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Consulting firm gives Family Service a helping hand

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By Todd Cohen

GREENSBORO, N.C. — Looking for a way to celebrate its fifth anniversary, Greensboro consulting firm The Lattitude Group asked Family Service of the Piedmont, one of its nonprofits clients, what kind of volunteer assistance it needed.

Family Service, which provides a broad range of services, said the attic in its family shelter in which it stores items donated for its victim-services program was cluttered and could use some reorganizing.

So the six-person staff of The Lattitude Group pitched in, devoting several evenings and Saturdays to inventorying, consolidating and better displaying items in the 30-foot-by-20-foot room.

In no particular order, the room was stuffed with items ranging from bags of used clothing, to furniture sets, bunk beds, recliners, toaster ovens and other appliances.

“People are coming by dropping off such giant loads of stuff because they perceive it’s going to be valuable to clients,” says Susan Wies, director of victim services for Family Service.

But the staff of the victim-services program, which serves over 28,000 people a year, tends to be too busy with clients to be able to take time sorting through the donated items, she says.

The Lattitude Group, which has worked with Family Service to develop and put into effect a strategic plan, also invited its current and former clients to help or make contributions.

Working with volunteers from Atlantic Webworks and a donation from Princeton Marketing Group, The Lattitude Group purchased and hung rods and shelves in the shelter’s attic, and folded, hung and better displayed the items for viewing by Family Service clients.

“We ultimately have them well-organized so that clients coming into the shelter without any clothing can easily access it, and so clients moving out to self-sufficiency can be given some options as to what to take to their new homes,” says Wies.

Kathy Bowman Atkins, president and co-founder of The Lattitude Group, says the firm wanted to give something back to the community because part of the firm’s success has been “that the community has been good to us.”

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