dridge President, Bryan Gregory, participated in a Hunger Busters event hosted by Entrepreneurs for North Texas (EFNT), a program that helps its member companies to engage in philanthropy activities to serve both their business and the Dallas/North Texas community. The event was held on Wednesday, June 23, 2016 at the Hunger Busters center in Dallas. Participants helped prepare over 800 sack lunches for marginalized youth in Dallas Independent School District.
“The idea is that we want the service experience to be as transformative as possible for each individual. Many times, you think that you are going to give, but you actually receive more than you give,” Sejal Desai (Program Director for Entrepreneurs for North Texas).
Both Aldridge and EFNT are members of Core24 Dallas, an organization designed to provide Dallas businesses with the resources and support they need to pave their way to success. Core 24 is also a member of EFNT. Every month, Core24 selects one of its member companies to talk about their business and how they differentiate from their competitors. This month was EFNT’s turn, and they decided to take things a step further by showing their fellow Core24 members what their organization is all about.
Hunger Busters is one of EFNT’s several non-profit partners. Sejal Desai is the EFNT program director and helped plan the Hunger Busters event.
“I had the idea of doing a show and tell, to engage people in the act of doing so they could learn by doing. We decided to plan a custom service project where we involved all of the attending Core24 members in a team-based activity to give back to the community. I used that opportunity to show other Core24 members how and why we do what we do,” said Desai.
Desai explained how EFNT essentially serves as an outsourced community service department and provides its members with the tools and opportunities they need to make a difference in the lives of others. EFNT has about 100 member companies and has been working for 16 years to encourage service and collaboration among businesses in the North Texas region.
“Our goal is to offer a platform to support small to midsize companies who want to do good in our community. We facilitate that goal by providing members with philanthropic guidance, community engagement opportunities, and an environment where they can network and learn from other good corporate citizens,” said Desai.
Hunger Busters facilitated attending Core24 members to work together to achieve a common goal: to provide food for underprivileged students in the Dallas area. Hunger Busters is a non-profit that was started about 15 years ago by founder Phil Romano and his family. The organization began as an effort to aid the homeless, and over the years, has grown to support food-insecure children throughout the Dallas area. In 2014 alone, Hunger Busters served over 200,000 meals to students from six DISD schools. Desai said the Hunger Busters activity gave Core24 members an opportunity to interact with the community, and each other, on a different level.
“We had the CEOs and presidents of companies working around a kitchen table making sandwiches with one another. From that perspective, it was a very powerful way for them to connect in a meaningful way. The idea is that we want the service experience to be as transformative as possible for each individual. Many times, you think that you are going to give, but you actually receive more than you give,” said Desai.
Teresa Frosini is the Market Leader for Core24. The purpose of Core24’s monthly member company demonstrations is to help the organization’s affiliates get to know one another and build referrals and leads together. The Hunger Busters event was especially helpful in forming these relationships as it encouraged one-on-one interactions and helped build trusting relationships between the companies.
“From a service standpoint, you realize how lucky you are. We were all around this big table and everyone was working together to do something good, which helped them build tighter relationships and be more open to helping one another,” said Frosini.
Gregory attended the Hunger Busters event on behalf of Aldridge and said he was moved by the reality of how deeply hunger affects children within the United States. His enthusiasm and willingness to help was evident to both Frosini and Desai.
“From the moment I met Bryan, he’s always been focused on helping other members of Core24. Nine times out of ten, he’s wanting to give more than he receives and is looking for ways to refer business to other members. Even at the Hunger Busters event, I think he did every job when making the sandwiches. He’s always such a great team player and is an incredible asset to Core24” said Frosini.