Recently, Gartner associates from our Chicago office volunteered at Breakthrough Ministries Men’s Shelter, an organization that aims to help those affected by poverty in Chicago’s East Garfield Park to build connections, develop skills and open doors of opportunity. This organization strives to help young men, women and children build healthy relationships and achieve self-sufficiency while promoting the transfer of wisdom to younger generations in an attempt to end the cycle of poverty in the area. Our employees helped to prepare and serve a home-cooked meal to young men living in one of Breakthrough’s homeless shelters. A few of our associates share their experiences volunteering and giving back to their local community.
Andrew Harris, Senior Account Management Specialist
Together with four friends from Gartner Chicago, I volunteered at the Breakthrough Ministries Men’s Shelter. This charitable organization provides social services, lodging, youth programs and continuing education to the West Side of Chicago. They only serve that area of Chicago, which allows them to truly affect positive change in a concentrated area.
My colleagues and I prepared a meal for the men’s shelter residents. We baked spicy chicken, sautéed vegetables and mashed potatoes with garlic bread on the side. After assembling and serving dinner, we sat and ate with the men in the shelter. While I love to cook, this part of the evening was the most meaningful to me. I spoke with two gentlemen who’ve bounced in and out of shelters for most of their adult lives. Others in the Gartner group conversed with bikers and basketball fans who found their way to Breakthrough. We truly enjoyed our time at the event and I am already excited for the next round of meal prep!
Gartner’s strong presence in the Chicago community has given me the opportunity to connect with different neighborhoods and get to know the individuals who live there. In May, myself and a few colleagues headed to West Garfield Park, just a quick drive from the office, to cook, serve and share a meal with the men at the Breakthrough Men’s Shelter. When we arrived, the shelter was bustling with activity, men welcoming us as they headed back in from work. The Breakthrough staff helped us get acquainted around the kitchen where as a team we were able to whip up a large meal for over 30 people! After serving the meal we spread out among the tables and ate dinner with the men. I had a great time getting to know my table. They shared stories from their week and showed me pictures of their friends and family. Through Gartner’s partnership with Breakthrough I have been able to visit the shelters and community center on multiple occasions. Each time I meet new colleagues and learn unique stories from the individuals at Breakthrough. It brings to focus the importance of giving back to the community that we all live in.
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