What does being 1% Better each day mean to you? At BetterWorks, we hold “1% better” as a core value, by practicing habits that help us realize our full potential. Not only does this apply to what we do in the office, but also how we can help our communities and neighbors.
As an Office Manager in our NY hub, I have been behind the scenes helping to drive our “1% Better with Philanthropy” initiative for almost a year now. BetterWorks encourages each employee to create and grow our own opportunities during our time here, and building our volunteer program has been a rewarding experience for me so far. I’m excited to share what our team has been up to, and what we plan to do later this year and beyond.
IT ALL STARTED WITH A PENNY WAR
It all started in January, when we rolled out a Penny War, pitting East and West Coast in a head to head battle to claim victory in raising coins for a the charity of their choice. We kicked it up a notch in Q2, and our 12 departments raised aggressively against one another -even sending competitive pictures over our company Slack channel of BetterWorkers dropping large sacks of coins in their jars. In the end, the engineers from Goals pod emerged the victor, and raised over $132 in coins, and a total of over $440 was donated to their selected cause, Pets In Need, Northern California’s first no-kill shelter!
The Penny War in Q3 is still going strong – BetterWorks has even generously offered to match the winning team’s total amount raised for their special cause!
SMALL GROUP VOLUNTEERING
In the Spring and Summer, we took our efforts to a new level with offsite volunteering at a number of great organizations:
Our East Coast team partnered with Trinity Presbyterian Church in the East Village neighborhood to assist with their daily lunch service, which has been a long-respected program in the area for over 30 years. With a team of six, we prepared the dining and serving areas, watered the outside patio garden, cleaned the pantries and storage closets and helped serve 200 hungry citizens– all in under 3 hours!
Members of our Engineering and Product teams on the West Coast organized their own volunteer activity, and teamed up alongside workers at Genentech to assist the Second Harvest Food Bank in San Carlos, which serves food to over a quarter of a million people every month. The team sorted, labeled, boxed and shipped over 8,000 pounds of food and beverages to local shelters and charities in the Palo Alto area.
GIVING BACK AS A TEAM
The program is still full steam ahead, and we have some exciting volunteer activities lined up for later this month – including a Volunteer Day at Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore in San Carlos, California, where the team will help sort, stock, label and sell new and used furniture. Proceeds go toward building homes for local families in San Francisco, Marin and the Peninsula. We also have coordinated an all-team cleanup day at Ocean beach near Golden Gate Park, pruning, weeding and improving over 5 miles of paths for runners and cyclists.
Our East Coast team has planned a clean-up day in Stuyvesant Park (just a few blocks away from our Flatiron office!) in coordination with NYC Park and Rec. department. Plus we’re putting together backpacks full of school supplies for grades Pre-K through 12 as part of Operation Backpack’s annual drive, which helps provide over 22,000 backpacks to underprivileged students in the NYC area each year.
Perhaps this blog post seems a little proud, but I can’t help it. I’m proud to come to work each day and be inspired by emails and slack messages from my colleagues, asking me to look into new non-profits for a variety of causes; asking how they can help put something together for their team, or even asking “hey when is the next volunteer event?” It’s the support of these individuals, coupled with the support from our company that inspires me to live and breathe our 1% better value every day.