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VolunCare Crew

They build homes for the poor. They help feed the hungry. They work with young students to encourage reading and learning. They volunteer their time so developmentally disabled people can have a great place to live. And those are just a few examples of how ESL volunteers go out of their way to make a difference right here in Greater Rochester.

ESL employees donate thousands of hours every year to great non-profit organizations like the Salvation Army, Habitat for Humanity, Foodlink, Lifetime Assistance, and the United Way. And we support them by providing opportunities for paid time off so they can make an even bigger impact. So look around our community. You’ll often find hundreds of people with our distinctive ESL VolunCare Crew T-shirts carrying on a great ESL tradition: volunteering to make Greater Rochester an even better place to live and work. See Democrat & Chronicle article "ESL Workers Getting Paid to Volunteer at Holidays" for a story about ESL employees volunteering as Salvation Army bell ringers.

An Overview of Our VolunCare Crew Program

Volunteering and community service are important to all of us at ESL. That’s why we make it easy for employees to participate in a variety of volunteer programs every year.

Here’s how our program works.

  • We choose important, community-building activities and events that are aligned with the goals of our VolunCare Crew Program and that need volunteers.
  • Eligible employees may receive up to eight hours of paid time off each year to participate in VolunCare Crew activities.
  • ESL employees can choose from several different community volunteer opportunities each year.

It’s all part of our effort to help our neighbors and make a vital contribution to our community.

Of course, volunteering is also a great experience for our employees, because it builds teamwork. It provides learning and networking opportunities. It’s truly rewarding on a personal level. And it’s a lot of fun, too.

Key VolunCare Stats

These numbers speak volumes about the importance of volunteering at ESL.

  • In May, some 30 ESL employees participated in the United Way’s annual Day of Caring, helping to clean up and beautify the grounds at Memorial Park in Gates and Camp Arrowhead in Pittsford.
  • Throughout 2016, our employees will once again be volunteering at Foodlink, and we’ll no doubt assist other organizations in the Rochester region as the year progresses.
  • In 2015, more than 150 ESL employees contributed nearly 900 volunteer hours — which included 225 volunteer hours as bell ringers for the Salvation Army's Red Kettle campaign during the holiday season.
  • In 2014, over 100 employees joined the ESL VolunCare Crew and donated 540 hours of their time to local organizations.
  • More than 300 ESL employees logged over 2,000 volunteer hours in 2013. 
  • During summer 2013, nearly 250 ESL employees — including members of our senior leadership team — donated more than 770 volunteer hours to Flower City Habitat for Humanity.
  • ESL volunteers also donated their time and energy to help great non-profit organizations like Foodlink, Lifetime Assistance, and the United Way.

Stay tuned for future updates on our ESL VolunCare Crew activities and accomplishments.

Community Contributions

Here are some of our recent VolunCare Crew accomplishments that serve as a source of great pride to all of us at ESL.

Salvation Army's Red Kettle Campaign

During the 2015 holiday season, approximately 75 ESL employees contributed 225 hours as bell ringers for the Red Kettle campaign at local malls and shopping centers. See Democrat & Chronicle article "ESL Workers Getting Paid to Volunteer at Holidays" for the complete story.

Foodlink Summer Meals Program.

When school is not in session, many school-age children in our community go hungry. But this important program helps provide healthy meals during the summer months.

  • In July 2014, an ESL VolunCare Crew of 14 people helped kick off Foodlink’s Summer Meals Program at Frontier Field. They also engaged children in a variety of fun activities, including face painting and batting practice. They even helped children get autographs from Red Wings players. It was a great event for all involved. And it definitely made a difference for children in the Rochester area.

Foodlink Warehouse Operations

The Foodlink warehouse is the hub of a regional, 10-county network that serves meals to 200,000 people. It plays a key role in fighting hunger in our area.

  • ESL employees help collect and redistribute more than 16 million pounds of food each year to the 450 member agencies in the Foodlink network.

United Way Day of Caring

Every year, the United Way helps organize hundreds of one-day projects designed to make our community a better place to live. ESL is a proud supporter and participant in the annual Day of Caring event.

  • In 2016, some 30 ESL employees spent an entire day cleaning up and beautifying the grounds at Memorial Park in Gates and Camp Arrowhead in Pittsford.
  • In 2015, ESL employees worked to "spruce up" the grounds of the Webster Arboretum and the Genesee Waterways Center.
  • In 2013 and 2014, a team of ESL employees volunteered to improve the landscaping for a Lifetime Assistance home serving developmentally disabled adults. They also worked on other projects designed to improve the quality of life for residents.
  • In 2014, ESL volunteers played an important role in a “Reading and Seeding” program at a Rochester area school. The program is designed to encourage reading, learning, and literacy.

Flower City Habitat for Humanity

Since 1984, this hard-working organization has renovated more than 200 homes in the Rochester area. The effort helps low-income families achieve home ownership and strengthens neighborhoods affected by poverty.

  • In 2013 hundreds of ESL employees helped build a new home for a low-income family in Rochester. The project was sponsored and funded by the ESL Charitable Foundation

These are just a few examples of the many ways that ESL volunteers make a difference in Greater Rochester by continuing our longstanding tradition of community service.

Volunteering is an important way to contribute to our community.

And whenever ESL employees are involved, there’s always great energy, enthusiasm, and camaraderie.