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PEOPLE HELPING PEOPLE: Be a life saver

With well over 100 of its employees living and working in Gwinnett, engineering firm Jordan, Jones and Goulding (JJG) feels a strong corporate commitment to give back to its home county. For many years, the firm has been an annual participant in Gwinnett County's Relay For Life by having a Relay team and serving as a corporate sponsor. Chuck Button, COO of JJG, sets the example for his employees in giving back, as he serves his second year as co-chair of the American Cancer Society's Relay For Life of Gwinnett -- the largest Relay event in the world.

At Jordan, Jones and Goulding, their vision is realized through the statement, "Working to better our communities and environment." Button states that JJG was built on the foundation of improving communities and this philosophy resonates amongst their employees. By participating in Relay For Life, JJG employees and their families have benefited from the opportunity to improve the quality of life for patients battling cancer, for their caregivers and for survivors.

As a large corporate family, JJG has had a number of people within their organization diagnosed with cancer.

Button contends that JJG employee participation in the Gwinnett Relay has provided an opportunity for staff to rally around those employees. Staff member's participation in this event gives co-workers a meaningful outlet to deal with the helpless feeling that comes when those around them are diagnosed. For the patient or survivor, Relay For Life provides a way to fight back against a disease that causes great suffering. Participating as a corporate team has also offered team-building opportunities for JJG employees. Working together to make a difference has served as motivation for the JJG participants.

People value businesses who value people. Jordan, Jones and Goulding has utilized the free resources of the American Cancer Society through offering the ACS FreshStart Smoking Cessation program to support JJG's smoke-free work environment and has also subscribed to the ACS Healthy Living newsletter to support their wellness initiatives. The relationship with the American Cancer Society has truly been a partnership. For employees and their family members that are diagnosed, the relationship has created the awareness of the society as being the first place to turn for reliable information and patient resources through the www.cancer.org Web site and the 24 hours/seven days a week National Cancer Information Center at 1-800-227-2345.

Button challenges other business to join the fight. He believes joining Gwinnett's fight against cancer has been of great benefit to his organization and that this life-saving community effort has become very much a part of Gwinnett's culture.

"If your company is not involved in this community's life-saving initiative, you are missing a tremendous gift and opportunity to make a difference," Button said.

He promises that the experience will not only result in providing resources for patient services and programs and unlock answers for a cure, the experience will also be life-changing for everyone who participates. Relay For Life of Gwinnett is held on May 7 at Gwinnett County Fairgrounds. Registration is being held now.

For more information, visit www.gwinnettrelayforlife.org or call 770-814-0123.

Randy Redner is the area manager for the American Cancer Society.