What has 104 hands and is not afraid to get them dirty? That’s right: the Holman summer interns.
This year the always robust summer intern program kicked it up a notch by becoming a true One-Holman, company-wide program for all New Jersey operations. So when it came time for their “Day of Caring” – a day of community service designed to teach company values while the touching the lives of their neighbors – the 52 interns didn’t stint. They lent strong backs, abundant enthusiasm, and 515 hours to six different non-profits.
All of the interns spent either a morning or afternoon at the Food Bank of South Jersey. The big summer effort of the Pennsauken non-profit is to be sure that disadvantaged kids who received free or reduced lunches during the school year still get that help while on vacation. As part of that push, the Holman team packed 6,000 lunches during the day, all while wearing very flattering hair nets. As if that weren’t enough, the group also donated over 100 pounds of food.
Another beneficiary of this profusion of youthful vigor was Yokum Elementary School in Maple Shade. This was not the first time Holman interns had turned their attention there: in 2015, then intern, now Client Administrator Steven Reitz lead a team that built a tire dinosaur on the Yokum playground. This year’s mission was to freshen up that earlier effort, paint some classroom furniture, and clean-up an overgrown pond. When the dust cleared, the group had pulled out 300 cattails and planted 50 flowers — aided by some of Yokum’s special needs students. That unexpected interaction was one of the day’s most affecting experiences.
Holman has a long history with Urban Promise, so it was no surprise to see the interns at the Camden non-profit. The group lent willing hands to the UP Summer Camp Fair, a day in which all eight Urban Promise camps from all over the city, representing 500 children, come together for a day of fun. Interns were gratified to see lunches like the ones they had packed being delivered to the campers by the Food Bank of South Jersey.
Also in Camden, the Holman team rolled up their sleeves at the Camden Children’s Garden, a four-acre horticultural playground on the waterfront across from Philadelphia. The young Turks worked with city residents to provide much needed maintenance, weeding, and sprucing up for the facility.
Meanwhile, up in Burlington County at Holman headquarters, interns hand-tied fleece blankets for Cozies 4 Chemo. The Mount Laurel organization provides these cushy and comforting coverings to children and adult cancer victims undergoing chemotherapy. The Holman troupe created ten blankets, and wrote notes of support and encouragement for the recipients.
Finally, one division of intern battalion spent the afternoon at the Burlington-Riverfront YMCA, where they bolstered the center’s pre-REACH (Realizing Educational And Career Hopes) program. The effort provides at-risk adolescents with healthy choices, positive mentors, leadership activities, and community resources.
These youngest of Holman employees spent the day teaching the rest of us that they have what it takes not only to be professionally competent, but to be decent and caring neighbors, fully engaged with their communities. For a full photographic chronicle of the day, see the Community Gallery.