Reflecting on 7 Days to SERVE 2017
by Holly Mokracek, Human Resources Project Analyst
At its most basic level, a house is just a group of walls, floors, and a roof. But when you think about what makes up the building you live in, your home, you probably think about much more. The décor. The paint. The furniture. Perhaps you think about the people that live there or the food made in the kitchen. Home can be a place, time, or a group of people; home can be defined a little differently for everyone.
Here at Fannie Mae, we strive to not only make housing more affordable, but also to make houses feel more like homes. In order to make that happen, each year, we take seven days to give back to the communities we serve.
This past May, you could find about 3,200 Fannie Mae employees all around DC, Atlanta, and Dallas decked out in matching shirts, participating in our "7 Days to SERVE" annual event. Started in 2012, 7 Days to SERVE is a weeklong volunteering event that gives all employees the opportunity to volunteer with non-profit organizations. Employees partner with organizations such as homeless shelter kitchens, parks, youth mentoring programs, and daycares in low-income neighborhoods. Important organizations that strengthen communities, families, and neighborhoods.
This year, my team took the morning to volunteer at the DC Kitchen, which feeds one of America’s largest homeless shelters by preparing donated food from local schools and restaurants. It is one of the biggest kitchens I have ever seen and it ran like a well-oiled machine; over 30 people chopping, dicing, and slicing food that was going to be served the next day. It was a morning without email or phone calls, giving back to a community in need, as well as bonding as a team. In one morning, we prepared food for just two meals, showing it takes a lot of helping hands to support the homeless shelter.
I have participated in 7 Days to SERVE every year that I have been with Fannie Mae and each year I am blown away by how our employees truly love serving others. It isn’t about fulfilling an obligation; it is about giving a little bit of themselves to others in need. The positive experiences that our employees have during this week often lead to our employees taking more of an initiative to give back throughout the year. It is in the heart of almost every Fannie Mae employee to help and serve our communities. It is just who we are. Fannie Mae has a unique mission of rebuilding and sustaining our housing system and this week allows us to step out of our norm and into the communities we serve.
A strong home makes for a strong community and strong communities make for a strong America. Check out our "Giving Back" YouTube playlist to watch more stories about 7 Days to SERVE. If joining a company committed to serving its community excites you, click here to find your next career opportunity at the heart of housing!