Our gang loves to give back to the community. It feels gratifying.

The latest request came in from Second Harvest Food Bank for our annual volunteer event in late October. This is the fifth year we have gone to the food bank to help them out with a gang from RoseRyan. This time, we needed to carry out some due diligence, reconciliation and a bit of fixed asset inventory for 4,600 cans of fruit that will be delivered to hungry families in Santa Clara and San Mateo counties. And we delivered—after two hours of sorting and labeling, we had helped pack up boxes for distribution.

Giving back with our time is a gratifying experience for our consultants, and we take on numerous opportunities throughout the year to help out those who are less fortunate. Despite the amazing economic growth we see firsthand throughout Silicon Valley, there are also families in this region who are still struggling. It’s great to work for a company where employees actively give back to the community.




Volunteering at Second Harvest Food Bank (San Jose)

Each year we bring a big team to volunteer at Second Harvest Food Bank after work. One year, we packaged oranges and apples, another we were dealing with pallets of carrots. This time, we were asked to label canned fruit donated by Del Monte. Each can had to be inspected for any rust, leaks or breakage. Small dents were okay but any others had to be discarded.

Then came the fun part: reconciliation. We looked at the code on the bottom of can and matched it to the correct label (for example, OMP was the code for peach pieces). As accountants, we love reconciling everything and anything! Plus, it was kind of like a fixed asset inventory where we locate items and make sure they are tagged. Then, once they were labeled, in they went, into boxes of 100.

Our sorting was a small part of the more than 1 million pounds of food Second Harvest Food Bank manages to deliver to low-income people every week. We love to know we are a part of the engine that makes Second Harvest successful; in fiscal year 2015, 314,000 hours of service were donated by volunteers like us, and those hours add up to real dollars: Second Harvest says it has saved them the equivalent of $7.8 million in personnel costs.

Some of the team gathered for a last picture before the school supplies were hauled out for delivery. Thanks to everyone who donated!



Backpacks of school supplies for Grail Family Services

We’re passionate about education, so it’s no surprise we’re helping the Grail Family Services with both literacy volunteers and a back-to-school backpack drive. This worthy non-profit, which is also a client, supports needy families of East San Jose. One of our consultants sits on their board, and the RoseRyan team donated dozens of backpacks loaded up with school supplies for kindergartners to start off the school year right.

Literacy Volunteers for young kids

Another way we have helped children in our area is through literacy and mentoring. We have signed up several volunteers for individual reading time with elementary school students. It’s a critical time in their lives to learn to read and to nurture the love of learning. And, who knows, maybe there are some budding accountants that we’re helping!

A big thank you to our colleague and friend Dorcas Kelley for helping us out with this partnership with Grail Family Services and rounding up the contributions from our troops. She has also been invaluable in coordinating past giving events, like the Family Giving Tree, where we provided presents to children in our community who are in need.

Giving back to the community is satisfying on so many levels, and I am grateful to my RoseRyan colleagues for rallying together and all doing what we can. As we live and work with clients across the entire Bay area, we do not always have a chance to work elbow to elbow, so these moments together are a great opportunity for camaraderie and to work toward a common goal.

Theresa Eng, a member of RoseRyan’s dream team, is a superstar whether she’s working with a client or rallying her coworkers to volunteer for a good cause. Her areas of expertise include financial planning and budgeting, finance operations, and SOX.

Usually this is a time of year for visions of sugar plums, but the RoseRyan crew at Second Harvest Food Bank had visions of carrots—and carrot recipes, like carrot ginger soup, honey-glazed carrots, carrot raisin salad and of course, carrot cake. It was the result of helping to pack more than 8,000 pounds (four tons!) of carrots during our annual volunteer event Dec. 11 at the San Jose–based food bank.

Last year, it was oranges. This year, one of our jobs was to break down 1,250-pound pallets of carrots into 25-pound boxes. Similar to last year, we constructed boxes, filled them with good carrots, weighed them to ensure they were approximately 25 pounds and stacked the boxes so they were ready to be distributed. To add a little extra fun, we competed among ourselves to see who could fill their box to exactly 25 pounds. Two of our volunteers, Sheila Manzano and Courtney Hunter, won bragging rights to this!

After packing carrots, a few of us sorted and labeled cans. This required digging through a huge box of unlabeled can goods, inspecting the code stamped on the can (for example, 42T was corn) and reconciling the code with a list identifying the contents. As accountants, reconciliations are right up our alley, so we completed this task in no time. Once we identified the can contents, we sorted and labeled them. The final task was to put them into boxes, then label and stack the boxes to be ready for distribution.

