Cycling past the Liberty Pole Way and seeing a storefront sign for the Villa Movement, my Unite Rochester blog antennae beeped. As did my interest in sports gear and apparel.Inside the store, I got the very cool story of Villa: Join the Movement from Area Manager Rickey Hunley. The mission statement–while powerfully crafted–just sets the stage for what Villa is all about.
Fundamentally, as explained to me by Rickey, Villa employees sign up not to just sell attractive sports wear, but to literally join a movement. Fully voluntarily, employees participate in up to 25 hours of community service activities a month. In my short stay, I could tell these activities were more fun than work, watching Rickey and his assistant scroll though their phones containing abundant options for the post.
Rickey has taken part in programs benefiting school kids, young entrepreneurs, high school students, and others needing a helping hand:
Personally since my employment with Villa I have helped our “Project 1000″ where we measured the feet and supplied over 700 kids with Timberland boots for Winter of 2012. We’ve also are committed to our Homesewn project where we are giving local entrepreneurs an opportunity to have their clothing lines sold in Villa on a permanent basis. We did a food drive, we collected non perishable goods and donated them to the Rochester City Mission. Lastly, I most recently spoke at the 585 Peace Walk rally, I talked about our I Matter Scholarship where we gave away 5 Scholarships ranging from $1000-$5000 to local Rochester High Seniors Seniors who graduated June 2015. We are opening up our 2nd enrollment for another round of scholarship opportunities for the class of 2016.
As Rickey told the story, I could tell much of what he did at Villa is a labor of love.
I was especially interested in the Adopt a School program now getting started. I learned that Villa is about to “adopt” East High, joining the ranks of community members who have come forward to help the new East succeed.
As Rickey says:
Adopt a School simply gives each Villa location access to the kids we serve. We are committed as employees to do community service on a quarterly basis. We can do application writing, resume writing and practice interviews. Actually, whatever East needs. Soon to come!