Associates from CBI’s Raleigh Location Volunteer their Time at the Local Food Bank

Associates from CBI’s Raleigh office recently took some time to give back to their local community by volunteering at the Foodbank of Central and Eastern North Carolina in Raleigh. The Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina (the Food Bank) is a nonprofit organization that has provided food for friends and neighbors facing hunger in 34 counties in central and eastern North Carolina for 40 years. Through partnerships, education, and programs, the Food Bank empowers communities to overcome hunger, creating an environment where all North Carolinians thrive. 

 

While at The Food Bank the CBI Team helped sort food into different categories so it can eventually be shipped to other food pantry locations.

Rachel Lawver, a CBI Project Manager, says “Volunteering at the Raleigh Food Bank was an amazing experience for our team. We were part of a larger group effort, and over a 4-hour time period, we contributed to sorting 10,900 lbs. of food which is the equivalent of 9,108 meals for North Carolina Residents.” 

In North Carolina, 1,417,440 people are facing hunger - and of them 419,470 are children. Organizations like the Foodbank of Central and Eastern North Carolina make it possible to provide food to people in need while building solutions to end hunger in our communities. We are extremely proud of our CBI Associates for taking the time to support this organization and those in their community facing hunger. 

Learn more about the Foodbank of Central and Eastern North Carolina and how you can join the fight against hunger here.
 

Live Love Serve Board of Directors Spotlight: Christine Longo

The Live Love Serve Foundation is lucky to have a passionate group of individuals on its Board of Directors who are dedicated to serving their fellow neighbors and local communities. 

This month our Live Love Serve Board of Directors Spotlight features Christine Longo who told us more about why she and her husband, David Longo, founded the organization and have made it a priority in their lives to give back to others. Read more about what drives her to Live, Love and Serve below. 

Q: You and your husband founded the Live Love Serve Foundation together. Tell us more about what inspired the idea and about how the Foundation came to life. 
Christine: The mission of the Live Love Serve Foundation is to live a God-centered life focused on love; and from a very young age David and I were taught to love others and place God at the center of our lives. As children, we were both brought up with the understanding that giving back and taking care of others was important. We kept those ideals a priority in our married life and instilled the same values in our own children as we raised our family.

We founded the Live Love Serve Foundation in 2018 as an extension of CBI, and it is a  vehicle that allows us to support non-profit organizations in our local community, offer assistance to CBI Associates who need it and provide a hand-up to individuals that we encounter who are facing hardships at specific moments in their lives. Since forming CBI in 1993, David always had a vision of creating a separate branch of the business that teaches people how to be Jesus’ hands and feet on Earth, and I would say that the Live Love Serve Foundation does just that. 

Over the last four years the Live Love Serve Foundation has provided support to numerous organizations and individuals. It is truly amazing to see the reach the Foundation has had and to hear success stories from those we’ve supported. 

Q: It sounds like the Live Love Serve Foundation is the result of a life of service for both you and David. Tell us a little bit more about the types of outreach you were involved in before founding the Live Love Serve Foundation.

Christine: I have been volunteering with various organizations since I was a teenager. In fact, David and I met as young adults when we were working as counselors at Camp Fatima in New Jersey, which is a non-profit organization that provides free summer camp programs for children and adults with special needs. Working with these special needs individuals was such a gratifying experience for me, and it truly inspired me to continue giving my time and skills to other organizations throughout my life.

When we moved to Charlotte in 1993, I became very involved in ministries at our church, St Matthew’s Catholic Parish. One of the ministries I joined was the RAIN Support Team where I volunteered my time taking care of AIDS patients who did not have family support. In the early 90’s, the treatments for HIV and AIDS were much different than today, and there was far less information out there about the disease. Many patients didn’t have people in their lives to help them through their illness, which is why the RAIN Support Team was so important. I helped care for two individuals diagnosed with the disease and did everything from driving them to doctors appointments, helping with meals, providing comfort and prayer and even taking care of them in hospice. Working on the RAIN Support Team was a completely humbling experience, and I continue to pray for those individuals I cared for even now. 

Today, I am still very involved at our church in different areas, and the Live Love Serve Foundation also keeps me busy. 

Q: What would you say is your primary role on the Board at the Live Love Serve Foundation? 
Christine: I have oversight for a few different areas of the Live Love Serve Foundation. First and foremost, David and I work together to create and implement the strategy for the Foundation. When we started Live Love Serve, we created a strategic 4-year plan outlining goals and objectives and detailing the types of organizations we wanted to support. That plan is coming to an end, and we are now working on developing a new plan to take us into the next 4 to 5 years as an organization. 

I am also on the committee that reviews and approves donations, grant and scholarship requests. Anytime an organization or an individual requests support from the Live Love Serve Foundation they are asked to fill out an application stating their need and providing a little bit more information about themselves. The Board reviews the requests on a regular basis and decides on the amount of money we can provide financially. 

Finally, I work very closely with David to determine and approve a budget for the Foundation. I also help vet large organizations that we contribute to financially. 

