MarianBaldini
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MarianBaldini

I Want to Start a Movement: Look Around and Look in the Mirror

When the pandemic started, I was delighted that several CEOs embraced the word hero to describe their staff. One example is the Jefferson Health System CEO who said the pandemic was not their first work as heroes. From my way of thinking, everyone is gifted. And our life’s work is to find the way we can best make the most of the gifts we have and develop them to their highest potential. This past week, we have been celebrating the community using a similar word, champion.

Champions are ordinary people who make themselves extraordinary through the love, dedication, support, and service they provide to others so selflessly. They too are heroes, many of whom have often stepped up for the KenCrest community in unimaginable and amazing ways.

For over five years, KenCrest has celebrated those who have gone above and beyond to help us accomplish our mission and empower those we support; they are our Community Champions. Over the last two weeks we’ve been highlighting and honoring several of our champions on Facebook for their volunteerism, investment, and advocacy throughout 2020–2021.

One of our favorite Community Champion heroes is PNC! For over a decade, PNC has supported our Early Learning Centers and community-building work. They have hosted events, donated thousands of classroom supplies, and in July 2019 built custom Little Libraries for each of our Centers. When the pandemic struck and school buildings closed, they kicked their efforts into higher gear.

As students and families were trying to transition to remote programs, PNC donated 500 Learn-at-Home kits full of supplies and materials to help every child succeed. They also donated iPads so that families enrolled in literacy and ESL classes and other education programs could still participate and connect with our teachers from home. PNC continued to support the KenCrest Family by hosting a book drive to restock our classrooms as well as the Little Libraries in our community at large.

While the whole world seemed to be grinding to a halt, the amazing folks at PNC went above and beyond to help our students continue learning at full speed. You can be a hero just as much as you are a champion — PNC is proof.

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