In February Joy Global employees in Milwaukee continued a nearly 25-year tradition of serving Milwaukee’s hungry by volunteering for an organization called The Gathering.  The organization serves meals at four locations throughout the city and with over 50 volunteer experiences under their belt, Joy Global employees have the process down to a science.

“We’re fortunate to have many employees who volunteer for The Gathering multiple times throughout the year” shared Cathy Stagmer, Global Community Relations Manager.  “They jump right in and know the drill - butter bread, roll silverware in napkins, make dessert trays, wipe down the chairs and tables, put out the salt and pepper; we’re an efficient group before and after the meal but when the guests arrive, we’re all smiles, we want every guest to feel welcome.”

Gathering 1

The Gathering enlists volunteers to cook and serve meals at their sites throughout the city.  On Saturdays meals are served at all four locations which means each Saturday they need over 50 volunteers to serve meals throughout the city.  With only a handful of paid staff, volunteers keep the program moving.

“We at The Gathering are very passionate about our work, and we're very aware that our work cannot be done without our amazing volunteers. Joy Global has for many years been a source of some of our most compassionate, respectful volunteers.  It gets easier to do what it takes when we stop and think about where many of our guests slept last night.  While the meal is important, most guests are also looking for warmth, respectful human contact, dignity, and community.  Just being seen and acknowledged goes a long way in brightening the day for our guests. Our volunteers are experts at providing all of that” commented Marianne Bach, Office Manager for The Gathering.

Marianne works with volunteer coordinators representing churches, civic organizations and companies like Joy Global.  Her organized efforts keep volunteer groups focused on their recruitment goals and informed about the details of their next experience.

“We always are looking for new individuals and groups to join the best corps of volunteers in the area, but we are grateful beyond words for the long-time volunteer groups like Joy Global for sharing in our passion” adds Marianne.

Gathering 2

The Gathering is one of Joy Global’s most popular volunteer experiences throughout the year, attracting the participation and involvement of family and friends.  In the month of March the Corporate Benefits team will be volunteering their time at The Gathering site located just blocks from the National Avenue facility and in June employees throughout Milwaukee will be invited to serve at a site located in Washington Park, a neighborhood in which Joy Global has been serving through work with Habitat for Humanity since 2011.

Supporting organizations that work to address basic human needs like hunger is one of Joy Global’s charitable giving priorities.  By helping those who are hungry you can give an individual the fuel they need to further succeed, be it in their work or their education.