ECRM’s Year of Giving  1/4/2018

Most of you already know ECRM as the go-to company for retailer product discovery and category planning, but what you may not be as aware of is the fact that it’s also a big believer in lending a helping hand to the communities and markets it serves, and both the company and its staff are heavily involved in many charitable activities -- and we’re always looking for more with which we can get involved!.

These activities take on two different forms. One area of ECRM’s charitable giving is tied to its 60+ category-based sessions that take place in a variety of locations around the U.S. throughout the year. At many of these sessions, we link up with local charitable organizations that are related to the category. Toward the session’s end, the staff on-site collect donated products from suppliers for pickup by the partner charity, and this often results in a roomful of items for those in need.

So, for example, at our Pet EPPS, which takes place every year in Chicago, we collect product donations from attending suppliers for The Buddy Foundation, a local pet shelter. (See below for a list of other charitable groups ECRM supports via its sessions).

The other way in which ECRM gives is by its staff volunteering their time to help a variety of local causes in and around the Cleveland area where ECRM is based, or to causes in their local communities, if they are a remote employee. To help organize and bring more people into these efforts, we created ECRM Gives Back, an informal group of volunteers within the company dedicated to serving various Cleveland-based charitable organizations.

In 2017, ECRM Gives Back was able to collaborate with several of these organizations to volunteer their time and lead efforts to collect donations for them. ECRM provides each employee with the opportunity to take a paid “volunteer day” so we can help out during a weekday, if needed, though many of the staff do these activities on weekends and evenings, as well. “It’s wonderful to work for a company that supports and encourages community partnerships through voluntarism,” says Alex Russo, Account Manager - General Merchandise for ECRM.”

Some employees have their own causes for which they have already been volunteering their time. Health & Beauty Care Account Manager Ivana Samardzija has been working with the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society since she was 16, and now other members of the ECRM Gives Back team pitch in to help her to support that cause. “It’s comforting to know that ECRM gives me the option to continue supporting a non-profit organization while working on our sessions,” she says.

We also have a partnership with a local nursing home, where once a month, members of the ECRM Gives Back team join the residents for a game of Bingo. “Knowing how much the residents enjoy when we come to play bingo with them, makes it all worth it,” says Melissa Pelle, Retail Account Manager for ECRM. “This could be the only time someone is visiting them that day, or even for that week or month. I truly enjoy every minute of it; I turn my phone off, think about nothing except the residents and have a positive attitude. I know a small gesture can sometimes go a long way.”

The holiday season, not surprisingly, is the biggest giving time of the year. Each year, the staff of ECRM comes together to raise money and collect non-perishable items for the Cleveland Food Bank to help with the Thanksgiving season. In 2017, ECRM collected 84 non-perishable items and more than $600, which equates to 2,400 meals to help hungry families, according to Cleveland Food Bank. ECRM also participated in an “Adopt-a-Family” program in which we raised $320 and collected 56 gifts for a family of five selected by the program.

ECRM is proud of the service we provide and the community engagement. 2018 will be full of giving back to the community once again. And we’re always looking for new opportunities in which we can help those in need, so if you work with or know of a charitable organization we can help, please drop me a line!

From all of us at ECRM Gives Back, Have a Happy New Year!

Following is a list of some of ECRM's Giving Partners by state:

Phoenix Rescue Mission
Operation interdependence
Gila River Indian Community

Lake Tahoe Boys and Girls Club
Second Harvest Food Bank of Orange County
Napa Valley Food Bank

Kids In Need
Operation Shoe Box
The Miami Rescue Mission

The Buddy Foundation

New Orleans Mission

The Shade Tree Las Vegas
Ronald McDonald House Charities
Operation interdependence

North Carolina
Project Halo

Society of St Vincent de Paul
Charities of Houston

Numerous ECRM volunteers joined forces with the Cleveland Animal Protective League.
L to R: Ashley Newman, Katie Lehman, Mandi Booth, and Analita Voss at Ronald McDonald House
L to R: Analita Voss, Mandi Booth, and Melissa Pelle playing bingo with nursing home residents.
Ivana Samardzija (left) and Alex Russo (right) along with a Leukemia and Lymphoma Society representative
ECRM collected $320 and 56 presents for a family of five this past holiday season.

Analita Voss

Account Manager

Analita can be reached at 440-528-4277

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