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Spirit of Acadiana: Stuller Cares event

Posted at 7:08 AM, Mar 01, 2019

One of Acadiana’s largest employers recently took time out of the workday for a great cause, to help employees learn how to give back to the community.

Scott Brazda was at this year’s event to learn more

Stuller, Inc, an international jewelry manufacturing giant, hosted sixteen nonprofit organizations last Friday in an event called “Stuller Cares.”

And the excitement among the nonprofits was palpable as Stuller employees entered the room with questions in need of answering.

As Acadiana Animal Aid Director Heidi Paterson explains, ” It’s quite a privilege and this is a captive audience. We want them to see what we do and learn about our organization. It’s been quite an exciting experience for us.”

So for a few hours, a place that typically deals with gold, diamonds, and silver suddenly focused on puppies, housing, swamp adventures, and changing lives.

Over 1,000 employees made their way through the sea of nonprofit displays to learn just how they can make a difference in Acadiana.

“We have so many things that happen at Stuller,” says employee Lou Meiner. “But this brings all the nonprofits in because a lot of things that happen in the community we don’t know about.”

Wanted information on feeding the hungry, theatre for the young, or the creation of a central park? The Stuller Cares event provided that and also opened a few eyes in the process.

Executive Director of Moncus Park, E.B. Brooks says that many curious attendees stopped at her booth with questions about the new “Lafayette Central Park.”

“I think a lot of people don’t realize how big the park is, right in the middle of the city,” says Brooks.

Likewise, Jenee Broussard, Executive Director of Healing House fielded questions from those who didn’t realize a service like Healing House existed in Lafayette.

“Half the employees were asking, ‘where have ya’ll been, how long have ya’ll been open?’,” says Broussard. “When we say 22 years, they’re surprised.”

Broussard says that the feedback lets her team know that there is still work to do to make sure Healing House’s message and services are getting out to Acadiana.

There was another benefit to this day, however. After visiting the booths, Stuller employees voted on their favorites. The top four of which will become options for payroll deductions.

The event was another way that Stuller, one of Acadiana’s largest employers, can show that it cares. And a thought for Acadiana: Imagine what could happen if more companies offered such an educational opportunity?

“Honestly,” says Brooks. “I think one of the most important things about being a citizen in our community is giving back, either through your time, your talent or your treasure. We’re grateful for the opportunity to be a part of this.”

Jenee Broussard says it was the perfect way to “spread the goodness that’s going on in Acadiana.”