How a summer of lunches for us became a life of lunches for an orphanage across the world

Kate Petsche September 30, 2015 Employee Engagement

At YourCause, we take pride in our energetic, communal corporate culture. After all, fun is one of our core values. In 2014, we started Food Truck Fridays as a way for the company to enjoy a weekly, social lunch together. For twelve Fridays that summer, the entire company would come together for lunch before our companywide meeting and enjoy food from one of our local food trucks. It was a huge hit for the twelve weeks that we had these lunches, and our employees looked forward to the food trucks again as the next summer approached. The success of the event spoke largely to our idea that employees who are engaged and happy at work perform better, have higher job satisfaction and are more likely to stay at the company.

But as we looked at our financials for the year and tallied up the cost of this fun community-building summer event, we felt a small tug on our conscience. As a company, our mission is to improve the world, and especially to improve the lives of others, on a large scale through corporate responsibility. We started doing the math of how much that money could positively impact the world and how many lives those dollars could potentially change, and what we came up with seemed slightly out of sync with our mission and our values. So this year we tried something different.

This summer, we started a new tradition: Potluck Fridays. Each of our departments would collaborate to make a dish in a friendly competition against the other departments, and then we would come together and eat the meals family style. The potlucks were a complete success. They not only encouraged communal effort and involvement and provided us with the same chance to come together as a work-family for a meal, but each week, we were able to set aside the money that we would have spent on a food truck to be put to another use.

As the summer came to an end, we had set aside a total of $13,818, which last year had gone toUntitled feed 50 employees 12 lunches. This year, that money will be donated to provide a month of lunches a year to 71 orphans under the Saswathaannadana Program for the REST OF THEIR LIVES. The money we saved with our potluck lunches will be donated to the Center for Social Service, a not-for-profit non-governmental organization dedicated to the idea that “education should be accessible to all irrespective of gender, economy or social status.”

We’re happy to have had the chance this summer to come together as a company once again and emphasize the relaxed, fun nature of our work atmosphere, but we’re even happier that by thinking of fun alternatives, we were able to contribute positively to the world without sacrificing fun along the way. When it comes down to it, that’s exactly what we’re about. We want to think creatively to solve the challenges presented to us, to work with great people, to help the world, and to have a great time doing it.

And what better way to celebrate a successful summer of community and philanthropy than with just one Food Truck Friday