March 6, 2019

“Thank you so much for the care package! Each card gave me more and more motivation and support. I love and miss all of you and thank you Pitcairn for putting this together.”

That was Malachi, Lincoln University freshman, expressing his gratitude for receiving a surprise care package from Summer Search Philadelphia and their partners at Pitcairn, an innovator and leader in the family office and wealth management industry.

Malachi was one of 22 Philly Summer Searchers in our post-secondary program to receive a gift like this last semester. The packages included encouraging notes from Pitcairn and Summer Search staff, as well as goodies like Post-it notes, hot cocoa, toothpaste, and more.

2018 Care PackagesSummer Searcher Philadelphia students showing off their care packages.

Many of our sites organize gifts like these, as one of several ways to check-in with and provide support for Summer Searchers after high school, as the students adjust to new environments, workloads, and often encounter cultural/racial challenges on campus.

This is the second year in a row that Pitcairn staff donated supplies and volunteered their time to prepare and mail these packages. This generosity was facilitated through their #PitcairnGivesBack initiative, where employees can choose which local organizations to support.

“We were drawn to Summer Search because its mission aligned with a key core value of our firm: continuous learning,” explained Ronna J. Gyllenhaal, Pitcairn’s Director of Marketing and Communications. “Pitcairn has long supported organizations that provide educational programs and support to students in the Philadelphia region.”

In October, the Pitcairn team hosted a “packing party” at their offices, inviting Philly staff members Sherella Williams and Kaitlin Irvine, and alumna Tiara Willis. Everyone spent the morning putting the care packages together, and listening to Tiara share her Summer Search experience.

Pitcairn and Summer SearchPitcairn employees with Summer Search staff and alumni assembling care packages for our Philadelphia college students.

Pitcairn even put together a short video of the day, and are planning on doing the packages for the third year in a row, continuing their partnership with us!

“Pitcairn employees had fun putting the care packages together. Knowing that this surprise would brighten up a college student’s day was the highlight of the experience,” Ronna said.

Based on the response from our students, the packages definitely did brighten a few days! Here are a few more thank you notes from Philly Summer Searchers, including one that was written on one of the Post-its:

“OMG!! This couldn’t have come at a better time!! College has been a struggle with all the assignments, quizzes, and emotional noise. I lost a few friends and it’s been having a toll on me lately. This made my entire day! THANK YOU! I love you guys so much.” – Tamara, Shippensburg University

“THANK YOU ALL so much for the support. It really means a lot to me and my family. I am doing my best to make everyone so proud. I made it this far and won’t give up!” – Mahalia, Mansfield University

“Thank you so much for the care package! So far my experience transitioning into college has been a bit rocking but the lovely packages and letters received really reminded me to stay grounded and focus. I truly appreciate all of the gifts and goods received from the Summer Search team and those at Pitcairn who put efforts into creating this for me!” – Nijah, Bryn Mawr College

“Thank you so much for the care package. It truly made my day. This just reminded me that no matter where I’m at in life, people like those at Summer Search and Pitcairn genuinely care for students and it feels great!” – Cesar, Franklin & Marshall College


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