Posted by Chip Whiting on June 23, 2014
I can still see him, wiggling around in his chair, and the excitement that exuded from him as he waited for his turn. You would have thought he was about to be given an award of some kind, but no. The little boy I’m remembering attends Rock Lake Elementary, a Title I school located in Orlando, Florida. His excitement was for the Scholastic book he was about to receive, through a book fair sponsored by Booz Allen. After he received his book, he returned to his desk, and animatedly showed it to all his friends, who had also received books. A picture from that day, of that excited little boy and me, holds a special place on my desk.
Whether it’s partnering with a local school like Rock Lake, or collecting toys for the Marine Corps Toys for Tots program, the Orlando office gets involved. Don’t let our small size fool you. We’re only 30 people, but we believe in getting involved and impacting our communities. Our latest effort is Operation Fill-A-Lunchbox to support firm nonprofit partner Operation Homefront. Food assistance, which has tripled since 2008, is the organization’s number two request, just behind financial support. The office is in good company with 16 other Booz Allen locations also participating in the drive. Our goal in supporting this program is to provide food to children from military families at a time when assistance may not be readily available.
Why do we do all this? I can only speak for myself, but I know I’ve been lucky to have had the support I’ve needed throughout my life. I once was that junior enlisted husband and father, and remember the challenge of making ends meet. As a Senior Non-commissioned Officer, I remember staff that could have used help. It’s now my turn to pay that forward in the community where I live and work. I’m proud to work for company that supports my personal involvement and the office’s engagement allowing us to have an impact where it matters most. I may not be able to personally see the excitement of the little boy or girl that receives the lunchbox I’ve filled, but I’ll be picturing it in my mind and know it’s all worth it.