Community PARtners Spring Update
April 21, 2015
The movers and shakers on Team PAR have been very busy, participating in community service projects and supporting causes that are making a real difference! Here are a few highlights of our activities so far this year.
The PARty Animals emerged as leader of the pack in raising funds for the Humane Society of Tampa Bay at the annual Bark in the Park event this spring, keeping the trophy in its rightful place—the lobby here at PAR headquarters—for another year! A large contingent from our staff, along with their four-legged friends, joined the happy throng at Cotanchobee Fort Brooke Park to support the Humane Society and its vital work in our community.
“Love is Blue,” according to the old song, and that sums up one of Team PAR’s true labors of love: our support for autism awareness and research. But why blue? On World Autism Day each year, the Autism Speaks organization encourages people all over the world to “light it up blue” by wearing blue clothing and displaying blue lights in their homes, schools, and businesses. PAR staff turned out in our best dress blues that day; we also held a week-long silent auction and raffle, where theater tickets and fine wine were among the generous donations that had us all raising our bids. An enthusiastic team of walkers capped off the week by participating in the annual Autism Walk, engaging sponsors and raising thousands of dollars for autism research.
Earlier this year, PAR was thrilled to be honored as the 2015 Outstanding Corporate Partner for the PACE Center for Girls. The PACE Center in Tampa provides at-risk teen girls an opportunity for a better future through education, counseling, training, and advocacy. With a balanced emphasis on academics and social services, the PACE model is recognized as one of the most effective programs in the country for keeping girls from entering the juvenile justice system.
PAR was also honored to participate in this year’s Cup of Compassion Breakfast to benefit the Crisis Center of Tampa Bay. Through their crisis hotline and support services, the Crisis Center brings help, hope, and healing to people who are experiencing the devastating trauma of sexual assault or abuse, domestic violence, substance abuse, suicidal thoughts, and other crises.
Each week throughout the year, PAR employees deliver a hot meal and a warm smile to Meals on Wheels recipients in our area. Many are elderly or disabled, and they often don’t get much company, so we try to take a few moments to chat with these neighbors who help to brighten our day as well. This April, we continued with our annual tradition of making and delivering an extra treat: cheerful gift baskets, brimming with goodies and designed to say, “Welcome, spring!”
Above par, below par, or just from PAR…it really didn’t matter at a recent golf tournament, where our foursome of keen PAR golfers helped raise funds to benefit The Children’s Home of Tampa. This event is one of the many ways that PAR supports The Children’s Home in its work to strengthen families in our community.
The Bloodmobile (a.k.a. OneBlood Services) makes regular stops at PAR, where they know that our regular donors—and a few first-timers, too—can be counted on for donations of blood and platelets. The experts on the Bloodmobile team make it easy for us to do the right thing!
These are just a few of the many ways that PAR gives back to our community. “Creating Connections, Changing Lives” is more than just a tagline at PAR—it’s a commitment. Please visit the
Community PARtners page
on the PAR Web site to learn more!
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Community PARtners: A Success Story
Imagine seeing someone’s life turn around before your eyes. A woman who has struggled, financially and emotionally, is preparing for a long-awaited job interview. She has come quietly into a shop and is browsing through a selection of professional clothing. For the first time in her life, she tries on a business suit and emerges tentatively from the dressing room. Looking in the mirror, her face suddenly changes. She has a new look of confidence because she can see it now: She can imagine herself in a professional environment. She is ready to take her life in a new direction. This woman is what Dress for Success is all about—and she is the reason that PAR is delighted to support the DFS Tampa Chapter. Founded in 1997, Dress for Success is a not-for-profit organization offering services designed to help clients find and retain good jobs. At the Tampa chapter, Dr. Heather Ureksoy, a member of PAR’s Research and Development team, has been an active volunteer, serving not only as a volunteer coordinator and shop manager but also organizing an apparel ...
