EDENS closes offices for day of service for flood victims
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The Columbia offices of EDENS, a shopping center development company, were closed Friday, but those who work there were not taking the day off.
The employees were spread across their community as they took part in the company’s 10th annual service day.
“It’s always meaningful, but this year it’s a little more meaningful, because so many people have an immediate need who didn’t have that need a week or two weeks ago,” said employee Christine Teneralli, who has taken part in all 10 service days.
EDENS CEO Jodie McLean said many employees also took part in an extra day of service last week.
“The communities that were hardest hit are communities we are squarely invested in,” McLean said. “We shut down the office in full.”
The EDENS team split into groups Friday and worked at Harvest Hope Food Bank, Epworth Children’s Home, Pawmetto Lifeline and in the homes of flood victims.
“It’s the sheer number of people who would never have been in need in a normal situation but now are in need,” said employee Lisa Marsha. “It has impacted ourselves, our peers. We’re affected, so we know.”
Keith Davidson said the commitment to the community is a big reason he’s stayed with EDENS for 16 years.
“This is pretty special that they decided to start doing this,” he said.
“I’d never volunteered for anything in my whole life until I came to work at EDENS,” Marsha said.
McLean said she hopes the day of a different sort of work has a lasting impact on employees.
“What we hope it does more importantly isn’t just one day, but that it launches people’s passions to be able to work continuously in their communities and be able to give back,” she said.