Look across the Seattle skyline and you’ll see dozens of cranes peppered in among the skyscrapers; a city growing before your eyes. While architecture and engineering firm OAC Services has contributed to this growth, they’ve also worked to ensure others less fortunate benefit from the boom. For over a decade, such work has been to the great benefit of children in Uganda.
Youth in the region must take a literacy exam in seventh grade in order to further their education at secondary school. However, a shortage of learning facilities and problems with stolen supplies set many of these children up for failure.
So Sister Schools, a nonprofit that OAC partners with, repurposes shipping containers as secure storage for books, computers, and other school supplies, acting as stand-alone resource centers for space-starved schools. OAC has contributed funds, volunteer hours, and resources to seven of the Sister Schools’ literary centers throughout the region, including helping design the very first one. “Without OAC’s involvement we’d still be trying to get off the ground,” says Michael Fardella of Sister Schools.
This culture of giving extends from the top down. Since 2006, OAC staff has made monthly donations to Sister Schools, which are matched by the company. And that employee effort remained consistent, even through a recession that hit the construction industry particularly hard.
“A lot of people have contributed to our success over the last 60 years,” says OAC principal Randy Barber. “It’s part of being a corporate citizen to share the good fortune, globally or locally.”