Rotary International District 5890
Teamwork at Its Very Best
Editor: Hickey, J. Irene
Posted on Mar 30 2011
An advantage of Social Networking and the knowledge gleaned from using the various social networking tools is the ability to learn something new about businesses, projects and needs in both the local communities and in the world.  As information is learned and shared, new relationships are formed.  In the first quarter of 2011, a new relationship was formed between three very different organizations that touch the greater Houston community overall.  The Rotary Club of the University Area (RCUA) joined forces with the Houston Branch of the Xerox Women’s Alliance Texas Chapter (TWA) and with the Xerox Community Involvement Foundation (XCIP), to support two local charities:  Dress for Success and Career and Recovery Resources, Inc.
All three organizations strive to make a difference in the community as a whole:

The object of Rotary is to encourage and foster the ideal of service as a basis of worthy enterprise.  One of the primary goals of Rotary is “Service above Self.”

The Xerox Community Involvement Program (XCIP) was started in 1974 in response to employees wanting to get involved in their communities.   (Internal Xerox Website)

The Xerox Women’s Alliance National Charity Program believes that “Giving back to the community is an important hallmark of success, and it’s especially important to the women in our organization.”

The similarities between the three as it pertains to giving back to the community is evident.

By joining forces, they were able to reach out to a larger audience and help meet a larger community need.

Dress for Success (DFS) Houston promotes the economic independence of disadvantaged women by providing, among other things, professional attire to be worn on job interviews.  Once a year in the 1st Qtr of the year, DFS conducts it’s “Send One Suit” drive whereby it collects suitable (gently used) women’s business apparel from across the city.

Career and Recovery Resources, Inc. (CRR) on the other hand, accepts donations for suitable (gently used) men’s business apparel.  CRR  is a non-profit, United Way agency whose mission it is to help people (men and women) identify and overcome barriers to employment.

There are a myriad of charities that hold fund raising activities throughout the year.  The challenge for RCUA, TWA and XCIP individually was to find a project in which members could participate, without needing to donate monies.  Each organization learned of the other’s goals of participating in local Houston community projects via networking and the decision was reached to join forces for these two clothing drives. 

Collection boxes were set up in the two Houston Xerox offices during the 1st Qtr of the year and Xerox employees were encouraged to bring in clothing for both men and women.  
Simultaneously, the Rotary Club of the University Area announced the joint project at it’s weekly meeting and members were asked to donate “the clothes off their back” during the same time frame. 

Both Xerox employees and Rotary members responded with much enthusiasm.  Xerox Community Involvement Program volunteers manned the boxes, sorted and separated the donations, and then delivered the items at the end of the drive.  It was a win-win-win combined project for all involved, as the final tally for items donated equaled over 100 articles of clothing, including shoes, suits, purses, dresses, ties and jackets! 

And, not only was the drive successful, but the newly formed “social” network of XCIP, TWA and RCUA was firmly established and all look forward to joining forces for other community projects.
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