CHICAGO — Simple acts of charity by one of Chicago’s most well-known companies are having a major impact on the success of others.
You can find proof of that in an organization that was started in the Grand Crossing neighborhood.
During a fall afternoon at the Old Chicago Post Office, employees of Pepsico spend the day filling backpacks with supplies to be distributed to a number of community-based organizations in the city.
Workers from a few divisions in the company took time away from their day jobs to take part in this event for Pepsico’s “Give Back” month.
“For us here who spend most of our time in the office, it’s great to be able to come out and do something like this, and pack the meals for those who need it,” said Pepsico employee Chris Mountain of this particular effort.
There is also Pepsi’s “PREP” program that provides internships, workplace opportunities, and other aid to organizations in Chicago’s south and west sides.
“We were intentional about serving grassroots organizations because there are so close to the young people and what their needs are,” said Pepsico community affairs manager Brittany Wilson. “When we did they told us that access to career resources is one of the really big needs in our communities for our young people.
“So that’s where Pepsico was able to come in and fill that gap.”
Jamila Trimuel is one of those who is quite appreciative of this effort since it benefits “Ladies of Virtue,” which she serves as the chief executive officer. Founded in the Grand Crossing neighborhood in 2011 with six girls, the organization prepares young women for future careers.
It’s a 2-to-4-month program that features a number of collaborative projects to prepare participants as young as nine for what’s ahead in their professional lives. Mentorship then continues six years after they graduate from high school.
“Ladies of Virtue is all about empowering our girls to become confident and purpose-driven leaders,” said Trimuel. “We’ve been in existence for 12 years, and we prepare our girls for leadership in three ways: Character development, readiness, and civic engagement.”
Part of that includes distributing the meals that were packed by Pepsico employees during “Giving Back” month. Ladies of Virtue will do so at Oakley Square, distributing 600 meals to seniors and families in the community.
Not bad for a little time away from the office to make a big impact on Chicago.