Make the season for giving last all year long

Posted on December 14, 2011 by Heather Redfern - Also by this author

During the holiday season, many companies participate in activities to give back to those in need. At Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA), community involvement is part of the culture.

Individually, SEPTA’s employees are active members of their neighborhoods, local organizations and places of worship. Collectively, the authority consistently looks for opportunities that will make an impact for the greater good in its service region.

<p>Employees from SEPTA's Frontier Division with their contributions to the annual

From donating thousands of toys to local children in need during the annual holiday “Yule Toy” drive to helping beautify neighborhoods for the Philadelphia Mayor’s spring cleanup and joining with customers to collect tons of food during the summer food drive, giving to others is a way of daily operations.

Every holiday season for more than 30 years, SEPTA employees have donated thousands of presents for deserving children in the Greater Philadelphia region.
Every holiday season for more than 30 years, SEPTA employees have donated thousands of presents for deserving  children in the Greater Philadelphia region.

“We are a service organization, with an emphasis on service, and provide our neighbors with more than just a means of transportation,” said SEPTA GM Joseph Casey. “This is our home and it is our responsibility to give back.”

SEPTA recently extended its community service commitment beyond the Greater Philadelphia region by teaming with the Philadelphia Sports Congress to collect items for care packages to be sent to U.S. troops stationed around the world via Operation Gratitude.

Members of the armed forces, joined by volunteers at SEPTA’s AT&T Station and Philadelphia Headquarters and other Center City locations, collected toiletries, socks, scarves, gloves, CDs, gift cards, and letters of appreciation for servicemen and women.

(From left) Lt. Vaughn Cooper, Lt. Commander Sal Torres and Lt. Joe Bossi collected donations and signed cards from passengers at SEPTA's AT&T Broad Street Line Station.
(From left) Lt. Vaughn Cooper, Lt. Commander Sal Torres and Lt. Joe Bossi collected donations and signed cards from passengers at SEPTA's AT&T Broad Street Line Station.    

“The gifts are very much appreciated,” said Lt. Vaughn Cooper, who collected items at AT&T Station on SEPTA’s Broad Street Line.

“Even in this time of email, when there is a letter or package from back home, the feeling is so great,” added Lt. Commander Sal Torres, who was also at the station.

The collection was held in conjunction with the Army-Navy game, which will return to Philadelphia in 2012. Those who donated supplies or signed cards were given the opportunity to win tickets to next year’s game.

“The holidays are a time to be with family, but for many members of our armed forces, the season will be spent thousands of miles from home,” said Casey. “We were pleased to be able to join with the Sports Congress in showing our appreciation for our service men and women by sending small gifts and words of thanks overseas.”

As vital components of their communities that rely on citizens for increased ridership and support, public transit agencies should find ways to make the spirit of giving last not only for the holidays, but throughout the year.

In case you missed it...

Read our METRO blog, "How do you change the public's perception?" here.

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