#KitchellGivesBack in a big way

Sam Kitchell was a man who believed doing good reaps rewards. During his lifetime he and his wife Betty gave time and money to dozens of nonprofits, ranging from the Desert Botanical Garden to the Arizona Kidney Foundation. He was a man of incredible energy and kindness. And in the name of the community spirit he espoused, Kitchell employees recently volunteered for a total of 27 community service projects throughout Arizona, California, Texas and Washington, representing more than 1,000 hours.

Kitchell’s inaugural Founder’s Day was Sept. 11, marking the day of Sam’s passing in 2006 and National Day of Service and Remembrance. In Sam’s name, teams of Kitchell employees (wearing an iconic Sam Kitchell insignia) hit the streets with their tools, time and energy and tackled efforts ranging from vegetable harvesting for food banks to school maintenance projects. Community projects took place starting Sept. 5 with the San Diego Food Bank and ending with a project 10 days later, painting rocks to spread joy on behalf of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention in Sacramento on Sept. 15. Some employees took time away from work, and others dedicated time on weekends.

Participation was not mandatory, but the all-volunteer effort resulted in 260 volunteers and 1,012 recorded hours. Kitchell donated $25 for every hour employees volunteered up to four hours per person. The total contributions over the 10 days were $17,150 for charitable organizations in Arizona, California, Texas and Washington. The organizations we supported throughout the campaign include:

UCI Anti-Cancer Challenge

San Diego Food Bank

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central California

Ronald McDonald House Charities of Northern California

Ranger Road Freedom Jump

Santa Barbara Food Bank

Honor Health Desert Mission Food Bank

Bright Beginnings Preschool

Assistance League of Phoenix Operation School Bell

Feed My Starving Children

UMOM New Day Shelter

Community First! Village Mobile Loaves & Fishes

Habitat for Humanity of Greater Sacramento ReStore

Anaheim Cove Park Clean-Up

Rebuilding Together Houston

Eloise’s Cooking Pot Food Bank

Green Apple Day of Service at Chula Vista High School

MiraCosta College

Ben’s Bells

St. Mary’s Food Bank

Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona

Sacramento Food Bank

San Luis Obispo Food Bank Coalition

Operation Care & Comfort

Folsom Cordova USD Adult Education Program

American Foundation for Suicide Prevention of Greater Sacramento

Project team bonds during outdoor adventure


Arizona offers so much to see and do, and those who are new to Kitchell from other states take advantage of our mild year-round climate to see the sites.  And when our team members enjoy the same outdoor experiences, even better.

Recently our Fort McDowell Project Engineers Jenna Laughman, Trey Martin, Caymian Gordon, and intern Keegan Shepherd hit the road for a weekend camping trip to the beautiful Mogollon Rim (just north of Payson, Arizona).

While the guys stayed at the site all weekend, Jenna ventured up for a day trip. The highlight of the trip, in her eyes, was the gorgeous views.

“We hiked a few miles along the perimeter of the rim, which made taking little breaks quite enjoyable as we got to take in the beautiful scenery that went on for miles,” she said. “Trey suggested this spot for us since Caymian, Keegan and I are from other states and are new to Arizona, so this was our first experience at the rim.”


One pretty cool coincidence was that the night they went camping was the same night of the Perseid meteor shower. There wasn’t a cloud in the sky at night, so they enjoyed watching a handful of shooting stars.

“We also made our way over to Woods Canyon Lake for a bit. We didn’t stay there long but it was nice to see some water in Arizona. Overall this was a great team bonding experience,” said Jenna.

Aside from the views, hanging out by the campfire and eating s’mores, the group had a lot of fun getting to know each other outside of work. Back at Kitchell, they’ll work together on the Fort McDowell project for the next two years.

“Work is always more enjoyable when you’re alongside people you can call friends.”