This year has been tumultuous, to say the least. The entire planet is facing an unprecedented challenge that has upended lives and livelihoods.
Just before Thanksgiving, a time traditionally for feasting with friends and loved ones while giving thanks for the year’s blessings, a survey revealed that as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, 40-percent of Americans experienced food insecurity for the first time.
“We understood from the start of this health and economic crisis that we couldn’t stand by idly if there was anything at all we could do to support our community.”
More people than at any time in many decades are now reliant on food banks and other sources of supplemental nutrition. The images of cars lined up for miles, with struggling people forced to wait for food their families desperately need, are nothing short of heartbreaking. Yet, with widespread availability of treatments and vaccines still some months off, it’s a sight that we will have to continue to endure through the rest of the holiday season and beyond.
A time of year that should be filled with cheer, joy, and togetherness has been pushed out of reach for millions. But the spirit of giving is stronger than our current troubles.
All over the country and world, charitable souls have risen up to give everything they have to combat the pandemic and support their communities. Whether that means confronting the disease directly as a frontline healthcare worker, keeping local families and businesses alive with economic support, or donning a mask every day to provide essential services, we all have a role to play.
The Greatest Need
An extraordinary challenge has spurred an unparalleled response. “A lot of people gave during the heart of the pandemic, or early on, and thankfully so. I’ve been here 25 years and I’ve never seen a summer where contributions came in as robustly as they did,” said George Jones, CEO of Miriam’s Kitchen, a Washington D.C. food bank and homeless shelter.
However, as the cold of winter approaches and that initial surge of giving slows, the need for support has not died down. Faced with that grim reality, Hanlon stepped up its annual holiday philanthropy initiatives for 2020. Every year we find a fun and creative way to give back. This year, we put our focus on doing as much as we can for as many people as possible.
“All over the country and world, charitable souls have risen up to give everything they have to combat the pandemic and support their communities.”
To kick off the season we helped organize a food drive in our own backyard by partnering with Manna on Main Street, an incredible community outreach group that provides social and educational services, emergency financial aid, and counseling, while also running a food pantry and soup kitchen. For nearly four decades, Manna on Main Street has been guided by a simple vision: “That everyone might be fed.”
We dug deep and raised much needed foodstuffs for the less fortunate in the Lansdale region, and we directed our friends and followers to give to other worthy charities, including another group Hanlon has been proud to partner with in the past, Philabundance, the largest non-profit food bank in Philadelphia, and Toys for Tots.
With Thanksgiving behind us and the Christmas season coming up fast, we plan to increase our giving and we hope others will follow our lead.
Core Values Come First
As builders and managers of leading brands, we always encourage our partners to look closely at their core values, the concepts, beliefs, and codes of conduct that are at the heart of what they stand for. At Hanlon, we’ve identified the need to act with passion, positivity, and accountability as essential to our own identity.
One core value that every organization should strive to embody is that of authenticity or acting true to their values, and in that spirit we understood from the start of this health and economic crisis that we couldn’t stand by idly if there was anything at all we could do to support our community.
“At Hanlon, we’ve identified the need to act with passion, positivity, and accountability as essential to our own identity.”
This moment has tested our ingenuity, resolve, and resilience daily. But, the strongest steel is forged from the hottest fires, and the entire Hanlon organization is as committed as ever to continuing this fight as long as it takes.
We recognize our gifts, our opportunity to help the less fortunate, and our duty to convert others to the cause. There is no more fitting way to spread joy this holiday season than by redoubling our efforts, growing our community roots even deeper, and lifting up the most vulnerable among us.
We sincerely hope you will join us on this mission, and we wish everyone a season of warmth, generosity, and compassion.