By Peter Feuerherd
June 10 was Deloitte Impact Day, as employees of the firm took a day away from audits and business analysis to serve community projects across the country, including Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of New York.
Among the Deloitte volunteers was Kyle Freudenberg, a senior auditor, who made a dent into the digital divide for the clients of Grand Street Guild on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. She assisted in the inventory of parts for a massive internet project for the Guild, a Catholic Charities agency that serves the residents of a city housing project.
Community is what we’ve been missing over the past two years.
They live in what has become a transformed Lower East Side, where high-end grocery stores and gourmet doughnut shops ($5 per) have found a niche. But while gentrification continues, the people Grand Street Guild serves average about $17,500 income each year. Many cannot afford the digital advances which, during the Covid pandemic, proved essential. So, the Guild is part of a project that would bring internet to residents for about $10 a month, substantial savings over commercial providers.
Kyle volunteered for the Guild Street project because “it was interesting how they were talking about the digital divide,” she said. The digital project provided a way to tap into the Deloitte workers’ skills. She was among a total of 141 volunteers from Deloitte who worked the day on Catholic Charities’ projects throughout the Bronx and Manhattan.
A statement from the firm noted that Impact Day is a way for their workers to put their corporate skills to work for those in need.
“IMPACT Day is an opportunity for Deloitte people to put their passion, determination, and skills to use for the benefit of their communities—leaving behind their laptops, conference calls, and emails to make a difference in the communities they serve. They provide skills-based volunteering and a helping hand to hundreds of not-for-profit organizations where they share their knowledge and expertise,” the statement on the firm’s website noted.
[It’s] An opportunity… to put their passion, determination, and skills to use for the benefit of the community.
The 20 volunteers from Deloitte at Grand Street on Impact Day also worked in more traditional service areas, such as cleaning out a food distribution center and organizing books for a childcare center.
“Working at a community center appealed to me because the community is what we’ve been missing over the last few years,” said Elena Gray, a Deloitte volunteer. “This is awesome,” she said, noting the chance to get together with people after the last few years of virtual gatherings.
Impact Day projects also included:
- Volunteers at Encore in Manhattan, 30 in total, working in teams of three, providing households with a week’s worth of food and providing a wellness check on elderly and homebound clients;
- At Astor Services in the Bronx, 30 Deloitte volunteers beautified a playground, weeded a garden, repotted seven large planters, and scraped and painted a stair railing;
- Twenty volunteers at Second Farms in the Bronx, Catholic Charities-sponsored housing, set up tables and tents, packaging and distributing food;
- At Betances Houses in the Bronx, Deloitte volunteers set up tables and tents, packaged and distributed food, hung clothes, and assembled clothing racks.
The day of stepping away from normal work demands proved valuable, said Aminata Keira, a data analyst for Deloitte who helped to organize the participants at Grand Street.
“I’m here to give back,” she said. “We stop working. We’re here to give back to the community.”
Photos from the Deloitte Day of Impact.