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Visual IQ Gives Back: Volunteers Make a Difference in 2017

November 27, 2017 - By Ginna Hall, Senior Writer, Visual IQ

Visual IQ Gives Back: Volunteers Make a Difference in 2017

This year, Visual IQ employees pitched in to help high-impact, local nonprofits working on critical social issues. We're grateful for the chance to share our good fortune and assist our communities in and around Boston. 

Through a partnership with Building Impact, we worked with incredible groups that make life better every day for domestic violence survivors, homeless men and women, public school students, service members, seniors, homeless and low-income children, and abandoned cats and dogs.

Yolie Muñoz, Human Resources Assistant, leads the company’s social responsibility effort and forged the partnership with Building Impact, a nonprofit that creates volunteer opportunities by connecting companies with local organizations. “I’m very proud to know we made a huge impact and helped others in our community who are less fortunate. From the bottom of my heart, thanks to everyone who participated and made a difference,” said Yolie.

Visual IQ Volunteers for Pine Street Inn

Over 50 percent of the employees at our Needham, MA headquarters consistently dedicated themselves every month to giving back. Having a chance to volunteer has meant a way to contribute.

“Volunteering allows me a chance to pay it forward. Being able to help someone in need and put a smile on someone's face has immeasurable value. I am thankful for the privilege to volunteer through working at Visual IQ,” said Jason Ngo, Senior Project Manager.

Visual IQ Volunteers for the Boys and Girls Clubs

Sometimes a little thing, such as making a pet toy, can have an impact. For example, many victims of domestic violence are faced with an agonizing decision -- whether to leave their dog with their abuser or stay in an abusive situation. The toys we made for PetsEmpower went to dogs that are being fostered while their owners move, and helped victims and their pets stay safe.

“Volunteering with Visual IQ has been an amazing experience. It’s refreshing to be a part of a start-up company that was recently acquired and continues to make a difference in the Boston community. Bravo!” said Mike Hutton, Demand Generation Manager.

Visual IQ Volunteers for PetsEmpower

Here are the organizations we worked with in 2017:

February: DIY Dog Toys for PetsEmpower

In stressful times, no one should have to lose a best friend. PetsEmpower is a nonprofit that provides pet owners in crisis with foster care for their pets. This allows domestic violence survivors and pets to enter safe spaces as fast as possible and keep the pet bond intact. Our volunteers created dog toys out of fleece to benefit local shelter animals and provide them with toys to encourage energetic play.

March: Jewelry Kits for Pine Street Inn Women's Shelter

Pine Street Inn serves more than 1,900 homeless men and women daily to provide a comprehensive range of services including: permanent supportive housing, job training and placement, emergency shelter and street outreach. Our volunteers helped to bring joy to the Pine Street Inn’s Women’s Shelter by creating jewelry making kits for homeless women.

April: Seedling Kits for the Boys & Girls Club

The Boys and Girls Clubs provide a safe, affordable place with caring adults and enriching programs for kids who need extra support after school. Our volunteers helped to assemble special, hands-on seedling kits for children in the local community.

May: Discovery Kits for First Teacher

First Teacher is a community of parents and caregivers working together to prepare children for success in kindergarten and beyond. First Teacher empowers parents as their child’s first teacher and creates a community where parents learn, teach and connect with each other. Our volunteers made discovery kits to support early learning and creativity in preschool children.

June: Repainted Classrooms at Sarah Greenwood School

Sarah Greenwood School is a K1-8 school in Boston with a new and energetic principal. The school proudly offers a variety of programs for students, including dual-language instruction in grades K1-4, and specialized student support services in its Therapeutic Learning Center. Our volunteers helped repaint classrooms to give the interior of the school a fresh face lift.

July: Letters to Soldiers for A Million Thanks

A Million Thanks provides support and appreciation to our active and veteran soldiers by sending letters, granting ‘betterment of life’ wishes and providing higher education scholarships to the children of the soldiers they serve. Our volunteers wrote personal letters to US soldiers, offering thanks to the men and women, who courageously protect and serve our country every day.

August: Cat Toys for Cat Companions

The Cat Connection, PALS Animal Life Savers, and Kitty Connection are dedicated to rescuing homeless, abandoned, abused and unwanted cats; spay/neuter programs; and Trap/Neuter/Return program for feral cats. Our volunteers created cat toys for abandoned and stray cats to help them bond with adoptive families and the elderly.

September: Literacy Kits for Boston Public Schools

Boston Public Schools are committed to transforming the lives of all children through exemplary teaching in a world-class system of innovative, welcoming schools. Our volunteers assembled literacy activity packets to provide a hands-on educational opportunity for rainy days.

October: Gratitude Cards for Ethos

Ethos promotes the independence, dignity, and well-being of seniors and the disabled. It brings hot, nutritious meals to the homes of over 900 isolated seniors every day. Our volunteers made gratitude cards for seniors and the disabled who are part of the Ethos organization to brighten their days.

November: Trail Mix Bags for Pine Street Inn

Nearly 200 people sleep on the streets of Boston each night. Pine Street Inn is the only organization offering nightly street outreach for these men and women. Staffed with counselors and nurses, Pine Street’s outreach vans provide food, clothing, blankets, medical assistance and compassion from 9:00 pm to 5:00 am. Our volunteers made trail mix bags to be distributed to individuals in need at night.  

December: Fleece Scarves for the Women’s Lunch Place

The Women’s Lunch Place provides a safe, comfortable daytime shelter, nutritious food, healthcare and education to over 225 self-identifying women each day, most of whom have experienced trauma, abuse, and loss. Our volunteers will make fleece scarves and Happy New Year cards for the guests of the Women’s Lunch Place.

Visual IQ Volunteers for BPS

We'll wrap up the year at our annual group event at Cradles to Crayons. This nonprofit provides homeless and low-income children from birth through age 12 with the essential items they need to feel safe, warm, ready to learn, and valued. Our volunteers will sort, inspect, and package new and like-new donations. Our service will make a tangible and measurable impact by ensuring that these children will thrive at home, at school, and at play.
 
With the recent acquisition by Nielsen, Visual IQ hopes to continue our volunteering efforts locally and around the country to make an even greater impact!

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