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Bigelow Tea Honors National Day Of Service And Remembrance

You don’t need an excuse to help others and make a difference in your community, but the September 11th National Day of Service and Remembrance is a wonderful reason to volunteer – especially as you pay tribute to and remember the 9/11 victims, survivors, and those who rose up in service in response to the attacks. As a family-owned company with long-standing roots in our community, Bigelow Tea takes pride in the work our employees do year-round to assist organizations, those in need and great causes. Here are a few of our favorite stories:

Passing on sustainable practices to future generations.

“Inspired by the results of the composting program here at Bigelow Tea, our family also included composting into our weekly schedule at home. We have been separating out most of the kitchen waste, tea bags (a lot of those) and paper towels, etc. since the summer of 2013. Now that my children are older, the do-it yourself-style sand box has been ‘up-cycled’ to ‘organically’ create good soil over time… This is one way our children are learning that maintaining the cycle and balance in nature is possible even in a suburban environment and a small contribution like ours can make a difference.” Gabe K, Fairfield, CT

A source of inspiration.

For more than 18 years, Caroline House has successfully taught immigrant women English (ESL).  Caroline House also provides a free preschool, after-school and summer tutoring to elementary and middle school children, citizenship classes, and life skills classes. Caroline House has recently instituted a Sources of Inspiration Board. These women will serve as a resource for Caroline House students (and all of us!) for inspirational stories to give hope for the future. We are honored to have Janned Serrano as our first Sources of Inspiration Board member. She is Executive Assistant to Cindi Bigelow, President of Bigelow Tea, and Community Relations Coordinator.

Janned Serrano’s advice to Caroline House graduates:

  • Surround yourself with English-speaking people.
  • Speak English everywhere, even if it is not perfect.
  • Don’t be afraid to say “what does that mean?”
  • Read books written in English.
  • Take a risk. If someone asks you if you want to do something, say yes, even if you don’t know how.

Helping those in need.

“I was coming to work around 6:30 a.m. [one day] and… there was a soldier in full uniform with all his medals waiting by the side of the road. It was a rainy day and… he needed a ride to Boise. I stopped and offered to give him a ride to his destination. It turns out that he was going to a Wounded Warrior presentation… but his vehicle had a flat tire and he had to go on foot. He (Jim) told me his dilemma about being a forty-year veteran and how hard it is to get a job after being in the military that long; that the money just doesn’t last as long and not having a job does not help either. He told me a story about applying for a security job at a computer company in Boise and that he was told that he did not have enough experience in security to be considered for the position. I dropped him off at his destination, gave him my gratitude for his service and some money… If that is impacting our community in a positive manner, then I do that every day by serving as a leader in my community.” Javier Reyes, Boise, Idaho

Caring about the bees.

“I participated in a worthwhile community event, ‘Bee Night,’ which took place at the Medical University of South Carolina’s Urban Garden located in downtown Charleston. Bee Night was an event hosted by the Bee Cause Project, an organization whose mission is to educate young people about the importance of honeybees and their wellbeing. They do this by installing beehives in area schools. In 2013, the USDA released a report with concern that the U.S. does not have enough honeybees to pollinate crops, which would impact our nation’s food supply. Along with the many beehives that they have installed in area schools, they have installed an observation beehive at the MUSC Urban garden, a garden whose mission is to build a healthier community by growing crops and educating people with local, nutritious food. This Beehive was unveiled at ‘Bee Night’ and the community was invited to attend the special event. I took several gallons of unsweetened tea to the event. We sweetened the tea at the event with the honey produced by the bees and attendees enjoyed Charleston Tea Plantation tea sweetened with local honey.”  Jane Knight, Charleston, SC

Our community garden which grows fresh vegetables for the local Bridgeport Rescue Mission is another example of giving back as well as the annual Bigelow Tea Community Challenge which has raised over $1.4 million for local charities since its inception thirty years ago.

A big part of #TeaProudly is being able to share stories and memories which includes efforts make in service to others. Share your stories about something as involved as landscaping or building a house for a family in need, or as simple as brewing a cup of tea and sharing some time with a homebound person in your neighborhood. Regardless, take time to think about what you can do in honor of this day of service. Cheers!

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