This month’s Social Purpose spotlight is on Emily Villarroel, an HR Sr. Onboarding specialist with Planned Companies in Parsippany, NJ. Planned is a leading provider of janitorial services, security guards, concierge, trash valet and building maintenance services. Clients condos/HOAs, multi-family, corporate and commercial properties, healthcare facilities and schools throughout the east coast and in San Francisco.
Emily is a member of Planned’s Culture Community, a cross-functional team comprised of representatives from Planned’s offices across the U.S.
What motivates you to give back to others?
When I first came to the U.S. from Venezuela seven years ago, I had nothing, and had to start over. It was a difficult adjustment, especially since I did not even speak English. I know what it is like to be in a difficult situation and need help from others. Now that I am more comfortable, I always look for ways I can give back. I want to help people in my community and know that helping others can change their lives.
Tell us about your favorites Social Purpose activities.
My mother-in-law works for Rebuilding Together, a non-profit whose focus is to make essential repairs to help people stay in their homes. They target significant safety and health hazards and focus on keeping homes dry, clean, pest-free, safe, contaminant-free, well-ventilated, maintained and thermally controlled. They are often in need of volunteers. I enjoy volunteering there because it’s very hands-on, and I am able to make a real impact. We help homeowners who are having issues with their homes. Sometimes that work involves decluttering a home so electricians and other vendors can make necessary repairs.
As an animal lover, I enjoy working with rescues and shelters. One of my favorites is Eleventh Hour Rescue, a volunteer run no-kill rescue in Morris County, NJ. My colleague Nicholle Fernandes introduced me to this group whose mission is to save animals who are at risk of euthanasia at high kill shelters.
In November we participated in a food drive for Cumac, in Patterson, NJ. Cumac fills the need to help families in need to obtain groceries and other basic necessities. They help 10,000 families a year. We spent 40 hours volunteering and donated 400 lbs of food to the organization. Some of the types of help they need include administrative work, serving food, organizing food and coordinating donation drives.
When I worked for Nike I was introduced to the Boys and Girls Club, and I enjoy volunteering with the kids there, helping with basketball and soccer.
To me the gift of time is the greatest gift I can give, and it makes me feel great knowing that I can make a difference by showing up and helping.
What’s Social Purpose like at Planned Companies?
We have a very active Social Purpose program at Planned. One of the reasons why it has been such an important part of our culture is because Rob Francis, our CEO, is very engaged and supportive of what we do. He is always signing up for events and when people bring ideas for Social Purpose activities, his attitude is “Let’s do it!” Our Culture Community continually seeks input from employees and is open to supporting causes they care about. One of our team members suggested we participate in the Walk for Alzheimer’s in May. We are looking forward to participating, and this is an activity available in many of our markets so other offices can get involved too!
Every April we have our Town Hall meeting and we try to incorporate a Social Purpose activity. This year we are going to volunteer at Grow It Green Morristown which my colleague Lisseth Montecinos suggested. Grow It Green is a community garden that gives local families the opportunity to grow their own food. It also operates a public school garden where people can learn where food comes from, how to care for the environment and experience fresh, nutritious food. Much of the produce grown on the farm is donated to families in need. Because we have offices all over, not everyone can participate in this activity in New Jersey, so we are encouraging our teams to find similar programs in their areas.
How do you support Social Purpose at Planned?
As part of our Culture Community I work with my colleagues to plan and execute events and activities. One aspect I really enjoy is putting together flyers for our events. I don’t have a design background so I am completely self taught! I use Adobe Express to design my materials. I’ve found that creating eye catching visuals is a good way to generate interest in our activities. As part of the FirstService Social Purpose PawsFirst Working Group I had the opportunity to design logos for the group. It’s fun for me to have a creative outlet and I am always looking to learn new skills.
If you are interested in learning more about Social Purpose, please visit purpose.firstservice.com and click on the link to our Events Calendar. This is a great way to stay in the loop about events and activities.