Southwest Key employees love to go above and beyond—because serving kids and families is more than a job, it’s a calling. That’s exactly what Melissa Juarez and her team exemplified while venturing around Laredo, TX on a hot day to deliver supplies to families struggling under the economic effects of COVID-19.
“Our case managers know the families in our program very well and were able to identify some of their current needs. A lot of families need help with utility bills, food, cleaning supplies. The basic necessities of living.” –Melissa Juarez
Some families have lost employment due to COVID-19 as well as access to services they or their families depend on, like school lunches. Melissa’s program, within Southwest Key’s Youth Justice division, is a community-based program designed to support at-risk youth and their families. When she and her team saw the growing need for basic supplies, they wanted to step in and help. They found a saving grace in Southwest Key’s Employee Giving Fund.
“We were able to buy gift cards and cleaning supplies to deliver to families. The HEB gift cards could even be used to pay for utility services and other bills. We delivered these items to 12 families around Laredo,” Melissa explained.
Through employee giving, Southwest Key’s employees sponsor a host of high–impact activities through their personal donations. This fund makes room in the budget for special projects like Melissa’s as well as scholarships and other activities. For Melissa, being able to connect with the families they serve during this tough time was priceless.
“They were very humbled and thankful. They said this would help them a lot with what they need right now, and you could tell they were so happy to see someone that cares.” -Melissa Juarez
Melissa noted how much she enjoyed witnessing her team’s enthusiasm and dedication while they delivered these important supplies together and added that she is working to demonstrate servant leadership in everything she does as a leader.
“It’s very clear how this aligned with Southwest Key’s mission and values. And what’s so inspiring is that our employees continue to give. It always shows me how much Southwest Key cares for the families we serve,” said Melissa.
``If your employees are giving back and putting into a pool, there’s no doubt they care about the place where they work. It speaks to the organization’s culture and that it’s not just another job.” – Melissa Juarez
A big thank you to Melissa and her team, and to every employee who contributes to the employee giving fund.