s employees has been volunteering with this organization for almost twenty years and ITC is happy to contribute to this family friendly organization.
Boys and Girls Club of America
On March 19, 2015 The Boys and Girls Club will host its annual awareness and fund raiser with Connor O’Leary, professional cyclist, cancer survivor, and 2014 Amazing Race winner, as guest speaker. ITC has been a supporter of the club for several years and is proud to participate as a Gold Sponsor for the 2015 Steak ‘n Burger Dinner event.
The event will include club alumni and 80-100 of the most deserving current club members for an evening of awards, fun, and meeting the inspiring Connor O’Leary. Held at the Haworth Center in Holland the event is an opportunity for community leaders to interact with the club members and learn more about the mission of the club, which is to empower children and teens, especially those who need us most, to realize their full potential as productive, responsible and caring citizens.
To learn more about the event and The Boys and Girls Club of Greater Holland visit their website.
South Haven Arts Council
ITC donated 36 pieces of white PAR30 track lights to the South Haven Art Council to aid in the upgrades of their new art facility.
Casa of Michigan
ITC is committed to providing the best atmosphere for our employees and to better the community we live in. This year ITC was able to donate desk lamps to CASA of Michigan to help in their switch to a new office. We are excited to help in future donations and volunteer opportunities.
CASA is a nonprofit organization providing the highest level of advocacy for abused and neglected children, who are put in the foster care system. Across the state, CASA establishes and supports affiliate programs to provide the necessary training assets needed for their volunteers can carry out their extraordinary need to help children in the foster care system. Together, CASA and their volunteers, are on a mission to give these children a voice with the hope of finding them a safe and permanent home.
To learn more and get involved click here!
Not in Michigan? CASA is located in 49 states!
Toys for Tots
Every year ITC participates in the Toys for Tots drive. In addition to collecting un-wrapped toys from employees, the company donates a monetary contribution based on how many toys are collected.
Run For Your Life
ITC encourages employees to stay healthy by participating in physical activities. As part of this encouragement ITC sponsored the Run for Your Life run in Holland. Employees also participated in the event and everyone enjoyed seeing the runners in their Halloween costumes.
Boys & Girls Club Volunteering
September 2014 was designated as volunteer month and employees volunteered at the Northside Boys and Girls Club in Holland, Michigan during their “Power Hour.” Students came in with their homework and volunteers helped answer questions or listen as students practiced their reading, spelling words, etc. ITC employees donated 32 hours over two weeks of employee volunteering.