PHILADELPHIA, Dec. 5, 2019 —
More than 75 employees from the Industrial Hardware Success and Partnership in Reaching Excellence mentoring program gathered Dec. 3 in Philadelphia to fill bags for deployed warfighters, with items inspiring support and resiliency.
The InSPIRE program was originally developed as a Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support Industrial Hardware mentoring initiative in 2017. Since then, it has evolved into a cross-organizational program, through the collaboration of supply chain Culture Improvements Teams, to aid over 120 participants’ personal and professional development, while providing opportunities to give back to the warfighter and local community.
“InSPIRE is more than just mentoring, as it includes team building and community service activities as well,” Joanne Anello, IH traditional acquisition division chief and InSPIRE program creator, said.
The event was one of many in the past 18 months since the program’s inception, Anello said. This event was different as more volunteers participated since IH involved the other CITs. CITs are organizations within each supply chain intended to improve the culture and climate of the workforce, to expand the program and opportunity for mentorship and service.
“[New] participants are excited about the [mentoring] program and looking forward to the upcoming community service activities,” Anello said.
At the event, mentors and mentees created bags including items symbolizing “uplifting” messages such as:
- Tootsie Rolls meant to remind warfighters that they are role models
- Rubber bands as a reminder to be flexible and resilient
- Life Savers to symbolize that warfighters are lifesavers and heroes
The bags will be sent to Operation Gratitude to be distributed to deployed men and women.
Taylor Fontana, IH contract specialist and CIT chairperson, said that she was happy with the program’s expansion, community service impact and a chance for the CIT’s to play a role.
“The CIT is a great group to include in a program like InSPIRE,” Fontana said. “I think it helps people to feel good about themselves and their futures with Troop Support, which improves our climate and culture. And with all of the CITs involved, we can give people another avenue for cross-organizational communication.”
Future event plans include making lunches for homeless individuals, assembling snack packs for chemotherapy patients, and visiting a U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs hospital, Anello said.