Actions Building Community: Volunteering the AB&C Way
“Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.” These words from Arthur Ashe—a tennis legend who helped eliminate barriers for Black athletes in the U.S.—continue to inspire millions of people in their pursuit of a variety of goals and missions. Among these groups is the team at AB&C, who this spring took our commitment to giving back to our communities another notch higher. Year-round, AB&Cers engage in individual volunteer activities, and the agency as a whole offers opportunities to support local causes through events such as community walks, donations drives and more. But as a marketing communications agency that is always focused on innovating stronger strategies, we decided in May 2023 that it was time to apply “strategy” to elevate our impact on our neighbors and neighborhoods. We put our heads together, and Actions Building Community days were born.
AB&C facilitated opportunities for our team members to volunteer together and engage in causes that many of us didn’t realize needed our help. During Actions Building Community days, we supported four organizations that do great and critical work, and at the same time we learned more about each other, had fun and made meaningful connections with other volunteers that strengthened our resolve to keep community service central to the AB&C way.
Starting where we are
To determine our 2023 Actions Building Community opportunities, we “started where we are”—that is, in the areas where we operate our business and where clusters of our team members reside. This year, those areas were Wilmington, Delaware, and Philadelphia and Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania. Being able to make a difference where we work, live, play and raise our families was a strong motivator for our teams to get involved.
Using what we have
Ability to do physical work. Transportation. Knowledge of ways our local leadership works to create thriving communities. Passion for helping others. These are some of our top assets, so we knew we could make a difference. Even time—which, in our industry, isn’t always readily available on a weekday—was added to the mix. AB&C gave all volunteers paid time off (PTO) for our time. We also staggered volunteer dates and times so that team members were available at the office to cover the work needs for staff who were out volunteering.
Doing what we can
From May 8 to 19, more than 50 AB&Cers participated in Actions Building Community activities. Our team members enthusiastically rolled up their sleeves and did the work that needed to be done, supporting programs that help families in food deserts and others that close the gaps of educational and wellness disparities. We proudly supported:
- United Way of Wilmington. AB&Cers helped with the installation of the first dual-language learning trail by painting and installing signage and preparing the trail for use.
- Philadelphia’s Share Food Program Warehouse. We invested hours cleaning, organizing and sorting produce, as well as packing DoorDash cars with Senior Food Box program boxes.
- Food Bank of Delaware, Wilmington. Our teams organized boxes and packed vehicles to deliver food to those in need.
- Bloomsburg Food Cupboard. We prepared, sorted and unloaded food, including weekend bags for elementary students in Bloomsburg School District.
For all of us who volunteered—as well as those who kept things moving at the office while we did—these days were incredibly rewarding and strengthened our appreciation for, and loyalty to, a company that cares about fulfilling a purpose beyond the “business of advertising.” More than 50 years ago, AB&C planted roots in Wilmington, and never strayed. Those strong roots have branched out even further to support the growth and prosperity of other communities in Delaware and beyond. We are grateful to have opportunities to engage with our neighbors, support wonderful causes and help make an impact.