Team Name: Share the Harvest Committee
Team Member Names: Roni Trinidad, Chris Scheirer, Lorenzo Shiao, Alex Williamson
Honored by: PIMCO
Behind the glamour of Orange County there is still a hunger crisis in the community: one in five children in OC go hungry every day. Eight years ago, PIMCO’s Share the Harvest started with a budding partnership between the OC Food Bank (OCFB), a couple hundred PIMCO volunteers, and 1,000 empty boxes ready to be filled with food. Today, more than 750 PIMCO employees, families, and friends come together for over two days to fill 16,000 boxes with food purchased by PIMCO employees and the PIMCO Foundation. The boxes are then distributed by the OC Food Bank to the neediest in our community. This large-scale event is planned by a small and mighty group of volunteers – the Share the Harvest Planning Committee. The committee ensures that they are doing all they can to empower PIMCO employees to help meet the hunger crisis in OC. Share the Harvest (STH), which takes place on a Saturday morning in December, is one of the PIMCO Foundation’s largest annual volunteer events. Hundreds of PIMCO employees, family members, and friends of all ages make up eight assembly lines to pack purchased food into 16,000 boxes. The committee starts dedicating time, resources, talent, and physical strength about one year before the event date; they make sure that all 16,000 food boxes get filled, loaded onto OC Food Bank trucks and semis, and transported back to the food bank where they are distributed to agencies around Orange County. Ultimately, the food reaches the hands of families who need it the most. Although STH itself takes place on a Saturday morning, the committee meets during company time on a weekly basis from September through December to ensure the event goes off without a hitch! This event is not planned by an event company, instead each committee member coordinates logistics, such as: securing the OC Fair & Event Center, obtaining in-kind donations (ex: moving trucks, fork-lifts, labor), coordinating marketing and event décor, communicating with PIMCO volunteers, managing vendor and rental relationships, and overseeing event load-in, set-up and day-of-event operations. To set-up for the event, the committee takes work off Thursday and Friday and works tirelessly to help move in the 262,000 pounds of food, 16,000 boxes, and 8 assembly line tracks. They also prep food to be placed in boxes and coordinate volunteers on Friday to begin building the food boxes. Throughout the event on Saturday morning, the committee’s dedication, motivation, and excitement motivate our volunteers. What is more, the committee doesn’t stop after the 16,000 boxes have been distributed to those most in need! Following each STH event, the group sits down to debrief what worked, what didn’t, how to improve for next year – and celebrate all the boxes being distributed within 51 hours of our event close. In summary, this event simply wouldn’t happen without our committee!