A giving heart Featured

7:00pm EDT December 26, 2009
CVS Samaritan Award

Michelle Abreu’s keen awareness of the importance of community service stretches back to her childhood. The co-founder, chairman and president of Oxford Consulting Group Inc. was a childhood immigrant to the United States who lived in a converted church until her family found permanent housing.

With that experience as a backdrop, Abreu has molded Oxford into a community-minded organization since its founding in 1998. As a result, Abreu’s employees are frequently involved in a number of community programs, from blood drives to homeless shelters to food collections. And it’s not just individual involvement. Several times per year, Oxford shuts down its corporate offices to participate in charity work.

One of the annual office closures is in support of Habitat for Humanity. Oxford employees take a day out of their workweeks to help construct homes for families in need — and the yearly workday commitment has planted a seed that helped sprout further volunteerism at Oxford Consulting. Some employees now use their personal time to continue working on Habitat for Humanity projects.

Oxford also shuts its offices for a day to play Santa Claus for more than 40 children aided by Franklin County Children’s Services. Oxford associates spend the day shopping for holiday gifts, wrapping them and dropping them off at the children’s services office for their annual holiday party.

Oxford’s employees spend time shopping for others in need, as well, including Choices, an organization that works to end domestic violence. For the past two years, shelters operated by Choices have benefited from clothes, food and household items purchased and donated by Oxford.

Abreu’s company also donates time, money and supplies to The Open Shelter, which offers support to the homeless population in Columbus.

Oxford supports a number of other community causes, including: Olentangy School District programs, such as school carnivals and the district’s holiday giving program; the Neighborhood Nest program in downtown Columbus, which helps support low-income parents by giving them financial, medical and child care services; hospice care at Mount Carmel Hospital; the Susan G. Komen Walk for the Cure; Heifer International; Operation Christmas Child; and several humanitarian efforts in the Dominican Republic.

How to reach: Oxford Consulting Group Inc., (614) 310-2700 or www.oxford-consulting.com