Since 1980 we have grown and prospered working with our neighbors in Prince George’s County, Rockville, Gaithersburg, Montgomery County and beyond. It’s hard to overstate the excitement and gratitude we feel when we see people living, working, and playing in the places we help get built. But we get equal pleasure working side-by-side with our community beyond the development world.
As 2020 unfolds we set a lofty goal: it’s our 40th year of service and what better way to celebrate than by stepping up our commitment to our community. This year our staff will be participating in at least 40 charitable acts in our community. From park cleanups and neighborhood revitalization projects to food drives and providing school supplies to kids in need, we will be out and about every month.
We kicked off January dedicating our time to help A Wider Circle in Silver Spring, Maryland whose mission, “A world with no poverty is not an idea. It is the only acceptable reality” speaks volumes about their day to day work. Alice, our A Wider Circle coordinator, gave us a thorough orientation and an overview of the amazing range of work they do. The VIKA crew jumped right in breaking into two teams: the first group rolled up their sleeves sorting and cleaning furniture, clothes, dishes, and household items, preparing them for clients to furnish their homes; the second group stocked the showroom and moved furniture to loading vans for the clients.
Although the space and programs are impressive, the experience was humbling. The philosophy behind A Wider Circle emphasizes the simple truth: compassion is limited for people we don’t personally know. But the compassion we feel toward our friends and families should be fostered and shared with others. We received a great lesson about how much this compassion can change someone’s circumstances. As we widen our circles of compassion and connection to our neighbors, we can help achieve the goal: an end to poverty.
Later in January, VIKA pulled together to support Simon Carney of Brookfield Properties, who participates annually in the Polar Bear Plunge for Special Olympics DC helping his team – the Brookfield Baby Sharks – to hit #1 in donations! The Polar Bear Plunge raises funds for more than 8,000 Special Olympics Maryland athletes who train and compete year-round. Started in the mid-1990s when the Special Olympics Maryland approached the Maryland State Police with their idea to bring the state together for a “Polar Plunge”, the fundraising effort makes a real impact for all Special Olympics athletes helping them lead healthier lives and developing valuable life skills. Our hats are off to Simon and his team for having the fortitude to participate in one of DC’s “coolest” events.
We encourage all our friends, colleagues, and clients to check out these organizations who are tackling the big issues in our communities. As we all help build places and communities throughout the region, we can’t overlook all that needs to be done to bring all our neighbors into a better future. Interested to see what VIKA tackles next? Keep an eye on our website at: https://www.vika.com/.