AJO Team Takes a Break to Celebrate and Give Back

Jan 21 2013

2013 is a special year at AJO. To mark the 30 year anniversary of the company’s formation, we have several events planned throughout the year, including a special celebration dinner in April.

To kick off events last week, we partnered with Caring Capital, an organization that brings together corporate volunteers with the creativity of professional artists to serve community neighbors in need.

Fifteen A.J. O’Connor team members assembled at the offices of Family Services of Morris County (FSMC). FSMC were kind enough to donate its facility for the afternoon and CEO, Patrice Picard gave an overview of the work of her organization which celebrates its own anniversary milestone this year. Founded in 1813 as the Female Charitable Society, this non profit was founded by a group of women who were interested in helping the "deserving poor" of Morristown. AJO’s president, Andy O’Connor, now serves as a member of FSMC’s Board of Managers, so we have more than one connection with FSMC.

Ahead of the event, we learned about the possible recipients and elected to build rocking chairs for Head Start of Morris County. Eileen Jankunis, Executive Director of Head Start also attended our event, during which she shared information on the work of her organization before describing the children’s library renovation project, where our finished chairs would be going.

AJO President, Andy O’Connor thanked his team and reminded the group that giving back was an obvious choice to kick off AJO’s 30th anniversary celebrations, since taking time from our day to help those less fortunate is very much aligned with our values and mission.

“As we build rocking chairs to help others we may not be sure how each individual contribution will affect the overall project. Trust that whatever you contribute today will have a profound impact on those who receive these gifts just as you have had a profound impact on the reputation of AJO with your individual contributions over the last 30 years.”

The AJO Team Builds & Decorates Seven Rocking Chairs

With introductions out of the way, the project began as we organized ourselves into teams of two. Caring Capital’s professional artists provided support as we built and decorated six child-sized rocking chairs and one adult chair. Once constructed, the fun began for the room’s creative types as we decorated each chair with accompanying pillows to ensure the children will have a cozy, comfortable place to sit and read in the newly renovated Head Start children’s library. Finally, storybooks were created to accompany the chairs.

No AJO get-together would be complete without food and drink and this event was no exception. AJO gave its team members celebration fleeces to mark the event and we ended the afternoon with photos, thanks and farewells.

Rocking Chairs Arrive in Renovated Children's Library

Two days later, Caring Capital dropped off the rocking chairs. Eileen Jankunis, Executive Director of Head Start shared,

“We are so grateful to the AJO Team for their generosity. The rocking chairs are simply delightful and have already made a huge difference in the children's ability to enjoy our new library space."

We’re delighted that the rocking chairs were a big hit and we especially enjoyed seeing the children’s smiling faces and the new home for our creative efforts!

A special thanks to Susie Schub and her team from Caring Capital (shown above) who made the event happen.

This was a great start to our 30th anniversary year.

For more photos from the event, visit our Facebook Event Page.