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Colleen Foy’s passion sparks coworkers in successful fundraising campaign

Colleen Foy

Colleen Foy’s passion sparks coworkers in successful fundraising campaign
March 31
14:49 2021

By Stephanie Ntim

As a scientist for Reynolds American, one of the largtest and best recognized companies in Winston-Salem, Colleen Foy’s job duties include analyzing training, product process, and product services; however, it does not include event planning or fundraising. One of the things that brings her the most satisfaction as a Reynolds employee is the opportunity to plan, organize and host activities that support local nonprofits.  

Senior Services holds a special place in Foy’s heart. In addition to being a long-time Meals-on-Wheels volunteer, for the last several years Foy has also taken the lead in her department’s efforts to collect and donate gifts, health, hygiene, and personal care items for older adults during Senior Services’ annual Remember in December holiday campaign.

The coronavirus pandemic brought unique challenges to Foy’s efforts this past December. With most of Reynolds American staff members working from home, Foy recognized that added barriers would make it difficult for her team to shop for, collect, and donate physical items to support the Remember in December item drive. So, she decided that instead of collecting paper towels, soap, and other necessities, it would be more convenient for employees to participate in a team fundraising challenge: gifting the money to the agency to support the campaign and the purchase of items.  Foy was thrilled to see how easy this was to set up through Senior Services, using their online fundraising platform which she remarks is, “perfect for companies or individuals wanting to raise funds on the agency’s behalf.” 

The company’s vice president created a video to introduce participants to the cause they were supporting. For Foy and her team there was an added bonus. “In one sense, it was too bad because we couldn’t see these items filling up under our tree or filling our boxes, but it was also kind of a bonus considering we got the match this year,” Foy said. Because this year’s program was changed into an actual fundraiser, Reynolds American committed to match employee’s monetary donations above $25, which practically doubled what the employees were able to contribute. Foy and her team not only met their fundraising goal, but surpassed it by a significant margin. 

Colleen Foy’s affection for Senior Services and the people it serves may stem from thinking about her own parents. As they age, she realizes that there may come a day when they need to rely on the type of services Senior Services provides.  She appreciates Senior Services for their dedication to supporting older adults and their caregivers who require assistance with essential everyday tasks. 

Her desire to help is also deeply personal, “I have that sort of grain in me that realizes that it’s not as simple or easy for others. And even if it’s not a long period of time where you’re having a rough time, that one helping hand could change your life. So, I just feel like it’s easy for me to do it. It’s is a good feeling to help.” 

Their work doesn’t stop after the holidays; Foy encourages her team to continue supporting the community throughout the year. And she takes that to heart herself, too. Throughout the year, Foy works diligently to support Senior Services programs. “We did a good job in December, but these people are in need all year long, so let’s not wait until December again next year,” Foy said. “Just consider them whenever you’re in a place to give.” 

If you, your organization, or work team would like to learn more about ways you can get involved in supporting area seniors, please contact Joel McIver, vice president for community engagement, at jmciver@nullseniorservicesinc.org. 

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