Helping Our Neighbors: PCI’s Holiday Food Drive

Posted by Sarah Chew on December 29, 2011  |   No Comments »

PCI’s team members pull together every day to achieve great results for our customers. But this holiday season gave us the opportunity to pull together to help our Seminole County neighbors who are most deeply affected by today’s economy.

As a way of giving back to the community, PCI selects a charitable organization each year to assist through donations. The recent 60 Minutes episode documenting the struggles of homeless schoolchildren in Seminole County inspired this year’s choice: The Families in Transition (FIT) Program for Seminole County Schools, which was featured in the episode as the group providing food and assistance to local homeless families with children in the Seminole County public school system.

FIT was recommended during a meeting of PCI managers to choose this year’s recipient. Vice President of Sales Troy Barnes presented the idea to the group, which immediately approved.

“After the meeting, we reached out to Beth Davalos, the coordinator of FIT, and asked what she needed,” said Gabe Hernandez, PCI General Manager. “She said that donations of food and money would help them deliver the most services. So we decided to hold a company-wide food drive, as well as a call for cash donations. We also arranged for Beth to visit during our annual Holiday Luncheon to talk about her work and receive the donations.”

To spread the word about the food drive, Progressive Design Group – PCI’s in-house graphic design and interactive department – went to work designing a poster, which was prominently displayed throughout the building. Barnes’ office served as the drop-off center for food donations, where boxes and bags brimming with a wide variety of goods accumulated during the two weeks leading up to the Holiday Luncheon.

“When I saw the episode, I was very moved by what these families go through to survive every day,” said Dori Hejtmanek, PCI’s Creative Director. “Homeless people are part of our community. Their children are our kids’ classmates. Before they were forced into this terrible situation, they worked and lived like everyone else. This was not their choice. I felt there should be some way we could help.”

“It was a very good feeling to come to work in the morning and see new bags stacked by my door,” Barnes said. “Everyone got behind this effort. Most people didn’t even make a point of letting me know what they donated. We all knew that wasn’t the important part. It was a true expression of the spirit of giving.”

Davalos received PCI’s gifts during the Holiday Luncheon, held December 21 in the company lunch room. A video clip of the 60 Minutes episode was played just before her appearance. Davalos spoke about FIT’s ongoing work, and provided updates on the families who viewers had come to know through the episode. Although there were some hopeful developments, she noted that day-to-day life for the families profiled on the episode is still a struggle, with an uncertain future.

After her talk, Davalos was presented with a check by Hernandez and Barnes. In addition to the money contributed by employees, PCI donated $500.

“Beth was very appreciative, and she was taking some of the food to a family that day when she left our facility,” said Barnes. “This had an immediate impact on a family in need!”

“Everyone who saw that 60 Minutes episode wanted to contribute in some way,” Hernandez said. “We recognized an opportunity to help FIT with its important work.”


FIT accepts donations throughout the year. To contribute directly, click on:


To donate by check, make check payable to:

The Foundation for Seminole County Public Schools-FIT


Mailing address:

1801 Tuskawilla Rd.

Oviedo, FL 32765

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