Well, 2020 didn’t go quite as we planned a year ago. It was our 40th year providing civil, landscape architecture, survey, and planning services and to commemorate this milestone we set a high bar as we share our success with the community that we are so proud to continue to build together through 40 community activities. A certain virus had other plans.
Despite the pandemic, we were able to do quite a bit in 2020 and we’ve shared many of our activities in earlier posts: Insights & News – VIKA MD And just because we were practicing necessary safety protocols, didn’t mean the need in the community diminished – in many cases it was even more important to get out and help. So we finished the year with several more volunteer efforts with another round of fantastic organizations we encourage our friends and colleagues to support.
Remember trying to get our kids back to school last fall? And for families that were out of work how could they pay for necessary supplies for remote learning? It’s essential for children to prepare for school and have the necessary supplies to participate, create, and most importantly learn new skills while facing unprecedented times.
Luckily, our friends at the Montgomery Housing Partnership Home – MHPartners have a great program that VIKA happily participated in. This year MHP organized donations through the Amazon wish lists. Similarly, we took part in Small Things Matter book drive for a local Rockville school. Through our Team effort donated 32 books to Montgomery County Public Schools. Thanks to these great organizations, VIKA employees donated school supplies, such as pencils, bookbags, crayons, sticky notes, paper, and journals, and books to help keep kids on track.
Unlike many people who could keep up social and work networks, many seniors have been having a harder time with isolation. But the Charles E. Smith Communities Senior Living Rockville | A Special Send Off from Seniors to Seniors created an opportunity to allow individuals to send letters to their residents. Most of our employees were working remotely so it was a great opportunity to bring their families together to write these letters. Some wrote about their gardens and others offered words of encouragement and cheerful drawings by their children.
While most of our efforts allowed participation remotely, VIKA maintained our partnership with Montgomery County Department of Transportation’s Adopt-a-Road program to help safeguard the beauty and cleanliness of our local streets. For those still coming to the office, we spend a lunch hour picking up litter before it leads into the local streams which run into the Potomac and Patuxent rivers.
Keep an eye out for our team every couple of months as we pick up and properly dispose of aluminum cans, empty beer bottles, plastic bags, and some unidentifiable items.
Another hard-hit segment of our local economy is the restaurant industry. The Shepherd’s Table, Inc. – Neighbors Feeding Neighbors came up with a brilliant idea to tackle hunger and struggling restaurants in one activity with their community outreach program called “Neighbor’s Helping Neighbors.” Our employees donated to this effort to help support local restaurants while the meals were served to those in need.
Although the year didn’t go as planned we appreciate the many fantastic organizations in our communities that look at for those in need and we’re proud to have played our small part in building a more economic, social, and environmentally sustainable future. The best news: our 40th anniversary volunteer effort has spurred a VIKA MD team to continue these efforts into the future and we now have a standing volunteer committee with events and activities already underway. We look forward to bringing you new updates and sharing more about our wonderful local non-profits.
Here’s to a fantastic 2021! We can’t wait to get out there, roll up our sleeves, and make a difference!