Avison Young’s Chicago area offices recently partnered for a day with Cradles to Crayons, a Chicago charity dedicated to supporting low-income children. The effort brought together 134 Avison Young employees to inspect, sort and package hundreds of clothing donations to be distributed to children in need this holiday season.
This effort was part of Avison Young’s global Day of Giving, a corporate initiative now in its fifth year and a cornerstone of the firm’s charitable efforts through 82 offices in the U.S., Canada, Mexico and Europe. The Chicago effort included 670 hours of volunteering at Cradles to Crayons, located at 4141 W. George Street, Chicago.
While Chicago is home to world-renowned educational resources, business and industries, arts and cultural institutions and wealth, it is also a place with stark divides in income. Illinois ranks sixth among all 50 states for inequality, measured by the disparity between the top 5 percent and bottom 20 percent of earners, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. Cradles to Crayons estimates that one in three children in Chicago experience poverty and 187,000 children aged 12 and under in Chicago lack access to essentials like those distributed by the charity.
Despite a strongly rebounding regional economy, more than 180,000 children in Chicago continue to live in low-income homes. With no government programs dedicated to ensuring that children have such basics as clothing or hygiene products, Cradles to Crayons stepped on the scene in 2016 to fill this need in Chicago.
“I’m proud to be part of a work family that values its clients, its people and the communities in which it operates on a global basis,” said Avison Young principal and chief financial officer, Christine Battist, who is based in the company’s Chicago office. “We are a different company with a passion for our people and our communities. Our global Day of Giving connects these two passions and promotes awareness, collaboration and teamwork. Our goal is to have a sustainable impact on our communities.”
Across 82 Avison Young offices globally, local staff activities ranged from packing food at food banks to painting, cleaning and landscaping at animal and youth shelters and to making crafts with senior citizens. Throughout the day, Avison Young employees donated a total of 6,828 hours to 80 different charitable organizations.