Every year, the AFP Annual Conference takes place in a different city. And every year, AFP gives back to the local community by partnering with organizations committed to corporate and social responsibility for AFPAware Community Service Day, sponsored by BBVA Compass. AFPAware is centered on three guiding principles: workplace, community and environment.
On the first day of the 2016 AFP Annual Conference in Orlando, AFP brought together over 70 volunteers for two separate charity events. Treasury and finance professionals packed food and care kits for local families and abuse victims, respectively, during AFPAware Community Service Day.
“We’ve sponsored this event for seven years,” said Nanette Crocker, treasury management executive director of U.S. corporate and investment banking for BBVA Compass. “It is in line with our own corporate responsibility principles that includes promoting the well-being of people where we live, work, and play. Participating in AFPAware is a great way to help others.”
AFP assisted Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida, a private, nonprofit organization that collects, stores, and distributes donated food throughout Central Florida. Thirty AFPAware volunteers traveled offsite to a Second Harvest Food Bank warehouse to sort and pack 11,000 pounds of food for needy families in Orlando.
“We broke into teams to tackle huge containers of sweet potatoes that had to be sorted, tossing the bad out, and bagging the good ones,” said Crocker. “It was a lot of fun and teams became competitive as the containers emptied and the bags piled high.”
Renee Garin, CTP, FP&A, finance specialist for Talen Energy and chair of AFP's Emerging Leaders Task Force, agreed. “It was really rewarding,” she commented. “The group was able to do an impressive amount of work in the short time it had. It was great that no one was worried about jumping in and getting their hands dirty.”
AFP also worked with the Central Florida Women's Resource Center (WRC), which celebrates women’s achievements, connects with and encourages other women’s organizations, and identifies and supports various issues women face. Forty-two AFPAware volunteers packed more than 2,000 care kits for women in homeless and spousal abuse shelters. The kits contain items specifically for women that are typically not provided in shelters.
“I truly believe in the event,” said Susan Glass, CTP, assistant treasurer, global cash and investments at Hallmark Cards Inc. and past chairman of AFP’s board of directors. “In my opinion, AFPAware provides some of the most memorable experiences at the AFP conference, those of which afford us personal interaction with others, allowing us to share meaningful moments.”
Glass, who has participated in AFPAware Community Service Day for many years, said she remains “humbled” by the experience “that provides an opportunity to enrich the lives of those in need.”
Crocker added that the goal of AFPAware and BBVA Compass is to make the world a better place for everybody. “That may sound far-reaching, but it really is true,” she said. “Our volunteers made Orlando better for 11,000 families and 2,000 individuals this day. And, that’s quite an achievement.”