This guest blog is courtesy of Connor Lucey, SEO Specialist for Grasshopper. Connor loves keeping up with the latest trends in marketing, finding new ways to examine data, and is an avid music fan. Find him on Twitter @uconn_cornelius.
Friday mornings are pretty quiet at the Grasshopper office. At most, you will hear soft chatter about weekend plans as you walk past the coffee maker or the clicks and strokes of keyboards. The Friday before Thanksgiving had a different energy, though. And no, this was not out of excitement for the short holiday week. In fact, you could walk through the main office and hear a pin drop. That’s because the kitchen was the place to be. This year, Grasshopper teamed with Stop Hunger Now and pledged to package over 10,000 meals for the hungry around the globe. Over half of Grasshopper’s 50+ employees piled into the kitchen adorned in their red hair nets and plastic gloves, all ready for action.
Every surface (including the pool table), was converted to an assembly line while employees teamed up and began filling, weighing and sealing bags full of rice, soy, and veggies. With the exception of songs like “Funky Town” playing in the background, all was quiet for the first half hour as teammates settled into their roles in each mini assembly line. It wasn’t long before the competitive lines were drawn as teams began to debate over who had filled the most meals, or spilled the least food (all in good fun, of course). By noontime, the food supplies had nearly run out and the Stop Hunger Now truck was full of boxes with 1,700 meal bags packed.
Each bag feeds about 6 people. So simple math tells you a group of 20-30 people can prepare meals for over 10,000 people in less than three hours. Beyond that, our event with Stop Hunger Now was a great opportunity for employees from all departments to share laughs and chat outside of a work environment. Events like this are a great way to make an impact, build company culture, and to have fun. And to top it off, the supplies were paid for by a small donation from Grasshopper’s parent company, Citrix.
Believe it or not, a lot of companies would be happy to do the same. In fact, 89% of leading companies now have community outreach programs where employees can participate at no cost. Some companies will even match an employee donation to a charity from a preapproved list of charities. It’s worth checking your company’s benefits or sending an email to human resources to get an event started because, at the end of the day, the small donation and few hours spent will go a long way for many in need. I know for us at Grasshopper, it was refreshing to take a break from thinking about our international marketing strategy, or a bug in the code for our new application to just have fun.
Community outreach is a lot easier than you think and it starts with a quick visit to your company’s benefits page or short email to a charity. Organizations like Stop Hunger Now have a number of locations across the country so you don’t have to look far to make a difference, either. If you want to make an impact with your company, you can start by visiting Stop Hunger Now’s corporate events page.