Rob Greenfeld, founder and president of Connections of New York Inc., an Executive Search firm, specializing in Information Technology in the tri-state area, is one of the Seaver Autism Center's most active supporters. Every year Rob and his team give thousands of dollars to support our programs, and sponsor an annual holiday party for the children and their families. Rob and his entire team attend the party, and it has become a highlight of our year and theirs.
When did you start giving as an organization?
Several years ago, I was looking for a meaningful way to give back to the community. It was around the holiday season that I asked my staff to celebrate with me by donating to some worthy charities. We started by giving to several different organizations, and we were all deeply moved by what we were able to accomplish. One year, our dear friend's grandson was diagnosed with Autism. Upon hearing this, members of my staff moved swiftly into action by donating generously to the Seaver Autism Center and volunteering their time to provide the children with a holiday party.
How did you become involved in the Seaver Autism Center?
One of the senior executives at my firm, Belinda Nurick, is a good friend with Danielle Halpern -Psy.D. Clinical Psychologist at the Seaver Autism Center. Through their coordinated efforts, I was invited to sit in and actively participate in some of the classroom instruction at the center. Collectively, we were all able to witness the incredible work that the clinical instructors do day in and day out. Through my staff's efforts, I was afforded the opportunity of connecting with many of these wonderful kids and their parents. Soon thereafter, I decided that the Seaver Autism Center would become our company's long-term commitment.
How did you convince your team to give so generously?
Getting everyone on my staff to step up and participate was easy. They all understand the importance of giving back to our community and very much wanted to play an important role in this process. We have a big staff with big hearts, and every contribution has an impact.
What is the best part of giving to the Seaver Autism Center?
Seeing the impact of our efforts. Every year, we close the office for the annual holiday party and bring lots of food and gifts. We have a blast interacting with the children, and talking with the parents. Parents thank us personally and let us know that with our continued support, and the expertise of the clinicians at the Seaver Autism Center that they never give up hope for a better tomorrow for their children.
What advice would you give to other companies?
Encourage employee involvement. Find a charity that your team is passionate about. Try to get a majority of your staff to participate in giving. Research and identify nonprofit organizations and initiatives that support your employee's commitment to give back to the community. Those that are unwilling to donate money regularly may opt to give of their time by volunteering. Donations, special events and volunteering of time, can be very rewarding. Besides helping give back, it is an excellent way for employees to partner together, work in team environments and focus on having a positive impact on the lives of others less fortunate.