CBS Xerox, an integrated provider of office productivity systems, organized a donation drive to benefit “Good To Go,” a new initiative of MHA to supply every individual who arrives for emergency respite care with basic personal care items, such as soap, shampoo, a toothbrush, toothpaste, undergarments and socks.
“People who arrive for emergency respite are intellectually or developmentally disabled, challenged by mental health problems, new in their recovery from addiction, or chronically homeless,” said Kimberley A. Lee, VP of Resource Development and Branding. “I have seen the condition in which so many of these folks arrive at MHA. They need assistance, and quickly. By collecting and donating personal care items for Good To Go, the generous folks at CBS Xerox are helping to support our participants who are truly in need of a soft landing.”
According to Patrick Roberts, Non-Profit Specialist and GEM Representative for CBS Xerox, his company had been working with MHA as a business partner for about a year when the opportunity to do more presented itself. “We handle their printers and copiers and developed a way to manage that part of their business,” Roberts explained. “In coming up with the solution, we met a lot of their staff and every time we had an interaction with someone at MHA it was so positive. They invited us to their annual meeting and I heard this incredible story from a client who at one time felt suicidal, but through counseling and the efforts of MHA, this person now feels like they are worth something. Now this person is doing so well. What a story. The experience cemented our desire to do more for MHA, and organizing a Good To Go drive was a good place to start.”
The 25 staff members at the CBS Xerox office in West Springfield were joined by 100 staff at the company’s headquarters in Wethersfield, CT, in collecting donations. A truck with donations from Wethersfield drove to West Springfield to pick up donations collected there, then delivered it all to MHA in Springfield.
“The response we got from our staff was so tremendous, a Good To Go drive will likely become a yearly event,” said Roberts. “We take it for granted that soap and shampoo and clean clothes will always be there. For people who don’t have these things, they’re luxuries. We’re providing something so simple, but it makes a big difference.”
“Good To Go presents an incredible opportunity for businesses, community service organizations, volunteer and student groups, individuals or families to make an immediate, meaningful impact in the lives of vulnerable people escaping abuse or neglect,” said Lee. “What CBS Xerox did is wonderful example of the relationship that can exist between a nonprofit organization and a vendor,” said Lee. “Yes, they provide our office equipment, but what they do for us is so much more than reliable copiers and printers. They have developed a deep and profound respect for the work that MHA does and their enthusiastic contributions show how much they truly care. MHA matters and CBS Xerox gets that.
About CBS: CBS Xerox is the area’s largest technology and services company, specializing in workflow solutions and office systems. The company focuses on document-driven companies and industries spanning all types and sizes.
About MHA: MHA is a nonprofit provider of residential and support services based in Springfield, MA, providing services throughout the Greater Springfield area to people impacted by mental illness, developmental disabilities, substance abuse and homelessness. Our core values are Respect, Integrity and Compassion.
MHA has 400 full- and part-time employees and serves more than 600 participants annually. We operate 25 residential sites, as well as extensive outreach and supported living programs. MHA receives state and federal funding from multiple sources including the MA Department of Mental Health (DMH), MA Department of Developmental Services (DDS), MA Department of Children and Families (DCF), MA Rehabilitation Commission (MRC), the MA Department of Housing and Community Development (DHDC) and the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
MHA was founded in 1960 by concerned citizens to provide advocacy for people with mental illness living at Northampton State Hospital. Throughout the deinstitutionalization movement MHA developed a continuum of housing and support options to participants with a wide variety of needs. Our services reflect the belief that everyone deserves quality affordable housing, the opportunity to develop to their fullest potential and the support to pursue their personal vision and meaningfully participate in the life of their community.