Our 13-member team effort is just a small part of the 310,000 hours that volunteers devote each year to keeping Second Harvest running, but it’s important—volunteers save the nonprofit more than $6.2 million in personnel costs. So far this year, Second Harvest has distributed 52 million pounds of nutritious food to people in need from Daly City to Gilroy. Since its inception in 1974, Second Harvest has become one of the largest food banks in the nation, providing food to an average of nearly a quarter of a million people each month. The organization also plays a leading role in promoting federal nutrition programs and educating families on how to make healthier food choices.

Whether it’s boxing carrots or labeling cans, we RoseRyan consultants look forward to helping Second Harvest every year, as it gives us the opportunity to catch up with each other, take a break to have some fun and make an important contribution to our community and the fight against hunger.

We wish you all the happiest of holidays!

“This was great, it’s amazing the work they do here,” “That was fun, I smelled oranges in my sleep” and “I never thought packing boxes of oranges could feel so rewarding” were just some of the sentiments of the 13 RoseRyan volunteers who packed more than 15,000 pounds (yes, almost 8 tons) of oranges at the Second Harvest Food Bank in San Jose.

On December 12, our job at the Second Harvest Food Bank was to break down 1,250-pound pallets of oranges into 25-pound boxes. There were 12 pallets, and the volunteer leader said we wouldn’t get through them all since we only had two hours. Team RoseRyan was up for that challenge! Joining other volunteers in a team of 30, we constructed the boxes, filled them with good oranges, weighed the boxes to ensure they were exactly 25 pounds (as precise accountants will do), and stacked them, ready to be distributed.

Being not only precise but also overachieving, we set a second goal, to finish before the apple-packing team. Mission accomplished on both fronts: we packed all 15,000 pounds of oranges and we were done before the apple team! Our reward: help the apple packers. We soon found out why they were slower. Apples were harder to box as they are slippery, they needed more quality control to sort the bad from the good, and the fruit bruises easily so you have to be more careful when putting them into the boxes.

Nevertheless, apples or oranges, RoseRyan is committed to fighting local hunger. This is the second year we’ve volunteered at Second Harvest, which is one of the largest food banks in the nation. In 2012, they distributed 45 million pounds of nutritious food to people in need in every ZIP code from Daly City to Gilroy. In addition to providing food, they conduct nutrition classes and work with lawmakers to advocate for policy changes that can help eliminate hunger and its root causes. Throughout the year, volunteers contribute over 300,000 hours of service to the food bank, saving the organization more than $5.9 million in personnel costs.

We’re proud to contribute to this significant community program. And we get something from it, too. As RoseRyan grows, it becomes harder to keep in touch with our colleagues. This event gives us the opportunity to take a break from the world of debits and credits and hang out together.

Read about our inaugural Second Harvest volunteer event.

Last week, a dozen RoseRyan consultants and family members sorted 14 crates of food—approximately 11,000 pounds!—at the Second Harvest Food Bank in San Jose.

As we arrived at the warehouse, we were amazed at the rows and rows of pallets with food stacked on shelves, all the way to the ceiling. Once we signed in, our tasks entailed checking expiration dates, putting food items into categories (protein, vegetables, fruit, cereal, etc.), boxing them up, labeling them and stacking them on pallets. As we went through this process, the things we learned: don’t tie the plastic bags you donate the food in, it slows down the process; if the item is past its expiration date, don’t donate it—we ended up throwing lots of food away; and items without an ingredient listing on the package aren’t accepted.

RoseRyan is proud to be a part of this community program and help fight local hunger. The Second Harvest Food Bank is one of the largest food banks in the nation, providing food to an average of a quarter million people a month. Throughout the year, volunteers contribute almost 300,000 hours of service to the food bank, saving more than $5.7 million in labor costs. Food is distributed to low-income families and the homeless from Daly City to Gilroy through shelters, pantries, soup kitchens, children’s programs, senior meal sites and residential programs.

It helps us too. As we are a dispersed workforce and don’t have much opportunity to interact with each other, the Nov. 30 activity also gave us a chance to get know each other better, build a sense of teamwork, and have fun! Some comments from those who attended: “It was one of the most rewarding and enjoyable experiences,” “Thanks for organizing this, I would have never tried it otherwise” and “Thank goodness for kettlebell workouts!”