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ARAMARK-sponsored clothing drive to support UMOM
Oct '09
The UMOM New Day Center will receive final enhancements to its new location from 100 greater Phoenix-area volunteers on Thursday, Nov. 12. Employees from ARAMARK, the global provider of professional services, will dedicate their time, talent and energy, marking the beginning of a new, long-term partnership between UMOM and ARAMARK Building Community, a company-wide initiative that fosters long-term support for local community centers in more than 25 cities.

UMOM provides homeless and low-income families with food, shelter and tools to build a bridge to self-sufficiency. The organization serves more than 4,100 people per year through the UMOM New Day Center Shelter Programs, and offers childcare, case management, counseling, educational opportunities and other needed services.

With scant personal belongings, many patrons of the UMOM New Day Center are in need of clothing. In response, ARAMARK volunteers will redesign the clothing processing and storage room which will include building shelving systems and sorting previously donated clothing and other items from an ARAMARK-sponsored adult and children's clothing drive.

In addition, ARAMARK employees will complete 16 service projects such as preparing six rooms for homeless families, painting the exterior of the facility and creating inspirational murals, updating the basketball court and outside play area, refurbishing the computer lab, landscaping, and creating a ramada patio.

“The opening of our new site has truly been a community effort, and the enhancements that the ARAMARK volunteers will make during the day of service will help complete this effort,” said Darlene Newsom, CEO of UMOM New Day Centers. “This partnership with ARAMARK will not only make the new space warm and inviting for homeless families throughout Phoenix, but provide continuous support to all UMOM locations, including much-needed resources for our existing support programs.”

The current economic landscape places more importance on community centers than ever before. In one year, the working poor in Arizona have seen a 10 percent increase in the cost of basic living necessities, such as food, shelter and clothing. As a result, community centers are on the front lines in addressing some of the nation's most pressing social issues, including poverty, education, joblessness, obesity, youth development and caring for aging seniors.

“Our unique skills, expertise and passion for volunteerism bring great value to community organizations that serve people in need,” said Jack O'Brien, president of Convention Centers and Sports & Entertainment Support Services, and local ARAMARK Building Community executive sponsor. “ARAMARK is proud of this new, long-term partnership with UMOM, and we look forward to using our skills and resources to positively enhance its shelter and educational services on an ongoing basis, which will help strengthen the community in a meaningful way.”

According to a 2008 poll conducted by International Communications Research* on behalf of ARAMARK, 61 percent of Americans believe that the role community centers play will be more important than ever in the current economic climate. Of the services that community centers provide, respondents believe that access to basics like food and clothing, affordable childcare and preschool, job training and after school programs are the most important services offered, though the order of what is most important varies by age, region, education and race.

The enhancement project with UMOM, and others across the country, demonstrates ARAMARK Building Community's dedication to community centers and employee volunteer service. As part of this program, ARAMARK volunteers will come back to UMOM to offer their expertise and resources to help educate families on how to live healthier lifestyles, prepare and connect people to jobs, and provide basic services to enhance and strengthen the organization's existing programs.

ARAMARK Corporation

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