Prudential Employees Lend a Helping Hand

WEST PITTSTON — Volunteers in Luzerne County spent the day sprucing up a shelter for pregnant, homeless women, all part of a volunteer service day going on across the country and world-wide.

Sanding, sawing, and staining. Nearly 30 volunteers with Prudential Financial Services were hard at work Saturday afternoon, lending a helping hand at Hannah’s Hope Pregnancy Shelter in the West Pittston area.

It was all part of Prudential’s 18th annual Global Volunteer Day.

“I feel like I`ve been given so much and I just want to be able to give back and it`s great to take the time and spend time with people and enjoy yourself and get involved in projects that I may not have any expertise in, but you kind of learn as you go,” said Prudential volunteer Dawn Brady.

Hannah’s Hope is a shelter for pregnant homeless, battered and prison-released women. It serves primarily Luzerne, Lackawanna and Wyoming Counties.

The shelter currently houses three, but with the volunteers building and painting a new room, it will eventually be able to take in up to seven women at a time.

“With Prudential helping us out, it is saving us thousands of dollars in man-hours that we would have to hire people for, that of course, a lot of non-profits don`t have the money for, so we`re very appreciative,” said Michael Warner, executive director of Hannah’s Hope Pregnancy Shelter.

The volunteers also repaired a stairway and insulated the basement, getting the shelter ready for the winter months.

Prudential started Global Volunteer Day in 1995 with more than 5,000 volunteers. It`s since grown to more than 28,000 volunteers last year, working on 750 projects in 11 countries.

“It`s wonderful. It`s so interesting because a lot of times, when you donate your time, you tend to think the individuals or the organizations you’re helping get a lot out of it. Typically, what I find is you get more out of it than maybe they do, and you grow as a person as a result,” said Gregg Loboda, Prudential vice president and site leader at the facility in Scranton.

This was the first of several volunteer projects for Prudential employees, who also hope to present the shelter with a $1,000 grant.

“It’s also an opportunity for a lot of our associates who wouldn’t otherwise be by each others’ sides day in and day out, get to learn a little bit about one another and who knows? Maybe it’ll flourish and the next thing you know, they’ll partner up and do something else for the community,” added Loboda.

If you are in need of help, or would like to volunteer, more information on Hannah`s Hope Pregnancy Shelter can be found here.