Social Impact Initiative: How YourCause Gave Back in 2015
Lately, I’ve been hearing a lot of chatter around the media (both old school and social) about how dreadful company holiday parties are. They’re awkward, weird, don’t always feed you real food, and can be a wormhole of small talk.
Here at YourCause, we love our company holiday party.
And I think that’s because our holiday party isn’t about us. It’s about our mission and culture. It’s about our communities. It’s about giving back and living out our values of “doing good.”
After last year’s party, we decided that living out our values of “doing good” didn’t have to exist just within our employees’ personal lives or within the day of our holiday party. We decided we could do more, as a group and year-round, to put into practice what we try to facilitate through our platform day in and day out.
So in January 2015, we started the Social Impact Initiative (SII). This initiative was to be a monthly donation–or volunteer–oriented event that was charitable in nature.
[Insider information: We really had no idea what this would look like each month, or how much participation we would have, or really what we were doing.]
All we knew was that it was about time we did something. So we did.
In January, we partnered with a homeless shelter in Dallas to provide over 450 sack lunches for their recipients while Dallas County conducted their annual homeless census.
February, the month of love, led us to a group who all got in one cramped room on February 13th to create gift bags for women in domestic abuse safe houses and shelters. We provided over 400 carnations and chocolate truffles to accompany each bag.
March meant a week with all our kiddos on spring break, so we decided to continue the legacy of giving back with the next generation. The kids came to the office one afternoon and practiced their PB&J expertise as we created another round of sack lunches for the homeless shelter.
And somehow we did it. Each month, an employee would bring up a new cause and a new group of people would show up and new cause would be given some attention. Granted, some events only had 1-2 people show up, but others really had a lasting impact. We laid sod and cleaned newly built houses. We wrote letters of encouragement to the elderly. Employees donated blood, clothes, and time to fellow colleagues’ charity events.
It can be difficult for me at times to even start something if I don’t know it will be successful. I don’t want to waste my own time, much less others’, if I don’t have the guarantee that it will be beneficial and productive. Looking back on this project, I am so thankful that we just went for it. Just like our holiday parties, one focused moment or day of giving ourselves to those around us is so much more impactful than we realize.
So as you all wrap up the year, start looking at the numbers of how many dollars were donated and matched, how many hours were volunteered, etc., just know that you are doing good. We know it can easily get lost in the shuffle of things, in the bureaucracy of a large company, and in the numbers and stats you have to produce. But from someone who was able to witness the good that was done from our grassroots, hodge-podge of a program, we are thankful for people like you.