ATR International CharityRecently, ATR was honored by Wells Fargo with its Community Support Award for our efforts in the Charlotte, Minneapolis, and San Francisco communities over the past six years. We were also recognized by the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation (CFF) receiving its inaugural Hall of Fame Award for our support in 2010-11.

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

Simple words, but I hope that they can adequately express the gratitude I feel.

First, I would like to thank the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and all the bright, committed people who work there searching for a cure and making the lives of those with CF better and brighter. ATR is proud to support them and humbled that we can make even a small contribution to their important mission. To receive recognition on top of this is just extra nice and we very much appreciate it. Throughout our relationship with Wells Fargo we have met countless dedicated people serving their communities in many ways including those at Vail Place, the Bennett Clayton Foundation, the American Cancer Society, and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. All of these organizations are performing vital research, providing critical services, and improving all our lives with the work that they perform. I thank them all.

Second, I want to say thank you to my employees. They are the ones who really earn and deserve any recognition that ATR receives. They are the backbone of ATR’s charitable efforts and work tirelessly within our communities supporting many worthy organizations. Whether it is as a part of our corporate efforts or as individuals, I am constantly impressed by their dedication and zeal. In addition to our support alongside our clients, our own corporate program works closely with the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS) and this past weekend was the LLS’ annual Light the Night walk, the culmination of weeks of internal fund raising efforts. The walk drew more than 3,000 and is highlighted by the balloons carried in honor of those lost to the disease, those fighting it and those who support them. Check out our Facebook page to see our employees in action. For all of your efforts throughout the year, I salute and thank my ATR colleagues.

Third, I want to thank Wells Fargo. Corporate Social Responsibility is nothing more than a buzz word and a program on paper until it comes to life through the efforts of a company’s individual people. At Wells Fargo their commitment to the communities they live and work in is tangible and I feel privileged to partner with them in supporting organizations whose work is critical to improving the lives of so many. Their charitable commitment includes local and national organizations and through them, ATR has been given opportunities to expand the reach and scope of our own efforts. It is said that it is better to give than to receive, and we appreciate and thank Wells Fargo for giving us the opportunity to give back, as well as for recognizing our efforts with the Community Support Award.

Lastly, I want to repeat – it is better to give then to receive – and encourage you to donate your time and/or money to a worthy organization in your own community. Organizations that depend on donations need continuous support, not just when the economy is booming and it is easier to be generous. Charity should be recession proof. Now, when many non-profits find their services in higher demand than ever, they need our corporate and individual support even more. I haven’t seen Wells Fargo’s assistance falter and my personal and ATR’s corporate commitments have increased over the past few years. Also, if you haven’t had the chance to visit a charity that you support, I urge you to do so. This summer I had the opportunity to tour the St. Jude facility in Memphis and seeing the work that they do in person was a memorable experience I won’t ever forget. I’m certain you will have a similarly inspirational visit.

Philanthropy is more than just dollars, sometimes time and effort are what’s needed. We introduced a paid time-off program for our employees to donate up to a week of their time to charities of their own. A few examples of how they’ve made a difference: building with Habitat for Humanity; assisting with the literacy program Write2Read; and working at a local homeless shelter. I’m pretty sure my employees would agree with me that we get back far more than we give. I urge all of you to find ways to give back, or increase your donations of time and money; there are so many ways to do it and so many who will benefit from your help. Trust me, you’ll feel good by doing good. So good that you might feel a little guilty, though grateful, when you are given an award.

Jerry Brenholz
President and CEO
ATR International


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