Meet McCormick's Tax Analyst Who Dedicates His Time To Supporting Foster Care Children
As McCormick continues to stand together for the future of flavor in the communities where we live, work, and source, employees like Jesse Olsen, are finding ways to locally contribute to their communities, too. As a Tax Analyst III at McCormick, Jesse is responsible for state and local tax, compliance, and audit. A detail-oriented individual with a background in accounting, he joined the company nearly seven years ago.
In 2018, a friend at Trinity Life Church in Lutherville, Maryland, introduced Jesse to Royal Family KIDS Camp. They needed someone to help with fundraising, and Jesse’s expertise with finances and figures made him a logical choice. Each year, Trinity Life Church proudly sponsors a Royal Family KIDS Camp for the more than 1,200 children, ages 6-12, in foster care in the Baltimore area. “Like a lot of people I know, I was fortunate to grow up in a safe, loving, supportive home. But the reality is that many children do not,” Jesse said. In fact, the statistics are alarming. In the United States, 3.6 million cases of child abuse, neglect, or abandonment are reported every year – and as a result, many children are placed in the foster care system. But organizations like Royal Family KIDS Camp, are helping make a difference.
Founded in 1985 in Costa Mesa, California, Royal Family KIDS Camp provides children in foster care a week-long summer camp experience. Due to their circumstances, many of these children may otherwise not have the opportunity to enjoy the fun of summer camp – swimming with friends, exploring nature, singing around a campfire, or playing outdoor games. The activities at Royal Family KIDS Camp are purposefully designed to be non-competitive and non-threatening. They use a caring, compassionate, model through the games, sports, activity centers, bible stories, drama, and quiet times the campers share with others. And therapists are available to provide one-on-one counseling during the week.
When Jesse learned it takes just $450.00 for a child to attend camp, he was determined to help. “Not only does the week provide the children with excitement and activities, but it gives them a sense of security and belonging. It’s a place of compassion, encouragement, and understanding that children – especially those at risk – desperately need and deserve,” Jesse stated.
In addition to getting financial support from his church, Jesse was pleased to find people in the greater community who were willing to help. When he walked into a local car dealership and shared stories about Royal Family KIDS Camp, they made a raffle donation. When he stopped by Home Depot and told them about the children who benefit from it, they donated lumber for camp projects and birdhouses for arts and crafts. Little by little, he spread the word and the funds were raised. With 100% of all donations going directly to cover the costs, companies were motivated to contribute, too – including McCormick who donated $2,500. When COVID-19 allows, Jesse has plans for more fundraising efforts like auctions and breakfasts with guest speakers to help give more children the summer camp experience.
“Interestingly, my work with Royal Family Kids Camp has allowed me to expand my own skillset. Typically, I am a numbers guy, so fundraising, selling and communicating a brand, and persuading people to take action, are not part of my every day job. But I stepped outside of my comfort zone for a good cause and performed these roles for the first time. And since I intend on continuing to raise awareness and funds for Royal Family Kids Camp, these newly found skills will only improve and allow me to add value to the tax team,” Jesse revealed.
Through his work with Royal Family Kids Camp, Jesse stands for and invests in the future, just as McCormick stands for its communities. Both are instrumental in transforming communities by interrupting the cycle of neglect, abuse, and abandonment of vulnerable children.
To learn more about Royal Family Kids Camp, visit Royal Family Kids.