Caring for the Well-Being of Our Communities
“Well-being: the state of being happy, healthy or prosperous.” — Merriam-Webster.
Focusing on a family’s total well-being is something we do day in and day out at Aspiriant. While our clients are fortunate to be prosperous, we strive to make sure they are also happy and healthy. This includes empowering them with confidence for their futures through financial planning.
But caring about the well-being of others extends beyond our clients. It’s important to us that the people in the communities where we live and work are also happy, healthy and prepared for the future.
That’s why each year Aspiriant employees nationwide spend a “Day of Giving” volunteering for local charities dedicated to the well-being of our communities.
“The concept of Day of Giving is a great reminder for all of us to understand the various needs in our community and how they’re being addressed by both non-profit organizations and the volunteers that support them,” said Ami Aranha, a manager in wealth management in our San Diego office who experienced her first Day of Giving this year.
Improving the living situations for families and children was the focus for many of Aspiriant’s 10 offices this year. We also worked to protect the environment.
Several Aspiriant offices spent their Day of Giving helping to make the lives of young people, from children to young adults, brighter.
Our large Los Angeles team, including CEO Rob Francais, worked with Partnership for Los Angeles Schools to give George Washington Carver Middle School in South Los Angeles some love. Employees painted and cleaned the campus so that students could feel proud and motivated when they returned to school. This is the second year Aspiriant LA worked with Partnership LA. Afterward, the volunteers enjoyed a refreshing frozen treat from Pop! by Rosies, another organization that provides work opportunities for people with disabilities in Los Angeles County.
The Silicon Valley office worked with LifeMoves, a group that is trying to break the cycle of homelessness, to assemble backpacks of school supplies for disadvantaged students in grades six through 12. The 30 bags included messages written by some of our volunteers so the kids will be inspired and prepared to start school on the right foot.
In St. Paul, Minn., the Rezek House is a transitional living program operated by Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota for young people ages 16 to 21 who are overcoming homelessness. Aspiriant staff from Minneapolis shopped, cleaned and made tacos for the residents.
“Everything about the Rezek House is meant to set the youth up for success,” said Melanie Kraemer, an administrative assistant at Aspiriant. “They say it’s not enough to get them a job and a place to live. It’s about encouraging them and helping them to build a foundation for their lives to maintain that job and that place to live.”
And our San Diego team, for the third year in a row, volunteered for TERI, an organization that supports families dealing with autism and other mild to moderate disabilities. This time they worked at TERI’s Learning Academy, a school in Oceanside, Calif., that provides one-on-one instruction for young people ages 6 to 22. The nine employees spruced up the building by painting interior walls and baseboards in the bathrooms, hallways and classrooms.
Some of our offices helped to make families happier and healthier.
A dozen employees in Milwaukee volunteered at Robyn’s Nest at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin. A charity recommended by one of our clients, Robyn’s Nest provides new and gently used clothing, hygiene products, infant items, toys, books and other household goods to families within the foster care system or who are identified as having unmet needs through the hospital. The group sorted through the donations and cleaned the Nest.
“A few recipients stopped by to gather things they needed for their children,” said Michele Melton, an assistant in investment advisory. “We were able to help pick out clothing and hygiene products for them. They were very grateful.”
The experience was so rewarding for Mary Ellen Krueger, a director in investment advisory and principal at Aspiriant, she has already returned with her daughters and a group of friends to give more of her time. She said the kids look forward to returning in December to volunteer for Robyn’s Nests’ annual toy drive.
Similarly, our Cincinnati office volunteered for Matthew 25: Ministries in Blue Ash, Ohio. Matthew 25: Ministries provides a variety of goods and humanitarian aid to extremely needy families and disaster victims in the United States and around the world. It’s currently assisting victims of Hurricane Florence in the Southeast and of the California wildfires. A team of 21 Aspiriant employees inspected donated paint, which is used to brighten and protect newly built homes in foreign countries.
Employees in our Orange County office supported families with hospitalized children by volunteering at the Ronald McDonald House in Orange, Calif. They made a nutritious breakfast from scratch for the families residing there.
“For me, I know how difficult it is to eat healthy, balanced meals when I’m away from home. It gets even more difficult when I’m in a stressful situation,” noted Sarah Camara, an assistant in strategic planning. “It felt authentically helpful to provide nutritious food to families, especially the children, who might not otherwise have the time or the resources themselves.”
A team from our New York and Boston offices provided healthy food to families in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood in Brooklyn, N.Y. Employees weighed and bagged fresh produce such as corn, watermelon and potatoes for the Bed-Stuy Mobile Market, a program of City Harvest that redistributes excess food to communities in need.
Protecting the environment
A healthy environment benefits us all. The Aspiriant San Francisco office chose to help sea life by picking up trash on Ocean Beach. A ranger from the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy educated approximately 55 volunteers about how the straws, bottle caps and other debris accumulates in our oceans and threatens all living beings dependent on the ecosystem. The team picking up three large trash bags of garbage while enjoying a beautiful day at the beach.
In addition to the dozens of hours we gave to these admirable non-profit organizations, Aspiriant donated additional funds to help them achieve even more.
Aspiriant Chief Client Officer Tom Tracy expressed how we enjoy the opportunity to build relationships with each other as a firm and with the people working every day to make our communities better. “We’re all stakeholders in our communities. To give back and play constructive roles to help improve the well-being of our communities is a natural extension of the work we do for our clients.”