Employees drive charitable giving at Toll Brothers

Toll Brothers and its employees get involved in many charities, both local charities near the communities that we build, and national charities. I recently sat down with Colleen McCandless to find out more about the different charitable activities that Toll Brothers and its employees are doing across the country.

Colleen is Toll Brothers Senior Human Resources Manager responsible for training and development, policies and programs covering employment, performance management, employee relations, and compliance with all applicable federal, state, and local laws. She also coordinates the company’s charitable events.

Andrea: Colleen, thanks for taking the time to meet with me. I wanted to find out more about Toll Brothers charity events. Who participates in them and how many events take place each year?

Colleen: It’s really my pleasure to talk about these events. We have been so successful with them and it is exciting to see how many employees get involved. We also have Toll Brothers homeowners, sub-contractors, and vendor partners getting involved too. This year we have 10 events planned. We schedule them here at the Corporate office, but our regional offices and communities are very actively involved.

Andrea: How do you plan the events?

Colleen: Well, we have a committee of 45 employees, the Charitable Projects Committee, and we meet at the Corporate office here in Horsham PA. We review and discuss the possible charities we can get involved in and we look at the various regions across the country and map out a calendar and strategy on getting them involved. Members from the committee are involved in each event, giving their time to run the event, make emails and posters and all the other things that go into it. We assign Team Captains to each event and since Toll Brothers has locations across the US, we have a Team Captain and people working in each location and they work with the Team Captain back at Corporate to help make a successful event.

One example of a charity that we have been working with is “Operations Holidays from Home” which was initially started internally by a member of our tax department. They send holiday packages to deployed military units. This event truly speaks of how involved our employees want to be. It started really small and has grown to be a huge event that almost all of our Divisions participate in. In the first year, we adopted just one soldier but by 2011 we adopted 774 military members! Then in 2012, 505 goodie bags were sent to 10 troops of soldiers, consisting of 450 soldiers in Kuwait, Afghanistan, and an aircraft carrier off the coast of Japan. It’s really exciting to see how Toll Brothers employees come together around an event like this.

Andrea: So how much of the company gets involved?

Colleen: We’re always trying to improve our events from one year to the next, trying to get more employees and divisions involved and making sure that we are making our events better, and more successful. We are trying to raise awareness, enhance morale, and keep it fun for the employees since we’ve heard that our employees like to be involved in charitable pursuits. Employees can contribute how much or how little they want, and if participating in a charitable walk for LLS (The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society) does not work with their schedule, they can participate in an ice-cream social and donate in exchange for an ice cream sundae with proceeds benefiting LLS. In fact when the LLS Light The Night first started, we only had a few Divisions participating, now 22 teams from our divisions across the country are involved.

Andrea: That is really great! What kinds are charities are we working with in 2013?

Colleen: There are so many great organizations to work with. This year we have chosen:

  • Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation
  • Back to School Supply drive supporting the Bucks County (PA) Opportunity Council
  • Breast Cancer Awareness month supporting Living Beyond Breast Cancer in PA and Divisions can donate to their local breast cancer organization in their area
  • Covenant House
  • The American Cancer Society (See more about our major fundraiser for the ACS here)
  • Leukemia & Lymphoma Society
  • March of Dimes – March for Babies Walk
  • MOvember supporting Prostate Cancer Foundation
  • LIVESTRONG Foundation
  • Operation Holidays from Home
  • Toys for Tots

Andrea: Colleen, thanks so much for taking the time to sit with me and share this information with our readers.

Colleen: It was my pleasure, and I hope to see you at our next fundraiser!

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