Arpin Strong is celebrating its fifth anniversary with a look back on the causes it has supported since 2013.
“Arpin Strong has had an amazing five years, raising well over $315,000 for charity and donating to about 150 causes,” said Michael Killoran, treasurer of Arpin Strong. “These numbers, while impressive, only tell a piece of the story. We want to use the special occasion of our fifth anniversary to revisit some of the causes we’ve touched.”
Arpin employees founded Arpin Strong in the wake of the Boston Marathon bombings in 2013 to show support for the relief efforts. The scope of the program expanded in the following months to aid the victims of disasters around the world. The organization obtained its official 501(c)(3) status the same year. Its mission is “to help one another, in times of need, by raising funds via distinct and creative undertakings throughout the year.”
Today, Arpin Strong seeks to address more than disaster relief, and supports a wide range of causes. These include medical research and treatments, environmental preservation, education, support for veterans and first responders, efforts to curb domestic abuse and homelessness, feeding the hungry and other social issues.
Annual charity golf tournaments
Arpin Strong’s signature fundraising event is its annual charity golf tournament, which has raised more than $130,000 over the past five years. The golf event committee selects and announces four charities before the start of the tournament, then launches a community-wide campaign to support them by reaching out to employees, friends and potential corporate sponsors.
“The golf tournament is an event we look forward to each year because it provides an opportunity for us to shine a spotlight on four causes we believe in, meet the people behind the charities and hear their inspirational stories,” said Brian Asay, vice president of Arpin Strong. “It helps everyone feel truly connected to the causes and moved to support them.”
Disaster relief efforts
Arpin Strong has been quick to rally support from employees, partners and the community for relief drives after national and international disasters. Arpin Group is in a unique position to provide free transportation and delivery services to locations across the globe, assuring that help gets to where it is needed most. Arpin Strong’s most active year was 2017, in regard to providing relief from natural disasters.
In September, Arpin sent six full-sized moving trucks to Houston, Texas, filled with cleaning and building supplies for survivors of Hurricane Harvey. Arpin Strong and Cardi’s Furniture collected these contributions during a community supply drive in Rhode Island and Massachusetts.
In November, Arpin transported three 40-foot shipping containers filled with emergency supplies, food and bottled water to Puerto Rico to aid in recovery efforts after Hurricane Maria. Multiple local organizations, supported by Arpin employees and other volunteers, collected the donations during a community drive in Chicago.
Arpin Strong also held a clothing drive in the fall of 2017 to support the families of movers who passed away in the Mexican earthquake in September. The men had worked for Mexico-based moving company Atlasmex Relocations.
Community volunteerism and fundraising
Over the years, Arpin Strong members have volunteered for causes they believe in. They regularly help at the Rhode Island Community Food Bank by sorting donated food and preparing boxes for distribution to those in need. They also participate in community cleanup events, such as Save the Bay Day.
Last year, Mark Dearborn, president of Arpin Strong, joined about 40 of his industry peers in Guadalajara, Mexico, to take part in LACMANext’s Techo community service project to build five houses for the homeless. The Techo program is a social responsibility initiative that runs throughout Latin America and focuses on making communities sustainable.
Arpin Strong hosts events to raise money throughout the year, including employee theme days and monthly raffles. The Arpin Strong race team participates in runs, walks, and obstacle race events, such as Rhode Island’s popular BoldrDash, to raise funds for numerous charitable causes.
Remembering and supporting our nation’s heroes
Since 2013, Arpin has participated in National Wreaths Across America Day every December. Arpin drivers and agents across the country volunteer to collect and deliver remembrance wreaths to be laid at veteran cemeteries. In 2017, Arpin drivers delivered 140,000 wreaths. Arpin Strong has raised money to purchase wreaths, and volunteers placed them on gravestones at a local veterans’ cemetery.
Mark Dearborn has been participating in the annual Run to Home Base, supporting veterans, since 2014. Home Base, a Red Sox Foundation and Massachusetts General Hospital Program, is dedicated to healing the invisible wounds of veterans, service members and their families through world-class clinical care, wellness, education and research. He ran the 9-kilometer Run to Home Base course in 43 minutes — a personal best. To date, he has raised $25,000 for the charity and was honored as a top-3 individual fundraiser and an all-star fundraiser.
Arpin Strong continues to grow by looking for new ways to help those in need in the years ahead and to extend more opportunities for Arpin employees to get involved.
“Arpin Strong has a dual purpose,” said Mark Dearborn, president of Arpin Strong. “While we are focused on contributing to our local, national and world community, we aim to have fun while we are at it. Arpin Strong provides volunteers with enriching activities that help them grow by testing their leadership and teamwork skills. It helps them to focus on something that’s bigger than them and often discover a higher purpose.”