October through December is often called ‘the giving season’ since holidays tend to bring out the generous side in people. With an entire day dedicated to giving thanks and good tidings in the air, it’s hard to resist the urge to share wealth and joy, in whatever way one can.
At AVT we’re lucky to have a leader who has incorporated giving into the culture of our company, and on a year-round basis. Rick L’Hereux started AVT 29 years ago, in Santa Clara, CA. He was already committed to his community personally, and as AVT began to grow, he started to bring his professional resources and capabilities to that commitment.
As a family-owned business, AVT also makes a conscious effort to hire employees who care. 87% of our employees personally volunteered in 2016. And as a company, we volunteer and contribute to a number of causes. These are nominated by our employees for various personal reasons, from having loved ones affected to being affected themselves.
We’d like to draw your attention to those we support in the hopes that you’ll use your holiday generosity and share some of your time or money with them – or one of your choosing.
Happy giving season!
Second Harvest Food Bank: Based in Silicon Valley, Second Harvest Food Bank of Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties is one of the largest food banks in the nation. Currently providing food to more than one-quarter of a million people every month, Second Harvest is a trusted community-based organization that was founded in 1974.
How AVT Helps: Quarterly company volunteering for food sorting & packing; food barrel donation competition that brought in over 400 lbs of food for donation last year (between only 20 people).
Expandability: connects persons with disabilities to successful employment, serving both employers and job seekers.
TeenForce: social enterprise helping youth acquire the skills, habits, and work experience to fulfill their potential
Year Up: empowers low-income young adults to go from poverty to professional careers in a single year.
How AVT Helps: Or in this case, how talented workers from these organizations help us! AVT hires interns from these three non-profits. We were lucky enough to convince one of these interns to stay on as an employee; he’s been here for three years now.
Autism Speaks Light it up Blue: World Autism Awareness Day (WAAD), observed on April 2, was adopted by the United Nations in 2007 to shine a bright light on autism as a growing global health priority. Thousands of iconic landmarks, skyscrapers, schools, businesses and homes across the globe unite by shining bright blue lights in honor of the millions of individuals and families affected by autism. Individuals everywhere wear blue in honor of our community.
How AVT Helps: We light it up! Our building in Santa Clara shines blue on April 2nd, and we all proudly wear our Autism Speaks blue bracelets.
Toys for Tots: The U. S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program helps less fortunate children by collecting new, unwrapped toys during October, November and December each year, and distributing those toys as Christmas gifts to them, in the community where the campaign is conducted.
How AVT Helps: We volunteer at and donate to Toys for Tots.
CASA of San Mateo County: By matching volunteer Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASAs) with dependent children, Child Advocates of Silicon Valley provides stability and hope to children who have experienced abuse and neglect by being a powerful voice in their lives.
The Firehouse Run Supporting Santa Clara Unified Schools – The Firehouse Run is a Santa Clara community 5K family walk or run, and 10k running event established by the Santa Clara Firefighters Foundation to support Santa Clara Unified schools.
Roanne’s Race: Roanne’s Race is an event created by friends and family of Roanne Cairel, a Livermore native who lost her battle with colon cancer in 2011 at the young age of 24. It raises money for the Never Too Young initiative through the Colon Cancer Alliance.
How AVT Helps: For 20 years, AVT has been donating event production services, including equipment and labor, for small to large-scale fundraising events.
Why We Care:
“I have a nephew on the autism spectrum, so (Autism Speaks) is a cause that is near and dear to my heart. Additionally, we’ve been partnering with CASA – Court Appointed Special Advocates- for 20+ years. I am so inspired by these volunteers that give their time freely to represent these kids. We then connected with TeenForce, an organization that was created to fill the need to support young adults who come out of the CASA system, to connect them with extra skills needed for certain jobs.” —Rick L’Heureux, Founder & President
“AVT Productions is a family oriented and family friendly company with many employees having children of their own. We feel like a big family at work and with a family & community culture we find it incredibly important to give back and as a company make a difference in our community.” — Melonie Drotts, Event Account Manager
“We were asked to write a short piece on what organizations we as employees would like to support in the coming year. AVT Productions has a history of giving back to our community, which is one of the reasons that AVT Productions is a great place to work. My partner is a Fireman/Paramedic and they put themselves on the frontline to aid our communities and felt inspired that these heroes are giving back to our local school districts… it’s the least we could do.” — Kimi Giuffrida, Client Services Account Manager
“I believe every kid should have a Christmas.” —Jackie Huynh, Accounting