Crayola's Young Professionals Employee Resource Group Help Provide a Safe Place for Families

Oct 5, 2018 8:10 AM ET

Volunteers from Crayola’s Young Professionals (CYP) employee resource group had a profound impact on more than 250 local residents served by the Third Street Alliance for Women & Children in Easton, Pennsylvania.

Fifteen members of the Crayola team invested more than 110 hours to renovate an underutilized storage area into a multipurpose space to meet the needs of area homeless residents and other community member groups.

The project included cleaning and repainting the entire space, creating movable room dividers with curtains, designing a coffee nook with a bar table and stools, painting inspirational quotes on the walls and adding finishing touches such as a coffee maker, area rugs, bookshelves, an entertainment center and Crayola products for the crafting area.

“Volunteering at Third Street Alliance was not something anyone did for recognition,” said Alyssa Sarnosky, community relations specialist, Crayola. “We did it because it is what we are supposed to do as human beings. To be able to give back to our local community in this way was great. The looks on the faces of the Third Street Alliance team when we unveiled the room were priceless.”

In addition to manual labor, CYP also raised nearly $800 to offset expenses through bake sales, “paint nights” (a crafting event where members of CYP, along with family and friends, gathered to create paintings) and dine-to-donate events at a local restaurant with a portion of the proceeds donated to Third Street Alliance.

Today, the room is a focal point for activities: it has computers for residents to search for jobs, a meeting spot for “Mommy & Me” parenting classes and acts as a regular hangout to relax or connect with staff counselors.

The partnership between CYP and Third Street Alliance was established through The Lehigh Valley Volunteer Challenge, an annual, invitation- only corporate competition in which company-sponsored teams conceive, design and complete projects for local nonprofit agencies.

"This event is a win-win for all involved,” explained Sarnosky. “Companies participating have the opportunity as a team to give back to their community and the nonprofits are the direct recipients of benefits they could not otherwise receive.”

As a United Way agency, Third Street Alliance also benefits from monetary assistance through Crayola contributions in the annual campaign.