Second Chances, a nonprofit in Somerville, Massachusetts, has provided clothing to homeless and very low-income people in Cambridge and Somerville for over 15 years. The organization collects gently used clothing, shoes, and accessories and works with local homelessness and social service agencies to distribute the donations. These donations help the recipients feel confident and valued as they take their first steps toward brighter futures. In addition, the donations help reduce the amount of apparel going into local landfills. Second Chances has already kept more than 200,000 pounds of textiles out of landfills.
When presented with the opportunity to support Second Chances, employees rallied around the cause and collected over 366 pounds of clothing for donation. Matt Ellis, Robotics Implementation Project Manager, led the effort. “My initial goal was to promote reuse in the community, benefiting those who aren’t as fortunate as us. This was also the first step towards a series of events or drives that the team will pursue in order to promote a circular economy way of thinking at Vecna Robotics,” says Ellis.
Giving back and going green is part of the culture at Vecna Robotics. Other employee-led initiatives include in-office composting, eliminating the use of K-cups, and adding car charging stations in the parking lot, as well as food drives, electronics drive, blood drives, and trash pickup in nearby Beaver Brook Reservation.
Employees are encouraged to spend up to 10% of their paid working time contributing to community service activities. In 2019, the team recorded 285 hours giving back.
Find out more about Second Chances and how you can get involved here.