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When Bronica Glover started volunteering with the Greater Enrichment Program (GEP) in Charlotte over 20 years ago, she instantly knew she wanted to work for the organization. Founded in 1975, GEP serves at-risk elementary-aged children in the community by providing a quality after-school, and summer, enrichment program. All services, including transportation, are of no cost to GEP participants. By providing support to the whole family, GEP helps children gain knowledge, confidence, and character to achieve their personal best in school and in their community.
Bronica officially started with GEP in 2003, managing year-round programs for the students. In 2012, she became Executive Director. Several years later, a GEP board member who worked for Foundry at the time brought the two organizations together during Serve Week, and a relationship was officially forged that has been strengthened and continues to this day.
Each year during Serve Week, Foundry Commercial’s Charlotte office spends at least one day volunteering with school-aged children in the GEP program at one of five elementary school sites. Bronica recalls wanting to start a program that tied back to the line of business that Foundry was in, so the volunteer day initially involved STEM activities. Over time, it has evolved into an outdoor field day, during which the kids (and Foundry associates) get outside, play, and celebrate community with one another.
“I remember the first time the Foundry team came to volunteer; I saw an army of people arriving in orange shirts. There had to be at least 100 people. We were overjoyed,” Bronica stated. “I share our experience with Foundry volunteers with other businesses that are looking for a model to follow when volunteering with our organization,” she added. “You’re showing people – and especially these children – how important it is to give back. The relationship we have with Foundry Commercial has literally become a staple in our program. The kids look forward to our time together; the teachers and administrators do too; and we think Foundry’s team members get fulfillment from our relationship as well.”
This year, as part of Foundry’s 15th anniversary celebration, the company donated $10,000 to GEP following a day of service.
“I almost passed out when Paul [Ellis] handed that check to me,” Bronica added. “We had gone through two straight years of not being able to hold any traditional fundraisers due to COVID, so the extra blessing came at just the right time.”
Over time, the level of involvement between Foundry associates and GEP has grown, with many individual associates volunteering time, talent, and treasure well beyond Serve Week. To learn more about GEP or how you can contribute to this amazing organization, visit www.gepinc.org.