Alliance Security on Garfield Avenue in Cranston is in the business of keeping customers safe and secure, and giving them peace of mind as they go through their days.
Just down the road at Arlington Elementary School, Principal Michelle David and her faculty and staff are in much the same business – keeping their students safe and secure, allowing them to focus on their studies.
Arlington is a Title I school, with the third-highest poverty level of all the city’s public elementary schools. All of the students at the school are classified as walkers, and a large percentage of the school population receives free or reduced lunch. For many of the families there, English is not their primary language, which often creates a communication barrier between school and home.
For all of those reasons and more, David spends a great deal of time searching out and establishing partnerships with community entities willing to support her and her students, hoping to ease the burden on the school’s families and give students the peace of mind and resources they need in order to learn – from breakfast, lunches, and healthy snacks to hats, coats, clothing, and school supplies. The school participates in a mentoring program, and provides after school programming as well as regular doctor, dentist, and other health and wellness visits in order to help parents supply their students with what they need.
“It’s not just a school, but it’s a place for parents as well,” said David, who has been an educator for 33 years. “It’s a resource. School has to be a good place for students to come every day.”
For Jake Murray, Alliance’s vice president of operations, partnering with Arlington Elementary fit in perfectly with the company’s vision of reaching beyond its own walls to help support local non-profits in the community.
As part of Alliance Cares, an employee-driven volunteer community outreach program, the company supports non-profits such as March of Dimes, the RI Coalition Against Domestic Violence, and Adopt-a-Family. It continues to expand its reach, even hosting an upcoming blood drive and bone marrow registration event.
“We’re always out there, trying to find ways to help people in need,” said Cindy Miranda, Alliance’s marketing research and development coordinator.
“It’s not just about making a living, it’s about supporting our local economy and supporting our local community,” Murray said.
In April of this year, Mission 500, a national non-profit organization focused on the security industry and dedicated to serving the needs of children and communities in crisis, awarded Alliance Security the Corporate Social Responsibility award at the Security 5/2K Awards Ceremony in Las Vegas.
“Alliance was nationally recognized, and Mission 500 is a national organization,” Murrray said. “They will often take a school district from across the country, survey to see what their needs are, and help to provide for them. I wanted to do that here, locally, in our own community. I emailed the Board of Directors at Mission 500 and asked if I could do that, and then when I had permission, I talked to our team, who has the passion and the heart for helping out our community. They all agreed this was something they wanted to do. We like letting people know that we’re here to help.”
David said knowing local community partners take an interest in her students is an important piece for the students, providing them with the confidence, reassurance, and motivation needed to get through their own struggles.
“It’s really important to show our students that people do care about them in the community, that there are people out there who share their same passions, interests, and struggles,” she said.
On the day before school starts, Arlington School and its parent-teacher organization will host a back-to-school meet-and-greet, complete with hot dogs and drinks, a bounce house, and thanks to Alliance Security, backpacks filled with school supplies such as notebooks, folders, pencils, crayons, markers, and more.
“You’ll be able to shake their hands and see the difference you’re making. You’ll be able to see it in their faces, to feel it,” David said, referring to the rewarding feeling she gets each day on the job. “It’s why I do what I do, it’s why I could never imagine doing anything else.”
Murray and his crew are excited for the back-to-school event at Arlington, but even more excited about continuing the partnership with Arlington in the long term.
“It’s starting out with backpacks, but we want to help out with whatever we can, explore what the needs are,” he said. “Alliance is all about our mission to not just protect people’s homes, but to bring our neighborhoods together and to keep the people in our community safe, keep our kids safe and secure. If we can give our customers, our students, our neighbors a little peace of mind, so that they have a little less worry, we’ve accomplished our mission.”