Donation drives are a popular and effective way to collect much-needed food for area food banks, but if you really want to engage your team members and make your food drive something everyone will be talking about, give them an added challenge to see what can be built with the donated items. That’s exactly what the creative Social Purpose Champions at Paul Davis did, and the results were incredible!
As you’ll see from the pictures in this post, team members took the challenge seriously and unleashed their creativity building fabulous structures out of donated canned goods. Photos of the structures were shared with the Paul Davis network and prizes were awarded for the locations with the Most Votes and the Most Cans.
In addition to highly coveted bragging rights, the LLCO Animal House structure won in the Most Cans category with 1,188 cans, and Hunger Bites won Most Votes. Some offices took the challenge even further by incorporating other fun team building events including company BBQs and bowling outings. Collectively the challenge netted more than 3,100 cans of food!
“Words cannot express my gratitude, respect, and appreciation to everyone involved in this event,” said Quality Assurance Analyst Waleska Gonzalez. “Helping others when they need it the most is a cause I keep close to my heart and I am always looking for an opportunity to create awareness. I was happy to see the passion and commitment from my PD family.”
A friendly contest to build a Can Structure to benefit local food pantries. Once complete, the local offices will submit photos and compete for likes on Facebook page. The photo with the most “likes” and the structure with most cans used each win an office party reimbursed up to $500! This is a great Paul Davis can ban together and support our local communities!
Established in 2000, Helping Hands of Vegas Valley is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization with the mission to provide free, assistive services to senior citizens in Southern Nevada, allowing them to maintain their dignity and independence while improving health and daily living.
Las Vegas and Reno office are getting together to do this Food Drive for the Helping Hands of Vegas Valley.
The Reno Office address is 639 Isbell Road Suite #280 Reno, Nevada 89509
The Las Vegas address is 8290 Arville St, Las Vegas, NV 89139
“This was my first year being a part of a Feed My Starving Children event. I took on the role as the event coordinator and began working on this project back in August 2018,” said Jamie O’Camb, executive assistant to Rene Vargas (CEO). “After all the hard work was done and everything was ready to go, I couldn’t believe the event day was finally here. That morning, I made my way to the back to see all the people packing the meals. It truly brought tears to my eyes to see such genuine people and families, taking time out of their weekend to pack meals for starving children. This was something that made a huge impact on me and I will continue to support this cause for a very long time.”
In addition to packing meals, the team also helped raise $30,000 for this worthy cause.
Feed My Starving Children Event Supervisor Louis Hintz acknowledged the team’s hard work by saying, “Thank you so much for an amazing event. Thank you all for having a heart for the precious kids that we feed day in and day out. We had a great time working with you all this weekend and appreciate all the hard work you put into this event! The core team, volunteers and everyone else were all incredible. Thanks again!”
“Food security is something many of us take for granted. For kids, having access to nutritious meals affects their ability to focus and learn in school,” said Erica Foster, senior manager, accounting and part of FirstService’s Social Responsibility Committee. “Toronto Foundation for Student Success’ mission to help students succeed by providing meals is something that resonated to many of us and we wanted to do our part to help ensure no child in Toronto begins the school day hungry.”
August 23, 2018, was back-to-school day for 20 FirstService Corporation employees who visited the Bendale Business Technical Institute (Bendale BTI) campus. But instead of carrying backpacks and laptops, volunteers donned gardening gloves and garden tools. This back-to-school day was different than most. On this day, the team volunteered to tend to the vegetable gardens at Bendale BTI as part of a community service initiative to support FoodShare Toronto, a non-profit organization established in 1985 whose mission is to partner with communities and schools to deliver healthy food and education.
FoodShare’s School Grown is an innovative schoolyard farming project, where fruits and vegetables are grown on school lawns and rooftops to create student employment. Students learn it all – from seeding to weeding, to harvesting produce and running their own farmers markets twice a week in two locations in the City of Toronto, Borden Farmers Market and East Lynn Farmers Market.
School Grown produce is shared with students, sold to the public at local farmers markets and donated to food share programs to support the culinary classes and lunches at Bendale BTI and Eastdale CI.
Bendale BTI launched its garden on a ¼ acre of school lawn in 2010. In addition to learning horticulture, students get to harvest and cook garden-grown produce, helping them to establish healthy eating habits and lifelong skills. The results of the program have been impressive.
During the summer months student employees are off for summer break so volunteers are needed to help tend the gardens. The FirstService team was looking for a teambuilding event which included a community service component as part of its #FirstServeOthers initiative, and that could accommodate 20 volunteers — which can be a challenge to find. FoodShare Toronto was a perfect fit.
Orlando Martin Lopez Gomez, Bendale BTI’s Urban Agriculture Manager, educated participants about the program and the varieties of produce grown on-site. He divided the group into teams who were each tasked with different duties including weeding and tending to the tomato plants. Before long they got to dig in and begin the rewarding task of harvesting fresh produce. Turnips, radishes, tomatoes, and beans were all harvested, cleaned and packed – ready to be taken to the farmers market for sale. Along the way, volunteers got to sample a wide range of organic produce including colorful and sweet tomatoes, kale, peppery arugula, spicy radishes, several varieties of lettuce and even raw okra.
“When planning our event, we looked at a number of different volunteer opportunities and were intrigued when we learned about FoodShare Toronto,” said Michael Smith, who works as a strategy and corporate development analyst and was part of the event planning team. “Most of us spend our days behind desks working on computers so to have the opportunity to get outdoors, roll up our sleeves and dig in was a great change of pace. Because students were off for the summer, the gardens needed some TLC and we were able to make an immediate impact, which was extremely rewarding.”
This was an eye-opening experience for many who had no idea such urban farms existed in the city, and certainly not on school grounds. For more information about the wide array of programs offered by FoodShare Toronto please visit www.foodshare.net.