In addition to our primary function of providing products, services and technical support to telephone companies, System Studies contributes to the local community in more personal ways. Our employees and owners donate their time, money and effort to a number of organizations who provide assistance to the people in our city and county.
In the 25 years prior to 2008, System Studies was actively involved with United Way of Santa Cruz County. Employee monetary contributions and matching dollars from System Studies were used to fund the variety of local organizations supported by United Way. We are proud to say that System Studies consistently was one of the top contributing companies in Santa Cruz in our size group. In addition, many past and current System Studies employees generously volunteered their time to serve United Way in various capacities.
For many years during this time, System Studies employees and management generously donated turkeys and food to fill Thanksgiving dinner baskets for needy families and individuals in the area. The program provided nourishing meals for distribution through local agencies and churches, such as the Pajaro Valley Shelter, Holy Cross Church, Word of Life Church, Walnut Avenue Women's Center, Families in Transition, and Valley Resources.
During this time we also "adopted" families for the Holidays. Individuals from both our Corporate Office and Research Park facility would provide gifts of toys, clothing and various sundries, which were distributed by a local Volunteer Center. The Volunteer Center would target large families who were new to the area and had only minimal income. A typical adopted family might consist of a father working in a minimum-wage job, an unskilled, unemployed mother, and several children ranging in age from toddler to teen. Understandably, the contributions we provided were met with overwhelming appreciation and gratitudemaking for a very joyous Holiday Season for both recipients and donors.
Most recently, our Outreach Committee has begun to focus on smaller, not-for-profit local organizations and individuals who are suffering hardships from under-funding and diminishing contributions during the prolonged economic downturn. This direct, one-on-one involvement with the organizations and individuals whom they support has brought a new relevance and personal reference to the act of giving. Committee members present checks to the selected organizations and are able to see and experience the heart-felt gratitude of those on the receiving end. This more direct involvement, which is absent with more anonymous avenues of giving, is one of the primary reasons System Studies has chosen to take a more proactive involvent in our community outreach.
Among the local organizations who have received System Studies contributions in the 2011 calendar year are Santa Cruz SPCA (Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals), I-You Venture (a Santa Cruz organization that recruits, orients and places volunteers with residents of local care facilities), Furry Friends (a Santa Cruz organization that offers Pet Assisted Therapy Services to bring the healing power of animals to those less fortunate in our community), and Easter Seals Camp Harmon (a summer camp in the Santa Cruz Mountains that provides assistance and recreational activities for children and adults with various disabilities).