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Ascend Intern Service Project at Giving the Basics

August 7, 2019

Recently, the interns and other employees at the Leawood, KS office volunteered with the Giving the Basics organization in downtown Kansas City, Kansas. Giving the Basics helps over 230,000 people each month gain access to personal care products they are unable to afford. While families may utilize programs such as food stamps, government assistance does not cover products such as toilet paper, soap or toothbrushes. Giving the Basics helps people access these products many of us take for granted.  

After dropping off the items donated at Leawood office, the Ascend team watched a video highlighting families, veterans and others whose lives have been impacted by Giving the Basics. The team then began boxing such items as shampoo, conditioner and all-purpose cleaner; filling palette after palette. We worked until there was no more room to put the items we had boxed up. In total, we sorted, counted and packaged over 8,000 hygiene items and household products.  

Seeing how many people struggle to get these personal care items just within the Kansas City area was eye-opening. Figuring out how to pay for toilet paper or soap is something I have been fortunate enough to never have to worry about; however, there are many out there that do. Children who must sit nervously in class because they have been teased about their hygiene, and parents that carry that burden on their shoulders with no resource to turn to. Without programs such as Giving the Basics, these families may not have anyone to look to for help in their time of need.  

Working as an intern, many people emphasize the importance of getting experience working in a corporate atmosphere to help navigate the ins and outs of “corporate life”. In doing this, I have learned about my expectations of an organization that I would choose to work for. It is refreshing to work for a company that offers a community involvement program such as weAscend. As someone who wants to volunteer more but sometimes struggles to figure out how to get involved, I appreciate programs such as these within the organization. Working somewhere that feels a responsibility to be a contributive member of the local community reassures me of the kind of company I want to work for and what I should expect from it.   

Raymond Forstater

School: University of Kansas

Major: Strategic Communications 

Minor: History

Year Entering: Senior

Team/Dep’t: ExamFX, Marketing