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#RedSparkGives – Why We Loved Giving Back to the Community with MANNA!

Living with a life-threatening illness can take a severe toll on physical, mental, and financial health. Not only can medications and treatments be incredibly expensive, many people forget that illness can come with strict diets the patient must follow. While health insurance can help cover medical costs, it can be challenging for a patient to maintain their new diet. That’s where MANNA comes in.

MANNA was founded in 1990 by seven members of the First Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia. Their mission was to help comfort people dying of AIDS during a time when the ignorance and the stigma associated with the disease was at its peak. In 2006, MANNA expanded its reach to neighbors with other critical illnesses – cancer, renal and cardiac disease and diabetes.  Each month they deliver 95,000 meals to those who struggle with serious diseases and their loved ones, completely free of charge.

During our time at MANNA, we helped the kitchen staff with the preparation of various healthy meals and soups for the community MANNA serves. We formed an assembly line to portion and package each meal by hand. At first, this high-volume task seemed daunting, but we soon came to find that not only were we making a difference, but we were having fun doing it. Our teamwork paid off. We ended up packaging 725 healthy entrees and approximately 400 soups.

“Volunteering with MANNA was an extremely rewarding opportunity and great team building event.  It is wonderful that Red Spark encourages employees to step away from our screens and donate work hours to wonderful organizations such as MANNA that support our community!” said Office Manager, Kate Carpenter.

“Not only are we helping others, but we’re working as a team doing it. It feels great to give back especially when we’re doing it together” said IT Administrator, Mike Myers.

For many of MANNA’s clients, they often find MANNA to be the only source of love and care they know during their time of medical crisis, as well as the only source of nourishment and nutritional support. Knowing how important these meals would be to the MANNA community, we worked hard and came together as a team to make an impact.

When asked about her experience at MANNA, Talent Acquisition Lead, Allison Smith said, “It was a great experience volunteering at MANNA. In our lives, we typically dread the daily or weekly grocery run. However, we often forget that this is a luxury we can easily accomplish, which is not the case for many others in our community. This was a humbling experience and a reminder that there are others who are no longer capable of such. I am looking forward to our next visit!”

Volunteering at MANNA is a great team building experience that has a serious impact in the Philadelphia community. By providing three meals a day, seven days a week, 52 weeks a year, this organization has changed the lives of so many individuals struggling with life-threatening illnesses and will continue to do so for years to come.

Interested in joining our impactful team? Head to the careers page and check out our current job listings!

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