Edwards is committed to our community and surrounding areas. Philanthropy, community involvement, and people working together is paramount in making communities stronger.
Our company charitable matching program donates corporate money to support civic and philanthropic activities, matching employee contributions. And it doesn’t stop with a check: we volunteer in our community as a group and individually. Each year, Edwards chooses a major organization to support based on employee input. Walks, fundraisers, or preparing meals, Edwards employees support the community and it’s people.
Restoration Ranch provides equine learning for veteran families in Bastrop, Texas. Veterans are given the opportunity to learn from the horses and contribute to service-oriented projects in a rural environment – building relationships with the horses and their fellow veterans. The ranch also offers holistic health workshops to encourage exercise, reflection, learning, and play.
We are proud to support them and their work in the veteran community as a sponsor this year. For more information on Restoration Ranch and how you can support their mission, please visit their website.
Grassroots Crisis Intervention Center
This year, we have decided to focus our efforts in our more immediate community, supporting Grassroots Crisis Intervention Center in Columbia, MD. Grassroots is the only 24 hour, full service homeless shelter providing free outreach services and crisis intervention in Howard County.
Their facility maintains 18 beds for men, 33 family rooms, and 24 hour crisis hotline support. Their center is also connected to the suicide prevention line and hosts more calls than any center in the United States. We will support Grassroots with various initiatives throughout 2017, starting with a food and household supplies drive. Grassroots serves approximately 50 people three meals daily and is always accepting food and household item donations; as well as gift cards for gas, grocery stores, and Walmart/Target. For more information on how you can join Edwards in supporting Grassroots, please visit their website.
To date, Edwards has sponsored cookouts, delivered meals, and pantry item collection for the residents. We continue to send delivered meals with money raised from Jean’s Fridays! We also plan to prepare bag lunches and support their Christmas shopping lists as the year continues.
ECStrong 5k (2017)
Last year, Main Street Ellicott City was devastated by a flash flood. Sidewalks were uprooted and businesses destroyed. Shortly after the flood, local running group, the Elkridge Pavement Pounders put together a 5k run in support of Main Street and the rebuilding efforts. With Main Street being so close to us, Edwards quickly stepped up to sponsor the event. The run was such a success, they plan to make it an annual event.
On July 29, 2017 the ECStrong 5k 2.0 supported the continued redevelopment of the area – raising $8,250! Main Street was closed for months to repair the damage, but one by one most of the shops have reopened. Let’s continue to show our support and help the businesses become more successful than before. For more information, please visit their website.
CEOs Stopping Diabetes (2016)
Edwards participated in the 3rd Annual American Diabetes Association’s (ADA) CEOs Stopping Diabetes program – championed by President and CEO, Gina Abate and Founder, Steve Edwards. CEOs Stopping Diabetes selects six businesses in the Baltimore area each year to support wellness initiatives designed to improve the health of their workforce and prevent diabetes. David McShea, Executive Director of ADA says, “When CEOs lead wellness efforts in the workplace, the results are markedly improved.”
The incidence of diabetes is increasing in Maryland. It affects 600,000 people and places 1.2M people at high risk – accounting for $1.8M+ in lost wages and productivity annually. To ensure we do not add to these statistics, Edwards implemented healthy initiatives encouraging employees to be mindful and be fit. Our programs included a Yoga/Zumba event, Get Fit Don’t Sit Day, healthy lunch competitions, walks around the parking lot, and ADA’s Step Out Walk. For more information, please visit our Team Page.
AFCEA Spring Golf Tournament (2016)
Edwards once again participated in the AFCEA Central Maryland Chapter Spring Golf Tournament. This year’s tournament was Friday, May 6 at the Oakmont Green Golf Course in Hampstead, MD. This great event is a fundraising effort to support the AFCEA scholarship foundation. All proceeds and package golf deals go towards the scholarship foundation.
As a member of AFCEA, Edwards attends multiple events throughout the year and for the Spring Golf Tournament, provides volunteers and participants. AFCEA Central Maryland Chapter hosts these fundraisers so they can provide merit-based scholarships to graduating high school seniors for their achievements and to aid them in accomplishing their career goals. Each scholarship is $10,000!
Cystic Fibrosis Foundation – Baltimore Great Strides (2016)
Edwards participated in the Baltimore Great Strides Walk to support the Cystic Fibrosis (CF) Foundation. The Foundation’s cause is particularly important to us and we raised money through multiple events. Money collected goes toward research and care for those affected by CF.
The final event happened May 26, 2016 at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore, MD. We walked 1.5 miles in support of Cystic Fibrosis research. CF closely touches some of our employees lives and we were proud to participate in #BmoreGreatStrides16. Though the event is over, you can still donate. Click here for more details.
Alzheimer’s Association – Walk to End Alzheimer’s (2015)
Edwards participated in our first team walk: the 2015 Alzheimer’s Association Walk to End Alzheimer’s in Centennial Park (Ellicott City, MD). Based on our employees’ contributions, as well as support from friends and family, Edwards raised $4,355.00 toward Alzheimer’s care and research! “We thank you to everyone that came out to walk with us. It was a perfect day for walking around Centennial Park and the number of purple Edwards hats was a great addition to the already vibrant sea of purple,” said President and CEO, Gina Abate.
We used the hashtag campaign using #ENDALZ and #Walk2EndAlz to help spread the word, resulting in a great turn out.
Alzheimer’s disease is the sixth-leading cause of death in the U.S.; everyone has a loved one, friend, or family member who has been affected by this horrible disease. The Alzheimer’s Association is the largest voluntary health organization in Alzheimer care, support, and research. All of the funds we raised go directly toward supporting their efforts. In addition to supporting a wonderful cause, this walk promotes team building by allowing the Edwards Team to interact with co-workers from other job sites. Since Edwards is based in Howard County, we will also be supporting our local community and wellness as we walk to enhance Alzheimer’s research efforts.
For more information regarding the Walk to End Alzheimer’s, visit their website.
The Baltimore Area Council, Boy Scouts of America
The Baltimore Area Council (BAC), Boy Scouts of America (BSA) is one of the largest and most prominent values based youth development organizations in Central Maryland. The BSA provides a program for young people that builds character, trains them in the responsibilities of participating citizenship, and develops personal fitness. For more than a century, BSA has helped build the future leaders of this country by combining educational activities and lifelong values with fun. The BSA believes and, through a century of experience, knows helping today’s youth is a key to building a more conscientious, responsible, and productive society tomorrow.
Edwards supports the BAC BSA annually through monetary gifts, as well as initiative and event sponsorships that include the Baltimore Area Gathering of Eagles reception held yearly in early November to reunite local Eagle Scouts in the central Maryland area.
In addition, Edwards’ Founder, Steve Edwards (an Eagle Scout since 1974), is an active member of the executive board for the BAC. To learn more about the Boy Scouts of America and the Baltimore Area Council, please visit their website.