WJE Gives Back to Local Communities

January 11, 2010
Throughout 2009, WJE branch offices nationwide helped local residents in need. WJE's commitment to social responsibility is a reflection of its core philosophy—employing individuals who demonstrate character, commitment, expertise, and enthusiasm, which are all hallmarks of the organization. Below is small listing of the contributions WJE staff members made in 2009.

WJE Accounting Group
Just before the Thanksgiving holiday, the Accounting Department held its tenth annual "Feastival" luncheon at the company's Northbrook headquarters. The group collected 509 pounds of food and raised $2,000, all of which was donated to the Wheeling Township Food Pantry in Wheeling, Illinois.

WJE Austin
Architects and engineers at WJE's Austin branch provided pro bono structural foundation design and foundation subgrade preparation for the Christian Federation of Police Officers-Police Athletic League (CFPO-PAL) Youth Sports Organization in San Marcos, Texas. The CFPO-PAL is a nonprofit organization that serves over 7,500 local youths annually that participate in basketball, boxing, flag football, football, and tennis. The renovated facility will function as a concession stand, football equipment storage facility, and league meeting hall.

WJE Boston
Boston staff participated and donated money to Hub on Wheels, a cycling event that loops throughout Boston to raise money for important local causes. Each year, the ride brings together lots of participants, hundreds of volunteers, and numerous local businesses in celebration of Boston and bicycling.

In addition to Hub on Wheels, the Boston office worked with Northeastern University's Chi Epsilon chapter to act as an advisor for the organization's inaugural entry in the fourteenth annual Boston Canstruction competition. Canstruction is a national charity created to show off the artistic ingenuity of design industry professionals while providing a distinct benefit to food banks. For the competition, participants designed and built gigantic structures made entirely from full cans of food. WJE and members of Chi Epsilon were awarded "Best Meal—Friend of the Food Bank," and their "Beantown Pineapple" sculpture was entered into the national Canstruction competition. All the cans were donated to a local food bank for distribution. As a result of this year's Boston event, more than 35,000 cans of food were donated to the Greater Boston Food Bank.

WJE Chicago
WJE sponsored the Inspiration Corporation with its holiday gift program. The Inspiration Corporation depends on private support to assist more than 2,500 men and women affected by homelessness and poverty each year.

WJE Dallas
The Dallas office provided pro bono services to help provide a solution to problems with the beacon for the new Ronald McDonald House of Dallas that opened on December 9, 2009. The beacon, which appears on top of the new house so that children staying in one of the nearby hospitals can see the light at night and know that their family is close at hand, was a signature design element of the new house.

WJE Denver
In lieu of receiving holiday gifts, Denver staff decided to donate to one local charity (Colorado Homeless Families) and one national charity (Salvation Army). The office raised a total of $2,000.

WJE San Francisco
The San Francisco branch collected approximately 500 pounds of food for the Alameda County Food Bank to benefit local residents in need. San Francisco's Rachel Crunk also organized a donation drive to benefit the Samoan Community Development Center in San Francisco, California, after a tsunami struck the Samoan Islands in September. Because of Rachel's efforts, the branch was able to donate food, clothing, shoes, and school supplies for the relief efforts.

WJE Seattle
WJE's Seattle office supported the West Seattle and Fauntleroy YMCA Giving Tree program by adopting a family and providing the family members with clothing, toys, and other items to make their holiday a little more enjoyable. "We're very glad that we were able to supply our adopted family with their wish list items," said WJE's Seattle Unit Manager Dave Deress. "Based on what they asked for, they were really having a hard time. Hopefully WJE's donations will help them along for awhile and the kids can have a little fun as well," said Deress.

WJE Structures I Group
Kevin Michols and Mark Schmidt participated in events hosted by Feed My Starving Children, a nonprofit organization committed to providing meals specially formulated for starving children. At the events, volunteers hand packed meals that were eventually shipped to more than sixty countries around the world. Mr. Schmidt also participated in a local Blitz Build event in partnership with Habitat for Humanity. This project provided a new home for a mother, her children, and her elderly parents.

WJE Washington, D.C.
Suzanne Thorpe of the Washington, D.C., office rode one hundred miles in just over six hours for the Seagull Century bike ride held in Salisbury, Maryland. To prepare for the event, Thorpe and her husband joined Team in Training, an organization that trains participants for endurance events while raising money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS). The team, which consisted of sixty people from around the area, trained over five months in preparation for the century ride. As part of the training, Thorpe and her husband had to raise $4,000 for the LLS. WJE employees and the D.C. office donated over $1,700 to support her efforts to help the LLS fight blood cancers. Thorpe and her husband were able to raise more than $4,200.

About WJE
Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates, Inc. (WJE), is an interdisciplinary firm of architects, structural engineers, and materials scientists that specializes in the investigation, analysis, testing, and design of repairs for historic and contemporary structures. WJE focuses on delivering practical, innovative, and technically sound solutions across all areas of construction technology. Since the firm's founding more than fifty years ago, WJE specialists bring the collective experience gained from conducting more than seventy-five thousand investigations worldwide to every construction challenge. WJE combines state-of-the-art laboratory and testing facilities, nationwide offices, and knowledge sharing systems to provide solutions for the built world. For more information, please visit wje.com.

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