ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Pioneer marks August 17 “All Together Forward Day 2022,” a brand new massive, employee-led volunteer effort to support Capital Region children, families, organizations, and communities in need. Nearly all of Pioneer’s 250 local employees are participating through monetary and volunteer donations.

“We take seriously our duty and obligation to give back,” said Tom Amell, President and CEO of Pioneer. “We are fortunate to live and work in the Capital Region, and at the same time, we know there are children, families, organizations, and cities and towns that need assistance. I’m proud of the selflessness and generosity shown by Pioneer employees in caring for their neighbors, and I’m inspired and humbled to be part of a team that is positively impacting our communities.”

All Together Forward Day began with the delivery of thousands of backpacks, notebooks, pens and pencils, and other essential school supplies to the Capital City Rescue Mission on South Pearl Street in Albany, with transportation generously provided by Yankee Trails. Those items were donated by customers in Pioneer’s 22 Capital Region branches, as well as by Pioneer employees, and will be distributed to children served by the mission.

Throughout Wednesday, dozens of Pioneer employees volunteered to perform community service projects at 13 different locations across the region. Initiatives included clean up and landscaping of a vacant lot on Stanley Street in Schenectady that will enable C.O.C.O.A. House to plant a community garden; painting of a children’s room at Unity House’s Philip Street location in Albany; and financial literacy workshops conducted at multiple venues, among others.

In addition, a check for $34,752 – far exceeding the original goal of $20,000 – was presented to leaders of St. Nicholas Ukrainian Orthodox Church in Troy to aid children and families impacted by the war in Ukraine. Half of those funds were generated by employee contributions made to Pioneer’s Charitable Foundation, with Pioneer then making a dollar-for-dollar match.

“We are humbled and honored by Pioneer’s compassion and empathy toward these innocent children,” said Michele Ryan, a parishioner at St. Nicholas Ukrainian Orthodox Church, who has been helping to coordinate the relief effort. “We are in direct contact with teachers and principals of schools in Slovakia that have welcomed Ukrainian refugee children, and every single dollar of this donation will buy food, clothing, backpacks, books, school supplies, snacks, and other essential items. Our partnership with Pioneer will truly make a difference.”

“Yankee Trails is incredibly proud to partner with Pioneer for All Together Forward Day,” said Stephen Tobin, President of Yankee Trails. “Our business is ingrained in our community, and giving back is something we place deep value on. We are thrilled to work with other local partners like Pioneer whose values align with ours and know the day will have an important impact on the Capital Region.”

The daylong effort was spearheaded by Pioneer’s Charitable Foundation, which was established in 2018 with a mission of “Helping Kids be Kids.” Since then, it has provided more than $1 million in support to over 375 Capital Region organizations serving the health and welfare of children.