Deloitte's Pittsburgh volunteers spend time in Millvale

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Groups of men and women in bright blue and white shirts fanned out in Millvale Friday for Deloitte’s Impact Day of volunteering. Their shirts read “Making an Impact Every Day.”

Eighty Deloitte offices across the country shut down for the professional services firm’s 15th Impact Day, so employees can do volunteer work. More than 300 volunteers from Deloitte’s Pittsburgh office spent the day at 25 sites in Millvale, weeding, mulching, painting and other jobs.

The work was coordinated by Pittsburgh Cares, which Executive Director Deb Hopkins said is the “concierge” of volunteer service.

“We work with companies to do service for nonprofits and municipalities. Deloitte is one of the largest we work with and we are thrilled to have them take over a neighborhood and transform it,” she said.

Emily Calderone, a team leader for Deloitte, is a member of the leadership team for volunteering, which contacted Pittsburgh Cares to coordinate the Millvale projects. She said Deloitte does year-round service.

“This is our everyday but the most visual,” she said.

Some volunteers weeded and mulched around the young trees that were planted around the borough last year. As Hollie Kawecki, a Deloitte recruiter, walked around town picking up trash, she said it was a great way to continue giving back to the community.

Others echoed that assessment, including employees at the Millvale Community Center command center, who packed boxes for Beverly’s Birthdays, which offers birthday celebrations for homeless children living in shelters. Working on the project, Akshaya Murthy, a senior consultant, said it was his second year participating in Impact Day.

“It is brilliant. The impact is huge,” he said.

His colleague, Elaine Murphy, an administrative employee, agreed, saying, “It’s always rewarding helping people. We may not see the end of the project but the concept is there.”

Later, others would pack care packages for the Mending Little Hearts organization to give to people who have children in the hospital.

At Millvale Community Library, Deloitte auditors Jill Loadman of Morningside and Haley Botha of Sewickley stood outside in the hot sun cleaning stacks of donated books, which others organized for a book sale the following day.

Twenty-two other volunteers at the library worked on painting a second floor space, which will house an apartment; and toiled in the flourishing shade and rain gardens, weeding, mulching and planting flowers. Some even sat on the back porch sorting hardware for what would be Pittsburgh’s first Tool Lending Library, according to library worker Nora Peters of Squirrel Hill.

About 40 workers were assigned to Mount Alvernia, home of the Sisters of St. Francis, sprucing up the grounds, painting, cleaning the day care, and washing and detailing cars.

Millvale manager Amy Rockwell and Millvale Community Library’s board vice president Lisa Seel expressed their gratitude for the volunteers’ help.

“The positive energy in town was able to be felt. It was a tremendous opportunity for the borough,” Ms. Rockwell said, estimating the worth at over 2,000 hours of labor.

“It not only assisted the borough but other organizations in town. And it’s still visible today. The borough and volunteers can continue on.”

Mrs. Seel said it would have taken six months to complete the library projects with its own small group of volunteers.

“Without them, the book sale wouldn’t have happened, the apartment wouldn’t have been ready for its tenant to move in, and the gardens wouldn’t have been upgraded,” she said.

The day ended with a catered party for the volunteers at the community center.

Virginia Miller, freelance writer:

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