Building a Better Tomorrow for Joplin
I am so proud to be part of the Sodexo team -- many of whom continue to work tirelessly and without fail to provide help within the Joplin, Missouri community in the wake of the devastating tornado.
Serving our local communities is part of the fabric of who we are at Sodexo. Our 125,000 employees and the 10 million customers they serve live and work together in communities all across this country. From the jobs we create, to the goods we purchase, to the services we provide, to the charitable events we sponsor, Sodexo contributes every day to the richness of our local communities. This is in fact one of our Better Tomorrow commitments.
We have seen this commitment in action again and again over the last several days. I am so proud to be part of the Sodexo team -- many of whom continue to work tirelessly and without fail to provide help within the Joplin, Missouri community in the wake of the devastating tornado.
Though many of our employees are experiencing personal loss and are continuing to process the heart wrenching changes in the community, their relief efforts continue. The team at Missouri Southern University continues to provide unwavering service. We have been proud to work with the American Red Cross in preparing and serving thousands of meals a day to those in need as well as those who are helping in the recovery efforts.
In addition, our team at St. John’s Regional Health Center has worked diligently to support the opening of the “field hospital.” The spirit and courage displayed by these employees are beyond outstanding. They are feeding patients and staff from a make-shift mobile kitchen and delivering facilities services to ensure critical safety measures are in place including hazardous waste protocols – a complicated coordination effort between Infection Control, Plant Operations, Material Management and Housekeeping.
Though Sodexo has been assisting many in the community of Joplin, it has also been important for us to take care of our own as well. We recently gathered all of our employees together at a local hotel to talk about what had happened. It was a cathartic opportunity to release emotions, rejoice at the safety of ALL our employees, pray, and most importantly, come together as a Sodexo family. It was a special moment where many of our team members expressed their strong belief that "we shall overcome and become better."
That’s what makes Sodexo’s community commitment so special. It allows us to connect in a unique way with not only our teams, but also those we serve—no matter the circumstances. Our community spirit extends beyond this storm’s destruction. For example, the district manager in Tulsa, Oklahoma at the Tulsa Public School System, along with students and other volunteers donated a semi-truck loaded with supplies for families in Joplin. Our catering manager at Rockhurst University in Kansas City, Missouri, is running her first marathon and dedicating it to the victims of the Joplin tornado. And I am now told that our teams in Springfield, Massachusetts, are feeding people affected by that community’s destructive tornado this week.
It’s people like you who make the world a better place. Thank you. I hope that you will share more of your stories of community spirit.
Calvin Johnson is president of the Sodexo Hospitals Division.