Q: It sounds like you have a lot of responsibility on the Board. What really drives your passion for helping others? 
Christine: I would say I really learned about giving back to others and volunteerism from my parents. They did not have a lot of money to give back financially, so instead they gave their time to family members in need. Before I was born, my Mom and Dad opened their home to my small cousins when their parents were ill and couldn’t take care of them. It is examples like these that instilled my passion for helping others, and these are also the types of examples that I try to set for my kids. 

The Live Love Serve Foundation is a family-built Foundation, and it’s been wonderful to see my kids as adults with the same passion and desire to give back to our community and our neighbors in need. 

Q: Wonderful! For our last question, tell us what you do with your time when you aren’t giving back to the community. 

Christine: I have three amazing kids and two wonderful grandchildren. When I’m not working for the Live Love Serve Foundation or with my church, I am playing Nana to Margaret who is 3-years old and James who is 6-months. David and I also love to travel and enjoy visiting our son Tommy in Bend, OR, planning summer beach trips and getting up to the North Carolina mountains when we can. 

__________________________________________________

If you are interested in learning more about the Live Love Serve Foundation and how it partners to support local communities, please visit www.llsfoundation.com 

 

Live Love Serve Board of Directors Spotlight: Beth Restituto

The Live Love Serve Foundation is lucky to have a passionate group of individuals on its Board of Directors who are dedicated to serving their fellow neighbors and local communities. Over the next few weeks, we’ll be introducing you to the members of our Board and sharing more about what they like most about their position and why they are inspired to give back. 

Our first Board of Directors Spotlight features Beth Restituto who told us more about what drives her to serve through the Live Love Serve Foundation.  

Q: Beth, tell us about your role with the Live Love Serve Foundation?  
I have served on the LLS Board of Directors since the organization was founded in 2018, and I am part of the team that reviews and approves how funds are allocated each year. 

Q: The Live Love Serve Foundation provides financial donations to many different charitable organizations. Do you have one that you feel a strong tie to? 
We do work to support a number of charitable organizations across the Southeast in communities where CBI does business. However, my favorite part about my role on the Board  is getting to know the stories of the individuals who request our assistance and learning more about their lives, hopes and aspirations. 

Q: Oh wow, that sounds interesting. Tell us more about the types of individuals you help to support. 
Well one major component about the Live Love Serve Foundation is that it provides funds for CBI employees and their family members who experience financial crisis that is unexpected or potentially crippling to their livelihoods. For example, an unexpected medical expense that someone wasn’t planning for can have the potential to set them back financially for years. Or expenses incurred because of a car accident or apartment leak or house fire. These are the types of situations that some people experience that can bankrupt them. The Live Love Serve Foundation partners with CBI to provide support for employees and their families who experience these situations. And we don’t only help with unexpected expenses either, the Live Love Serve Foundation has provided funds to pay for education and schooling for employees and their children who cannot afford it, covered funeral expenses and more. 

Q: That sounds like a wonderful program. How does the Live Love Serve Foundation decide who to support in these situations? 
We have a system where employees can nominate their peers for financial assistance, or an employee can nominate themselves. All nominations are completely anonymous, and no one outside of our Board ever finds out who receives the funding. This process ensures that employees who need help can receive it without feeling embarrassed or ashamed. It also creates a sense of security for those who might need help in the future and makes people feel better about reaching out when they really need a little extra support. 

Q: You sound very passionate about this work. Tell us, what inspires you personally to give back? 
I grew up in a household where giving back was encouraged. I remember from the time I was very young, my Mom was a volunteer for an AIDS support network. She helped take care of people who were sick and dying from the disease who didn’t have support from their families. In the 90’s working with AIDS patients wasn’t a very popular thing to do, but my mom gave these patients so much love and support in their final days. It is a memory that has stuck with me and really inspired me to give to those who need it when I can. I spent my youth and high-school years completing service projects and volunteering for various organizations when my time allowed, and I’m pleased I can continue that service in my adult life through the Live Love Serve Foundation. 

Q: That’s such a fantastic story. So, when you aren’t working for the Live Love Serve Foundation what do you like to do for fun? 
My family is very important to me, and I love spending time with them every chance I get. I have a three-year-old daughter and a five-month-old son, so as you can imagine, life is pretty busy at this time! We just recently moved back to Charlotte last year, so my husband and I are getting reacclimated to the city and are starting to get out and about a little bit now that pandemic restrictions are easing up. 
We are avid sports fans and have season tickets to the Charlotte Football Club games, so that is something we are looking forward to when the season starts. We are also hoping to travel some and have a visit to New Orleans planned this fall. 

Q: It sounds like you are very busy! We are grateful to your support and service to the Live Love Serve Foundation and would ask for you to give one piece of advice to individuals looking to give back to their community. 
I would tell those looking to give back to examine the things they are passionate about and find an organization that supports those passions. There are so many ways to become involved in your local community, it’s important to listen to your heart and know that even small gestures or a little bit of time here and there can make a big difference. 

If you are interested in learning more about the Live Love Serve Foundation and how it partners to support local communities, please visit www.llsfoundation.com