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Volunteer event opens eyes, hearts at Ireland homeless hub

By Aoife McDermott, Better Days Promise Advisor, Kellanova Europe

When I first stepped into my role, I had a top task: create more opportunities for our employees to volunteer, especially with organizations that share our company’s values. Giving back to others is a valued belief at Kellanova and doing so is part of our Better Days™ Promise strategy to create better days for 4 billion people by the end of 2030. 

Since schools in Ireland run their own self-contained breakfast programs, we saw an opportunity to sponsor a special breakfast club at the Salvation Army’s Houben House Homeless Family Hub. 

We had 24 volunteers from the Ireland sales team descend on the house – much to the surprise of the roughly 50 families who were staying there. The Houben House serves as a temporary place where families can stay before finding permanent homes. 

Our team assembled snack packs that also included customizable water bottles, mindfulness journals for the older kids and a calendar for each family. We also brought cereal for breakfast and 50 pop-up Pringles goals and 50 footballs, provided by the Pringles partnership team. Those turned out to be a great reason for the children at the hub to get some outdoor activity. 

We spent a lot of the day there. Time flew by. 

Since this was the first event of its kind, the families – especially the kids – were a bit inquisitive about why we were there, at first. But they loved the cereal choices and were soon asking, do we get to keep the footballs? 

It was one little girl’s 10th birthday and watching the way some of the other kids interacted with her was really touching. I realized not only that many of these families are very close, but that they regularly have events throughout the week that bring them together. 

Seeing the kids be so happy brought such joy for us volunteers. 

I was also struck by the fact this was an entire community of people that we didn’t know about before. Seeing how close the families are with the Houben House’s staff workers was heartwarming, too. 

As fulfilling as our day with this community was for those we served, it was just as fulfilling for us Kellanova volunteers to make these connections. 

We will be back!                                     

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