As an impact/ESG investing firm, CCM not only requires its investments to make an impact and improve surrounding communities, but it also asks its employees to live by the same principles. As an intern this summer, I had the opportunity to adhere to those principles – including committing to recycling, donating local school supplies, and even spending a Tuesday volunteering alongside my fellow interns and CCM co-workers.
On July 16th, we headed to Fort Lauderdale in the morning to volunteer for the day at Kids in Distress (KID) campus. KID is a nationally accredited agency dedicated to the prevention of child abuse, the preservation of the family, and the treatment of abused and neglected children. The impressive campus provides comprehensive family strengthening, early learning, a child-care food program, and educational training services.1
We started our visit with a tour of the campus, where I learned how important facilities like KID are for the development of a foster child. Two parts of the tour really stood out to me – first, there was a dentist office on the property. Most of the kids who are in the foster care system or members of the KID community have never been to the dentist before arriving to the campus. Many need extensive dental work and the convenience of this facility – not to mention the price – help to bring this important health practice to many of those in need. More than that, this dentist office was extremely welcoming and kid-friendly; it was built with the goal of creating a positive environment and hopefully eliminating some stereotypes associated with the dentist.
Another highlight was learning about the evolution of KID’s food program. Historically, KID provided breakfast and lunch for each child, however a few years ago, one of the kids was found putting chicken in his pockets in effort to bring home food for his family. Once KID realized his reasoning, they instituted dinners for the families. The fundraising team figured out how to raise the extra funds to be able to provide this service. The KID team is committed going above and beyond to provide exceptional benefits to its community.
After the tour was over, our team was split into groups to help in the different classrooms. Another intern and I were assigned to help the 4-year-olds, a class of predominantly boys who took immediately liking to their new male visitors. The teachers at KID were extremely welcoming and got us involved immediately. From singing to reading to playing outside in the water playground (summer in South Florida – think HOT), we had an amazing time interacting with the children.
That Tuesday was one of the most rewarding experiences of my internship. It showed me how committed CCM is to its mission of impact – and not only through its investments. I thought it was unique that a company would incorporate a volunteer day into a summer internship, and I am grateful that I was there to participate.