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WARNING: If you consume this article, you may experience warm fuzzies, a tightening of the throat, watery eyes, a sensation of well-being in the world and a strong desire to work with the good folks at ForeFront Packaging.

Last year, we galivanted through the forest, acted as pit crew, played reindeer games and even adopted a llama!! 

Passion is one of our core values, and at ForeFront, we are passionate about being compassionate towards our communities while having a lot of fun along the way. Here is our 2021 community service recap!

At the start of 2021, we were all still reeling from the blows of the pandemic. With no in-person visitors, patients at Kindred Hospice were in dire need of some cheer. They were requesting cheerful cards to bring some smiles. Everyone participated but Michele made sure every single one of them got a card! Didn’t I tell you in my last blog that she was the sweetest? Overall, we wrote 135 cards in total- 73 of which were from Michele. Here is an example of one of hers:

The PADS of DuPage organization supports the homeless populations in DuPage County, and in spring of 2021, they were desperate for PPE equipment and specific food items. I put up a donation box and as a team, we collected 149 necessities! The company also donated 500 KN95 masks, 4,000 3-ply masks, and 4 gallons of hand sanitizer. Our most vulnerable groups need the most protection, and we were honored to help provide that safety net. Thankfully, the COVID vaccine became available later that spring!

We attended our first event with the Off the Streets Club in 2019, and have been partners ever since. The Off the Streets Club is the oldest boys and girls club in Chicago, offering hundreds of children from West Garfield Park a safe place to study and play. We served as the “pit crew” for their box car derby race, loading cars onto the ramps and back again, and had a lot of fun hanging with the kids and supporting their race!

In August, ForeFront sent a foursome to yell “FORE!” on the course at the 2021 Action Sertoma Golf Classic. This fundraiser for the Sertoma Club supports adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities living in Chicagoland. That same month, we donated 6,000 masks to the Atlanta Downtown Improvement district, which supports the homeless populations in Atlanta, GA. Sometimes, we don’t have to work TOO hard to give back.

However, we aren’t afraid to get our hands dirty! And in October we had Four FPC employees who went to the Red Oak Forest Preserve for a trail sweep. We climbed over fences and under bushes to collect litter that would have proved treacherous for the deer and other wildlife in the preserve. It was a gorgeous autumn day and the most fulfilling walk in the forest ever!

We closed out the year with our most whimsical community service to date… we adopted a llama! Not literally, of course, but we donated to the Share the Care program at the Brookfield Zoo, and subsequently “adopted” Cinnamon the Llama. Her headshot is not on proud display near Aleyna’s desk, and we plan to take a group outing out to visit Cinnamon once the weather warms up.

Our final showstopping event was a Holiday Party for the children of Off the Streets Club! We invited them here to our office for a tour and helped them decorate gingerbread houses, sing carols, and play reindeer games. I loved seeing Erin with the inflatable antlers and Rudolf nose! Each child went home with a special gift, a goodie bag of gift cards and a cup of hot cocoa for the road.

Looking back on 2021, I am proud and humbled at how much we were able to accomplish- simply because we put intention on it! I am honored we were able to provide so much to our community while having a lot of fun ourselves. Stay tuned for next years’ recap, cause we will have undoubtably topped ourselves again!