How nearly 200 CSR leaders supported Together We Rise to do good during our annual client conference
Think about the last time you attended a conference. You probably felt a bit nervous going into the first day—especially if you didn’t know anyone. That’s why most conferences begin with some sort of networking event. There might be an ice-breaker activity or cocktail reception with cue cards on the tables that encourage conversation, and bags full of swag or merchandise that are often left behind or taken home only to eventually end up in the landfill. But at Benevity’s annual client conference, Goodness Matters, we do things a little differently.
To start, the conference attendees are among the most progressive CSR thought leaders, from hundreds of the world’s most purpose-driven brands. They’re pros at infusing Goodness into their companies, customer experiences, communities and the world. And they attend Goodness Matters to share and celebrate their successes, discuss challenges and brainstorm ideas, learn about the latest and greatest technology, build meaningful, lasting relationships and have fun!
Nothing makes these people more comfortable than doing good, so this year, we decided to earmark all funds that would have gone toward swag, like water bottles or notepads, and invest that money back into the community by partnering with Together We Rise, an organization that is committed to enhancing the lives of local children in the foster system.
The organization came to be about 10 years ago when Danny Mendoza, the founder, discovered that his 9-year-old cousin was living in a car. He wanted to help but ran into obstacles because he was under the age of 21, and there were few ways to get involved outside of becoming a foster parent. So he got creative!
Today, Together We Rise has multiple programs and volunteer opportunities that enable individuals and groups to help better the lives of children in foster care by providing them with a sense of normalcy and comfort through a turbulent time. One way they accomplish this is by donating bikes to children in foster care across the United States. With over 400,000 children currently in foster care, every volunteer and every bike matters.
So, how did we get these kids some bikes? First, they needed to be assembled—and here’s where things get interesting. We decided to transform the fifth fairway of the Omni Rancho Las Palmas golf course into an outdoor do-gooder’s workshop and combine the conference’s opening mixer with a volunteer opportunity. Then, to keep the Goodness going, we gave each participant $25 in volunteer rewards that they could donate through our software platform to their charity of choice. Score! Er, fore!
Everyone had a blast putting together the bikes, being mindful of how they bring adventure, freedom and joy—something every kid should get to experience. They were built with heart and made even more special with a custom message for each recipient, hand-written on tags that were fastened to the handlebars.
At the end of the night, everyone felt a little closer to each other, and 120 brand new, assembled bikes (and helmets) were loaded up by representatives from Sheltering Palms Foster Family, a division of California Family Life Center, to be taken to their new loving homes throughout the Palm Springs area.
Janie Castillo, Recruiter at Sheltering Palms Foster Family, noted, “Many of our foster children have never owned a bike growing up. Receiving their bike will really bring joy and smiles to their faces.”
Speaking of smiles... we were lucky enough to receive this heartwarming message as a reminder that doing good impacts real people.
Learn more about corporate volunteering!