W hat Inspires You? This question has been rolling around in my head for the past several months, no doubt due to the Be Inspired theme from the 2013 Beeline Conference.
After hearing from such amazing speakers at the conference, including Derreck Kayonga (notable for his Global Soap Project) and Robert X. Fogarty (creator of the Dear World project), I felt overwhelmingly inspired. Their projects have affected countless lives around the world, and these examples certainly made me pause to evaluate how I could do more to inspire and help others.
The recent holiday season really got me thinking about Beeline’s philanthropy, which brought me back to my original question; what inspires you? I knew it before, but now, I can say with even more confidence: I am inspired by the generosity of others. Every day at Beeline, my leaders and peers make a choice to place an importance on the work that they do for their community. Not only is it inspiring to be part of an organization that has such giving souls, but also the sheer volume and variety of their generosity is beyond words. Here are just a few of the things Beeline does that deserve highlighting.
Do you remember the devastation brought on by the massive typhoon that pounded the Philippines in November 2013? Thousands lost their lives and countless remain homeless. As you may know, we have a Beeline office located in Manila (the capital of the Philippines). Beeline immediately set up a fund to support relocation and rebuilding efforts, and provided basic supplies where needed. The Manila Beeline office made the decision to cut budgeted items until the end of the year. They did this by cutting employee events, reducing Christmas party costs, and then repurposed savings from other expenses. That money is now going towards this fund. In addition, Team Manila didn’t bat an eyelash as they gave up their own winnings of a recent “hackathon” (an event in which computer programmers and software developers collaborate intensively on projects). Team Manila also spent a Saturday packing supplies for the victims of this Typhoon.
As if that wasn’t enough, several of our Filipino employees in the Beeline Jacksonville office immediately set up a Super Typhoon Donation Luncheon and made traditional Filipino food. The cost came directly from their own hearts and pockets — and those eating the food did more than open their mouths to eat — they opened their wallets in a big way. Between Team Manila’s efforts and the Jacksonville luncheon, Beeline raised $7,064.47 to support this effort. In addition, Beeline threw in an extra $2,500 for a grand total of $9,564.47. Let me provide you with a little perspective: $9,564.47 U.S. dollars is the equivalent of $429,779.46 Philippine pesos, so you can imagine the impact this is having on the relief efforts. But it doesn’t stop there. The organizers of the luncheon are committed to having a luncheon once a month for the next six months to continue to support the Philippine relief effort.
The Children’s Home Society
The following is one of my personal favorites. Every year, Beeline sponsors children from The Children’s Home Society during the holidays. These children have been removed temporarily or permanently from their own homes or were given up by their parents. Beeline’s Kasey Gartner is our coordinator extraordinaire. She works with the Children’s Home Society to receive a list of children with their names, ages, clothing sizes, and wish lists. That’s when the fun begins. In a matter of days, all the children have been chosen either by individual employees or by teams, who then go shopping and work together to get everything the children need. Every year, Kasey’s office is overflowing with gifts that include everything from socks to bicycles.
In November, you might notice several friends, strangers, co-workers, or even family members (who were once clean-shaven) turn into grisly messes with interesting mustache/beard combinations. I recall this very well, because there was no way to miss the changes occurring on the faces of the Beeline men. If you are not sure what Movember is, let me explain. For the month of November, men register on Movember.com to raise awareness and funds for men’s health. On November 1, the Beeline men start with a clean-shaven face, and for the full 30 days of November, they grow out their moustache (or beard) of choice. Of course, many of our Beeline men signed up with a company goal to raise a minimum of $1,000. They exceeded this goal by raising $1,820. If you or your organization is interested in this program, check it out and become a Mo Bro this November!
Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) / Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS)
What’s cooking at Beeline? Every year, Beeline employees sponsor multiple bake sales in support of different causes. In April 2013, Beeline’s bake sale was in support of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF). Don’t worry, the irony of having a bake sale to help support diabetes research is not lost on any of us. It was all about producing results (in the form of donations, of course). Our JDRF bake sale netted a nice amount of $472. Our most recent bake sale was on Valentine’s Day 2014, and we raised $505.75 in support of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society — proof that philanthropy is truly sweet and simple.
How many of you can say you have grass-skirt-wearing, knife-and-fire-throwing employees? We can! Three of our employees are members of the Prince Pele Polynesian show and the whole group performs every year for the end of summer celebration at Hope Haven. Beeline provides all the food, pays for the entertainment, and sends Beeline employees to “work” the event instead of working in the office. Hope Haven provides a summer camp for youths with developmental or physical disabilities. The children are full of smiles and hugs every year!
Other honorable mentions include Beeline’s donation of $2,000 worth of Jacksonville Jaguar football tickets to military families to honor them on Veteran’s Day, as well as Beeline employee participation in the Ronald McDonald and American Heart Walk 5Ks.
I said that I was only going to highlight a few examples but honestly, I could go on and on. It is inspiriting to see such philanthropy and to know that it is such a huge part of the Beeline’s culture makes me proud to be a part of the Beeline family. So now that you know what inspires me, leave us a comment below and tell us about the things that inspire you.