This year, for the 8th year in a row, Frito-Lay and PepsiCo associates spent United Way’s Day of Caring in the community, for one of the largest corporate United Way Day of Caring events in North Texas. United Way of Metropolitan Dallas is a community-based non-profit organization which has brought people and resources together to fight complex social problems in North Texas for over 90 years.
Through PepsiCo and Frito-Lay’s participation in Day of Caring, an estimated 40,000 volunteer hours have been completed at area nonprofits throughout the past seven years.
This October, 1,480 associates volunteered at 22 United Way agencies in the area, completing a whopping 7,000 volunteer hours in a single day. For example, for the seventh year in a row, the same group of volunteers has visited the Children’s Advocacy Center of Collin County to do beautification projects there, a team we reported on last year for their year-after-year loyalty to CACCC.
We caught up with Chris Kuechenmeister, senior vice president of North America communications for PepsiCo, to discuss the biggest United Way Day of Caring Frito-Lay and PepsiCo have ever completed.
Why do you participate in United Way’s Day of Caring?
Chris: Community service has always been part of the DNA of our company. Through the volunteer day you see wonderful things happen. It’s not just about great work; it’s about our associates feeling inspired and rewarded. We’re looking to inspire the rest of the community to volunteer too.
What went on at CACCC this year?
Chris: We had 80 associates out there doing beautification projects inside and outside. Painting, repair work, landscaping, replacing walkways and bridges and picnic tables—we did a wide range of things to help out the facility. We’ve always been proud to support them.
Last year associates went to 19 places. What about this year?
Chris: This year, we went out to 22 places. We had 50 folks doing a Fall Festival for seniors. We went to some schools to do landscaping and were at a number of other agencies throughout the area like Goodwill and Salvation Army.
Why should companies volunteer their time?
Chris: We have been fortunate to have a great presence here in North Texas as a company. Thousands of associates live, work and play here. It’s important to be great partners to the community and give back through these organizations. We love to get out and connect with others and give back and see the community thrive. It brings together the best of Pepsico.
Has Frito-Lay and PepsiCo participation in Day of Caring grown?
Chris: Yes. That it’s grown as much as it has over the years is a point of pride for us. The first year we had 800 volunteers. It gets bigger every year. We’re going to do better next year. I can’t want to see how big it’ll be next year.
This year, Frito-Lay and PepsiCo volunteered at the following organizations: Achieve, Bonton Farms (two locations), Healthy Zone Schools – Caldwell Elementary School, ChildCareGroup, Children’s Advocacy Center of Collin County, Children’s Health, Dallas Furniture Bank, The Family Place, Goodwill Industries, Inc., H.I.S. BridgeBuilders, Jewish Family Services, Healthy Zone Schools – McNeil Elementary School, Mi Escuelita Preschool, Inc., Mosaic Family Services, Inc., Nexus Recovery Center, PediPlace, Rainbow Days, The Salvation Army – Irving, The Senior Source – Golden Acres Living and Rehabilitation, Trinity River Mission and Vogel Alcove.