Our company culture is an important part of who we are at Forte, and one of the most special aspects of our culture is giving back to the community through donations and volunteer work.
In lieu of gifts for the holidays, Forte made a charitable donation on behalf of our customers and asked them to vote on how the money should be distributed. This year, the $10,000 donation was split between three organizations: Feeding America, Charity: Water and Habitat for Humanity. We are grateful to be able to share with others and give back to those in need. Thank you to our customers for participating!
Forte team members also participate in group and individual volunteer opportunities throughout the year with local, national and international organizations. Staff receive 40 hours per year for volunteer time off, and this year alone, we used 2706 hours of volunteer time off to give back to our communities.
Over the last few years, Forte staff have had the opportunity to act globally on volunteer trips abroad. This year, we sent two teams of volunteers to Chalkida, Greece and Tecpan, Guatemala to volunteer through Cross Cultural Solutions providing international and cross-cultural community service.
Ritsona Refugee Camp
The Ritsona Refugee Camp in Chalkida Greece houses refugees from different countries in the Middle East and Northern Africa fleeing war and hardship in their home countries. Volunteers were able to assist with providing services to residents including distributing commodities, helping with laundry, sorting and distributing donated clothing, and assisting in the Female Friendly Space.
Connecting with Refugees
While most international volunteer trips include cultural excursions, the trip to Greece was unique as Forte volunteers spent the full day working in the camp. Instead of exploring Greek culture, they were able to learn more about the variety of different cultures represented in the camp.
“It was amazing how giving they were, when what they have is so limited,” said Christie Gravesen, Forte volunteer. “It gave everyone some really good perspective.”
Mis Años Dorados Senior Day Center
Mis Años Dorados, or My Golden Years, is a senior day center in Tecpan, Guatemala that provides support and services to elderly visitors. Oftentimes the elderly population in Guatemala can be overlooked or not cared for, especially if family is unwilling or unable to care for them. The center had very limited resources and aging facilities, so Forte volunteers were able to paint a mural at the center to help brighten the atmosphere and visit with the seniors to help provide companionship.
“The impact we could make on their lives and how much they enjoyed having us there was really meaningful,” said Mary Moore, Forte volunteer. “They were so grateful for the smallest things and were always welcoming us with open arms.”
In addition to their volunteer work, the Forte team got a chance to experience some of Guatemalan culture, including sightseeing tours, the Sumpango Kite Festival in celebration of Day of the Dead and pottery lessons from a local woman without using a pottery wheel!
To learn more about Forte’s commitment to volunteerism and charitable giving, visit our Culture page.