Torch in Action, the service arm of Torch Helps, has coordinated several volunteer opportunities for our employee-owners since its inception in August 2014. Torch has always been heavily involved in our community, but in 2014, with the growth of many locations, and more employees wanting to participate in volunteer efforts, the Torch Helps Board members realized that they needed a more intentional approach to service that included planning and coordinating potential volunteer opportunities for employees. In August of 2014 the Torch Helps Board approved the formation of Torch in Action. The organization is a service and outreach committee whose main scope is to provide Torch employees opportunities to volunteer in the local community by sharing information concerning available small scale service projects as well as planning, organizing, and implementing larger scale service-oriented projects.
Torch in Action provides no financial support, it is instead focused on giving back through service. The first Torch in Action committee meeting in Huntsville was held in September 2014, and that was the beginning of the organizational efforts. Since that time, Torch in Action has participated in yard cleanup days at 305 8th Street, worked at the Saving Way organizing donated items, built ramps with CASA and installed a security system, hosted food drives for Manna House, adopted angels from the Salvation Army Angel Tree program and volunteered ringing bells during the holiday season, and ultimately helped make employees aware of volunteer opportunities in the community, even if it was not an official Torch in Action event.
Torch in Action advocates for service within our communities. Our employees have given back to their communities in many ways. We are active in our churches, schools and many volunteer organizations. We are parents, brothers, sisters, friends, mentors, advisors, grandparents, and so much more. We have created a work environment that reinforces the fact that coaching tee-ball is far more important than a management strategy session. After all, what value is it to earn a living if you do not take the time to have a life?
Outreach During the Tornado Outbreak of 2011
After the deadly tornado outbreak across north Alabama in 2011, Torch employees took on a number of activities to support those in need throughout the community. Torch and Torch Helps collectively donated more than $28,000 to tornado relief efforts in north Alabama through combined corporate and employee contributions. Torch Helps awarded $9,000 grants to both CASA and The Way, organizations that were closely involved with the relief and recovery efforts. The Torch Employee Morale & Welfare Committee (EMWC) picnic sub-committee recommended the 2011 picnic budget be used to support relief efforts, and Torch Technologies added another corporate donation to contribute to the American Red Cross and the Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters (VOAD) for relief and recovery efforts. On the scheduled date of the picnic, May 21, more than 50 Torch volunteers spent a day helping with relief efforts in hard-hit Madison County, Alabama locations.
Torch employees clear debris following the April 2011 Tornado Outbreak.
A CASA Security Story
Care Assurance System for the Aging and Homebound (CASA) is a non-profit agency located in Huntsville, Alabama that provides services to individuals age 60 and older and to the homebound (wheelchair and bed bound) of all ages since 1979. The charity was facing a rash of break-ins and vandalism. Torch in Action stepped in to purchase and install cameras for CASA so the charity could improve their security efforts.