None of us could have predicted the happenings of 2020 with the COVID-19 pandemic. Quarantining, remote work, remote school and Zoom calls were just the tip of a giant iceberg.
Across the globe, Altia’s team members were incredibly lucky. Not only were our employees able to forge ahead with business development, customer projects and new product development with very little disruption, but we were able to find new ways to connect with one another. One of the best ways for us to remain connected during the pandemic was to find opportunities to give back.
COVID-19 revealed tremendous need for our hometown community of Colorado Springs. In April, Altia responded to that need by providing funds for meals and laptops for the amazing students of Harrison District Two.
“We know that District Two students are really talented, smart kids. And we discovered many of them don’t even have laptops. So that was the right thing to do pretty quickly and that was a no brainier. To get them over the tipping point is like climbing a mountain. It would be a shame if in the last two months of that high school career the whole thing fell off a cliff. So we wanted to make sure those kids got to the finish line.” Mike Juran, Altia CEO
When eLearning continued in the Fall, Altia partnered with Pikes Peak Community Foundation, Norwood and other local organizations to donate 500 internet hotspots to District Two families who were lacking the internet access needed for their children to learn remotely.
As the holidays drew near, the Altia team sought new ways to support our communities.
We kicked off the holidays by committing to making our corporate holidays gifts the kind of gifts that give back. Instead of the traditional holiday gifts we’ve sent to our customers and partners in past years, we made donations in their names to United Way. Check out this video to hear Mike Juran talk about our reason to give back this way for the 2020 holiday season.
The Colorado Springs team again partnered with District Two, the Harrison Foundation and other local businesses to help provide Thanksgiving meals to almost 400 families.
Mike Juran commented to Valerie Mills from Fox21: “It’s the least we could do. I mean, we are lucky as a software company that we are able to thrive during all this. And this is just a tiny little bit of giving back.”
Finally, as Christmas rolled around, Altia decided to create a Random Acts of Joy campaign so that our teams all over the world could spread a little cheer.
In Colorado Springs, Altians teamed up on two very special projects.
For our first project, one of our team members purchased live Christmas trees, lights and simple ornaments for ViewPointe Assisted Living, Memory Care, and Independent Living and our team donated handmade and special store-bought ornaments for the trees. The Viewpointe community used those trees and unique ornaments as part of the seasonal scavenger hunt they have for their residents.
For our second project, Colorado-based Altians created special holiday gift bags for the resident of Homeward Pikes Peak to make their holiday season a little bit brighter. Those gift bags included things like books, candy, popcorn, stuffed animals and fuzzy blankets. Some gift bags even had themes like “spa day” and “movie night”!
Altians in other parts of the world were encouraged to spread a little joy randomly in their local communities.
One of our Detroit area families took this challenge to heart – and did something extra special for those in need. They decided to build personal care kits for the homeless in their area. They started by raiding bathroom cabinets for every hotel soap, conditioner, body wash, mouth wash and more that they had collected over the years from their hotel stays – and then hit the dollar store and Target to complete their kits with other personal care items. Their kits included toothbrushes, toothpaste, disposable razors, lotion, hand wipes, face masks, women’s sanitary supplies, hand sanitizer, combs, winter caps, gloves, fingernail clippers and more. With their first round, the family created 12 bags on their own.
Understanding the tremendous need for these types of supplies, they decided to GO BIGGER. Setting a goal to create 100 personal care kits for the homeless, this family reached out to the local community through Facebook and community care forums, putting out a call for donations. The response was tremendous! Some people created pre-made kits, others donated essential care items that they already had or purchased. Others donated individual items for assembly into those personal care kits. All in all, they were able to assemble 153 personal care kits for the homeless!
We’re so grateful for the goodness these special members of the Altia team shared with the world in 2020. As we journey into 2021 together, we’re committed to finding new opportunities to share help and hope – and to continue to be a force for good in our communities around the world.