Veterans’ Greenhouse Work Therapy Program
AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) announced an AT&T CARES contribution of $5,000 to MTI Integrated Business Development, Inc., a nonprofit organization that manages a greenhouse work therapy program for veterans. The contribution is part of a special initiative that awards local funding based on the nominations of AT&T employee groups. The AT&T CARES Special Contribution Program, established in 2007, gives these groups, with a strong record of volunteerism, the ability to identify non-profits making a local impact. This year, through the nominations of AT&T Pioneer chapters, Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) and international regions, AT&T plans to provide $260,000 in contributions to 52 organizations. “Our primary responsibility is to lead work restoration programs for veterans dealing with significant barriers to community integration and employment,” says Wendell Knight, LMSW, CSWM, CEO, MTI Integrated Business Development, Inc. (MTI IBD). “Some of the veterans who’ve interned at the greenhouse have even moved on to receive advanced training from Rutgers University in horticulture and floriculture, and to various employment opportunities.” MTI IBD holds a contract with the Veteran Affairs New Jersey Health Care System’s Department of Homeless Services in Lyons, NJ. The greenhouse is on grounds of the VA Medical Center in Lyons. “The AT&T NJ Pioneers are proud to support a program that helps veterans regain life skills through job training,” says Michael Hickey, Chapter President, AT&T NJ Pioneers. “Since July 2013, we’ve donated 50 volunteer hours in veterans greenhouse activities including fundraisers to sell its flowers and plants.” The AT&T Pioneers are a volunteer network of AT&T employees and retirees. “We take great pride in giving back to the community,” says Marla Spielman, AT&T NJ Pioneers Liberty Garden Club President. “Helping veterans through the greenhouse work therapy project is incredibly rewarding.”
Noel Dunn, Veteran Greenhouse manager added,” Working in the Green House with fellow vets helps to get back into a work structure of discipline and task completion. It gives us hope for a better tomorrow – it helps to better understand the value of work and the greater appreciation of family”. MTI Integrated Business Development, Inc., was selected by the AT&T NJ Pioneers. Employee volunteerism programs are part of the platform of initiatives provided by AT&T Community Engagement which offers employees the opportunity to help our communities thrive. By working together, we are carrying on AT&T’s legacy of giving and service, making a positive impact –one person, one neighborhood at a time. For 100 years, AT&T employees have been donating their time and talents to support underserved populations and strengthen communities. In 2013, employees and retirees took time to enhance their communities with 5.3 million volunteer hours donated for a total value of $118 million dollars associated with volunteerism.
Story written by: Ellen Webner, AT&T Corporate Communications, 908-901-2589, Ellen.firstname.lastname@example.org