Community PARtners: Creating Connections and Changing Lives
2013 has been a very busy year so far for PAR’s volunteer team! PAR staff members and their families kicked off a chilly January with a children’s clothing drive for the Redland’s Christian Migrant Association, a group that serves migrant farm workers and their families here in Florida. In February, PAR staff members helped organize the annual “Stars and Pars” golf tournament and auction to benefit The Children’s Home in Tampa. The Children’s Home provides a spectrum of social services for families in crisis including foster care, adoption, emergency shelters, child abuse prevention, and more. What’s a corn-hole toss? Here at PAR, it’s an excuse to come together, test our pitching arms, laugh a lot—and raise funds to support Suncoast Hospice. A not-for-profit organization that serves local families, Suncoast Hospice helps those living with chronic and terminal illnesses, nearing the end of life, or experiencing grief. This year’s “toss,” held in February, helped raise funds—and awareness—for this vital community resource. In March, several members of the PAR team gathered for a special breakfast in support of the PACE Center for at-risk girls. At ...
Community Partners Contest Winners
Recently PAR held a contest and asked its Customers to describe, in 300 words or less, their involvement in their favorite local charities. The winners are listed below and will receive cash donations in their names to the charities they submitted and support - $500 for the first place winner, $350 for second place winner, and $250 for the third place winner. The winner of the PAR Community PARtners contest is Robert Mintz from Short Hills, NJ. Robert nominated a charity called Down The Block (http://www.downtheblock.org) that provides assistance to local residents who find themselves in financial distress. Robert described the charity as a “hyper-local” non-profit organization located in Millburn Township, NJ that focuses on assisting those who are not eligible for traditional support. The second place winner is Shaun Keel who nominated Foster A Life (http://www.fosteralife.com). The organization’s mission is to provide services and opportunities to foster children to promote a more positive self-image and an increase in their self-esteem. They are a 100% volunteer organization, so all funding goes directly to the children. The third place winner is Judith Mathewson ...
University Partnership Program: Here to Help!
PAR’s University Partnership Program (UPP) is a way to help you save time and money through a concierge service meant just for universities. The UPP is dedicated to assisting you and your students as they pursue advanced degrees. UPP offers eight essential elements, all focused on providing you support: 1) Reduce time reviewing tests. The UPP can save you valuable time by providing you with the information you need to help you decide which tests best fir your syllabus. 2) Concierge service. Our UPP specialists are dedicated specifically to the UPP program. You’ll have a single point of contact from start to finish. Consider them part of your team. 3) Training resources. We’re happy to provide PowerPoint slides for many PAR products that can be integrated into your course objectives. We also offer free online training through the PAR Training Portal. 4) Free products. Get three PAR test kits of your choice—at absolutely no charge. If you need more forms, we offer a 40% discount on reorders plus free uses on PARiConnect, our online assessment platform. 5) Discounts for students. Graduate school takes financial dedication, ...
PARtners With A Purpose
This weekend, PAR staff took part in Walk Now for Autism Speaks Tampa Bay. Funds raised from walks like these are earmarked for research into the cause, treatment, and possible cure for autism. In addition to walking as a team to raise community awareness for autism, we held a raffle and a silent auction the week before the walk to generate additional donations. In all, we are proud to have raised $4,015 for this great organization! Want to get involved with Autism Speaks in your community? Here’s a list of other communities hosting local walks to raise awareness for autism.
Mental Health Awareness in the Deaf Community
Individuals who are deaf and communicate via American Sign Language are “among the most at-risk segments of the population in terms of mental health knowledge, illness prevalence, and treatment access,” according to Robert Pollard, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Director of the Deaf Wellness Center (DWC) at the University of Rochester Medical Center (DWC News and Updates, January 2012). The DWC focuses on clinical services, teaching, and research activities that pertain to mental health, healthcare, sign language interpreting, and other topics that affect the lives of people who are deaf or hard-of-hearing. Pollard asserts that the deaf population is severely underserved in the mental health arena, with only 2% of deaf individuals who need mental health services receiving them. A major factor contributing to this problem is that the deaf population lacks access to mental health information via the mass media—TV, radio, newspapers—and Pollard wants to do something to change that. In a project sponsored by the American Psychiatric Foundation, he is leading an effort to produce a series of television public service announcements featuring deaf actors who will ...
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