Brammer models corporate-community partnership

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Ka’Niya comes into the LightHouse ready to do her homework – especially when Stacey, her tutor is there.

Stacey Farhner is one of eight volunteers from Brammer Engineering, which has allowed the employees to have an hour a week of company time to work with students at the after-school program.

“It’s really a blessing,” Farhner said. “When we get out of it will be so much more than what we give.”

Brammer executives have long been supporter of Volunteers of America, and they wanted to do more for the LightHouse in particular, said Ellen Alley, director of Human Resources.

“First of all, the program is focused on children,” she said. “Secondly, these children need a safe and supportive environment after school to finish up homework and unwind from the day.  Lastly, the program has a proven track record of producing ‘Lighthouse Kids’ who become self-sufficient and educated adults.”

Each Brammer volunteer was paired with a student. They start their afternoons with homework and then move on to other academic activities. And sometimes they just have fun.

Many of the volunteers are new to Volunteers of America and have been surprised by all that goes on in the LightHouse.

“I didn’t know this was here and didn’t know what they did,” engineer Graham Thompson said. “There’s people out there that need help and there are ways to help that are fairly accessible.”

The volunteers encouraged other companies to follow the model.

“After the program concluded May 15, each of our employees commented about how meaningful the experience was to work with such bright, affectionate and sweet children,” Alley said. “What a rewarding opportunity for us and we hope for the children, as well.”

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