Hands On Hartford

Dash for a Difference:  Businesses Compete through Community Service in Hartford

October 4, 2019

The winning team from Aetna

On Friday, October 4, 2019 nearly 200 volunteers from businesses throughout Hartford participated in a Dash for a Difference, an innovative community service initiative to foster team building and explore Hartford’s historical and cultural gems through a friendly corporate competition. Sponsored by Prudential Financial, in partnership with Hands On Hartford, Dash for a Difference offers a mix of educational, team building, and cultural experiences to both celebrate Hartford and engage with the city’s diverse populations.

“Hands On Hartford provides direct assistance to Hartford residents in the areas of food, health support and housing assistance,” said Wanda Guzman, Hands On Hartford’s Program Manager for Community Engagement. “Our vision is that by engaging the whole community in service, our combined efforts will strengthen the community in Hartford, making it a better place to live, work and play.  We are delighted to have Prudential join us in this vision in such a ‘hands on’ way.”

The Dash for a Difference kicked off at Dunkin Donuts Park in Hartford on October 4 at 9:00 a.m.  The teams explored various Hartford sites and cultural gems, while also completing volunteer service projects. Points were assigned for each project completed and/or site visited. The event culminated with a celebration in which volunteers reflected on their day of service, and the team that accrued the most points was named the winner.  The winning team, a group from Aetna, then chose one of the non-profit stops, Burgdorf Community Garden, to receive a $500 award.

Volunteers engaged in a range of service opportunities including outdoor work at neighborhood parks, participating in classroom activities with schoolchildren, serving lunch to seniors,  creating toiletry kits for several basic needs organizations, painting at an after school youth program and senior living facility, and much more.

Teams also collected points for visiting Hartford cultural gems such as the Bushnell Center for Performing Art, the Connecticut State Capitol, the Museum of Connecticut History, and the Harriett Beecher Stowe Center, and many other sites throughout the city.

“Prudential works every day to help more individuals achieve financial security, and we understand how important strong, resilient communities are to this mission,” said Phil Waldeck, president of Prudential Retirement. “That’s why we partner with organizations like Hands On Hartford to create environments that encourage and enable prosperity.”

Prudential’s Retirement business is based in Hartford. As part of Prudential’s commitment to the city, the company has provided grants and impact investments to help with the redevelopment of the city as well as led many community service and volunteer projects.

About Hands On Hartford

Hands On Hartford, in partnership with others, strengthens community in Hartford by responding faithfully to people in need through programs that change lives and renew human possibility. Celebrating its 50th year serving Hartford residents,  Hands On Hartford provides direct services to people in need by promoting civic engagement and volunteerism. Their vision is to bring agencies, volunteers, congregations, community organizations, donors and businesses together to make a significant impact on the community. Hands On Hartford specializes in creating volunteer opportunities for groups or teams of volunteers from throughout Greater Hartford, emphasizing service learning as part of the volunteer experience. To find out more about Hands On Hartford, visit www.handsonhartford.org.

About Prudential Financial

Prudential Financial, Inc. (NYSE: PRU), a financial services leader with more than $1 trillion of assets under management as of June 30, 2019, has operations in the United States, Asia, Europe, and Latin America.  Prudential’s diverse and talented employees are committed to helping individual and institutional customers grow and protect their wealth through a variety of products and services, including life insurance, annuities, retirement-related services, mutual funds and investment management.  In the U.S., Prudential’s iconic Rock symbol has stood for strength, stability, expertise and innovation for more than a century.  For more information, please visit news.prudential.com.

This post was written by Kate Shafer, Communications Manager at Hands On Hartford. You may contact the author at kshafer@handsonhartford.org.