We all know that in today’s society, it is politically, culturally and socially incorrect to discriminate against anyone for any reason. The truth of the matter is – - it does happen! It is rare then, that there is a company that manages to emerge and stand out by distinctly setting the example of corporate leadership in the community. Here is a brief story of my encounter:
Last summer as we geared up for the 10th Annual Sprit of Independence Awards Gala & Silent Auction, I had arranged to meet & greet with our Corporate Citizenship Honoree ShopRite Supermarkets, Inc., Patricia Cruz who is the Human Resources/Customer Care Area Specialist Representative for Westchester County. The purpose of the meeting was to plan the details for what would be a county wide community outreach awareness fundraising campaign endorsed by 9 Westchester supermarkets and their employees. While it was the first time out taking donations at the registers, funds were raised from customers in support of the services this agency provides to Westchester County residents with disabilities, in the amount of $7,000!
Now many people would go so far to say, “Oh, they are doing good PR for themselves in doing a charitable fundraiser.”
While the agency is thrilled to have partnered with them on this project, corporate sponsorship is NOT the anomaly I want to share. The Corporate Culture at ShopRite, from the top down, is to embrace and provide ALL employees the opportunity to work and excel to the best of their abilities – – it is the corporate culture of ShopRite to take responsibility and figure out what are the abilities of each employee as everyone “has-abilities.” I heard this firsthand from the employees with disabilities who dropped by my information table, many of whom expressed “how much they felt part of the ShopRite family.” The point of distinction in today’s world is that this is an example of a rare and heartwarming success story for all!
Patricia in her own right exudes this philosophy not because it is the right thing to do for good business practices, but because she walks the walk with her 8 year old son who has special needs and is her helper in her fundraising efforts on the weekends. He enjoys it as much as she does!
For me, thank you ShopRite for sharing this experience with me as it has given me hope for humanity.