By Antoinette Rahn
"An effort made for the happiness of others lifts us above ourselves."
– Lydia M. Child
Partnerships are crucial in business, and during this time of uncertainty, concern, and challenge as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, there are daily reminders that alliances and support for one another are essential to survival.
As most know, support comes in various forms and times during the journey of life. Recently, management and employees of APMEX, a leader in the precious metals industry, expanded on their usual manner of support for a long time partner, the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma, by donating $250,000 to the critically important organization.
APMEX employees regularly volunteer time at the Food Bank. Yet, with the center needing to modify volunteer opportunities to maintain social distancing requirements, the structure of volunteering has changed for the time being. So, the team at APMEX revamped its approach of support, with leadership and employees jointly contributing to the monetary donation, which helps the Food Bank achieve its goal of creating a $1 million fund to match other donations to fight hunger during the pandemic and beyond.
"One of APMEX's core values is giving back to the community, and we strive to do so in the good and the bad times," said APMEX CEO Ken Lewis. "Our founder, Scott Thomas, was food-deprived in his youth, and regularly shares how this situation affected his life. Because of his story, APMEX channels all of our community efforts into the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma."
Learn more about Mr. Thomas' journey....
Lewis further explained that throughout the year, APMEX employees are encouraged to volunteer at the food bank and to take part in other opportunities such as the annual National Association of Letter Carriers Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive, the local Chefs' Feast fundraising event, which is an annual event with a 30-plus year history. Also, the company hosts an annual "FUN Week" when various activities take place to raise money and collect food for the Food Bank.
Every Effort Makes a Difference
Deb Bunting, the interim CEO of the Regional Food Bank, said financial support from companies like APMEX is more imperative now than ever before.
"We are so grateful to APMEX and its employees for their support as we provide food assistance to a growing number of Oklahomans," Bunting said. "Every dollar donated is critical to helping us respond to this pandemic and getting food into the hands of our neighbors who are now facing food insecurity."
Responding responsibly, swiftly, generously and effectively during this time of unusual circumstances is part of the day-to-day operations at APMEX as well. Deemed an essential business, APMEX is operational and working under a preparedness plan that mirrors its commitment to the Food Bank. The company activated a work-from-home protocol, complete with issuing non-operational employees work-from-home kits, including computers, monitors, headsets, utilization of Microsoft Teams, and internet-based telephone communication. Precautions are also part of APMEX's on-site protocols, which include but are not limited to, regular temperature checks, hand sanitizer provisions, and a two-shift operation for fulfillment as well as revamped work areas to ensure proper social distancing measures.
Doing Business Differently, But Still Doing
Additionally, as part of its preparedness plans, AMPEX's order processing and fulfillment strategies are also based on the strength of partnerships. In terms of order processing, Lewis explained, the company has a "SWAT" team who assist when call volume increases, and with the surge seen recently, this commitment to service has been vital. Additionally, the company has launched a friends-and-family program, which, as Lewis explained, allows current APMEX associates to vouch for people who can assist in product preparation and fulfillment functions. The program is averaging more than 20 participants each week.
For more information about APMEX, visit APMEX.com or call 800-375-9006, and to learn more about the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma and the matching donation program APMEX is part, visit www.regionalfoodbank.org.