Clearinghouse CDFI Gets Back to Volunteering
The mission at Clearinghouse Community Development Financial Institution (Clearinghouse CDFI) is to provide economic opportunities and improve the quality of life for lower-income individuals and communities through innovative and affordable financing that is unavailable in the conventional market. As a B Corp, we also prioritize giving back to our community through philanthropy and volunteerism. The year 2020 brought with it serious challenges that impacted everyone on a global level. These challenges also made the volunteer portion of our mission quite difficult.
In 2021, CCDFI was able to jump back into volunteerism with both feet. We organized a handful of company-wide opportunities to give back to our communities.
In July, Clearinghouse CDFI partnered with Working Wardrobes Donation Center & Career Success Institute for a Volunteer Day. Working Wardrobes helps veterans, men, women, and young adults find the dignity of work through career readiness services. With two opportunities offered, CCDFI employees both local and remote had the ability to participate and volunteer.
Remote employees volunteered their time in a Virtual Mock Interview Workshop. This workshop was a 90-minute Zoom session where CCDFI employees played the role of a “Hiring Manager” asking general interview questions to Working Wardrobes clients acting as potential “Candidates.” CCDFI volunteers then gave the clients feedback as a way to prepare them for real-world career interviews.
Local employees had the opportunity to volunteer in-person at the Working Wardrobes Donation Center in either donor engagement or quality control. Those employees working in donor engagement would accept clothes and accessories from donors at the warehouse. Those in quality control spent time inspecting clothing and accessories to ensure they met Working Wardrobes’ quality control standards.
Habitat OC Leaders Build Challenge
In October, Clearinghouse CDFI participated in the Habitat for Humanity of Orange County Leaders Build Challenge. During this challenge, various community leaders come together in the signature fundraising event for Habitat for Humanity Orange County. These leaders compete in various activities that ultimately lead to building homes for those in need. As members of Team #1, Clearinghouse CDFI fought hard and brought home the Leaders Build Challenge Champions Cup!
In November, Clearinghouse CDFI worked to ring in the holiday season by supporting our local food banks in our respective locations. With a company-wide goal of providing 5,000 meals to those in need, CCDFI went above and beyond between volunteering and employee financial contributions:
• $3,000 Donated from CCDFI Employees
• $6,000 in Total Donations with CCDFI Match
• 30,000 Meals Served
Local staff volunteered their time at Second Harvest Farm where they spent time in Orange County planting, weeding, and maintaining the farm fields on the Harvest Solutions Farm.
With staff located all over the country, CCDFI was able to provide meals for those in need in 7 different states including Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, and Washington. Employees volunteered their time at the following organizations:
- Central Texas Food Bank – Austin, TX
- JeffCo Eats – Lakewood, CA
- Making a Difference Foundation – Seattle, WA
- Roadrunner Food Bank – Albuquerque, NM
- Second Harvest Food Bank – Irvine, CA
- St. Mary’s Food Bank – Phoenix, AZ
- Taste Project – Fort Worth, TX
- Vets Village – Las Vegas, NV
All of these wonderful volunteer opportunities were made possible by Susan Montoya. Susan officially joined Clearinghouse CDFI as Internship Director in 2021 where she provides training and leadership development along with strategic recommendations to enhance CCDFI’s social responsibility efforts.
“Our approach around volunteerism at Clearinghouse CDFI is simple—create a program and environment promoting our team members to be generous with their time and talents and instill a corporate culture of giving and doing good. Investing in the communities we serve is a priority and demonstrated through our lending practices and companywide volunteer efforts, EVERY DAY!”
-Susan Montoya, Internship Director, Clearinghouse CDFI
Susan’s work in organizing volunteer opportunities and community outreach has played an invaluable role at Clearinghouse CDFI. Expect to see more from her and Clearinghouse CDFI as the world fully opens up in 2022 and welcomes more in-person hands on deck!
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