Dan Lifshutz | February 23, 2015
When Arraya Solutions first started, it was only myself, my partner David Bakker, and a plan. Flash forward fifteen years and Arraya has become a leader in our field, with a team that’s 80+ strong (and growing) and strategic partnerships with some of the tech industry’s biggest names. Both David and I are extremely proud of the success we’ve had, but we also firmly believe with that success comes the responsibility to give back.
In that spirit, we’ve formed relationships with four main charities over the years: Simon’s Fund, The JAG Fund, The Timothy School, and Cradles for Crayons. We didn’t happen to come across that group at random. Each of those organizations plays a vital role in our community and each has a special, sometimes deeply personal, meaning to the Arraya team.
Simon’s Fund provides free heart screenings to children in the Greater Philadelphia area in order to catch previously undiagnosed heart conditions which could lead to sudden cardiac arrest. The organization also authored the Sudden Cardiac Arrest Law to protect student athletes, which has been passed in six states so far. In addition, Simon’s Fund sponsors medical research, hosts awareness events and launched a database last year to gather and store cardiac information on seemingly healthy students for research.
To date, Simon’s Fund has screened almost 11,000 children and discovered previously unknown, potentially-fatal heart conditions in just under 100.
Arraya’s relationship with Simon’s Fund began when longtime friends lost a child due to sudden cardiac arrest. Following that, it was a no-brainer for the company to get involved. The main way we’ve done this is through our participation in its annual Simon Says Run: A 5K for Kids’ Hearts fundraiser.
“This past year I believe we had over 50 people attend the run between employees and their family and friends,” said Melissa Caruso, who coordinates Arraya’s involvement with Simon’s Fund. “Some of our employees also went above and beyond and raised additional funds before the run. It was very cold and windy on race day, but everyone on our team stayed and ran, so I was really impressed with everyone’s dedication to the cause.”
Many of our team members have also stepped up to help out in other ways. Some employees have collected donation items, donated money and volunteered their time to another Simon’s Fund fundraising event: Simon’s Soiree’, an evening featuring cocktails, dinner, dancing, awards and auctions.
To learn more about Simon’s Fund, its upcoming events, or to make a donation, please click here.
The JAG Fund
Another of the charities we support is The JAG Fund, which is the longest running and top donor to the American Brain Tumor Association in its history. Since its inception, The JAG Fund has raised over $1.5 million for brain tumor research and developed a number of fellowships. Its two main fundraisers are a fun-filled day of tubing down the Delaware River and the more up-scale – but no less fun – black tie gala.
This organization was brought to our attention by Christian Gingras, Arraya’s Director of Sales. It was founded – and continues to be run – by the Gingras family and their friends to honor the memory of the late Joel Anthony Gingras, Jr., who lost his own battle with a brain tumor in 1988.
“Arraya’s done a corporate sponsorship for our black tie gala the past two years. They’ve also donated Philadelphia 76ers tickets for our prize pool and played an active role in some of the other events we’ve held,” noted Christian Gingras. “Arraya has been very generous and extremely supportive of the work The JAG Fund does since my early days with company.”
To learn more about how you can get involved with The JAG Fund or to make a donation to fund brain tumor research, please visit www.jagfund.org/
The Timothy School
We also give to The Timothy School. A little bit about The Timothy School: It’s the oldest non-profit school in Pennsylvania and it benefits children and young adults who’ve been diagnosed with autism. The school’s primary purpose is to help its students develop the knowledge, life skills and support structures they need to be successful.
Arraya has a very personal connection to The Timothy School in that our CTO David Bakker’s son is a student there. Through that connection, we’ve been able to take part in a number of fundraising efforts for the school. This includes sponsoring its annual golf outing.
Bakker also supports the school’s Take a Bite Out of Autism event, which features tastings from prominent local restaurants as well as music, Monte Carlo and much more. In addition, he backs the Matthew R. Hallinan ’08 Memorial Endowed Scholarship, which helps students with learning disabilities pursue a college education.
“The Timothy School gives these kids a great head start, valuable life skills and a safe and fun educational environment,” said Bakker. “We believe that mission is an extremely valuable one and so The Timothy School has been something Arraya has backed for a long time.”
If you’d like to learn more about The Timothy School, want participate in an upcoming fundraiser or would like to make a donation, please visit www.timothyschool.com/
Cradles to Crayons
Arraya also works with Cradles to Crayons, which provides basic supplies such as clothing, school supplies, and toys to young children from less fortunate families – completely free of charge. Cradles to Crayons does this by linking communities who have a little bit extra to communities who are in urgent need. This ensures all children have what they need to feel safe, valued and ready to learn.
We partner with Cradles to Crayons in a couple of different ways. Since its warehouse is just a short drive away from our headquarters, we participate in a corporate volunteer night right in their facility. Employees and their families can take part in a unique, hands-on experience as we all work together to sort and process donated items. We also run a supply drive in our office to collect more items Cradles to Crayons desperately needs, namely: clothing, books, baby supplies, and more.
“I believe that our Arraya team is already a close-knit group,” said Erin Steinmetz, Arraya’s Director of Marketing and Communications. “Events like this one only serve to bring us even closer together. They give us the chance to meet the people who are most important to our co-workers, all while doing something positive for our local community.”
To learn more about the work that Cradles to Crayons does or to arrange a donation, please visit www.cradlestocrayons.org.