A young girl was walking along a beach upon which thousands of starfish had been washed up during a terrible storm. When she came to each starfish, she would pick it up and throw it back into the ocean. People watched her with amusement.She had been doing this for some time when a man approached her and said, "Little girl, why are you doing this? Look at this beach! You can't save all these starfish. You can't begin to make a difference!"The girl seemed crush, suddenly deflated. But after a few moments, she bent down, picked up another starfish and hurled it as far as could into the ocean."Well, I made a difference to that one!"- adapted from The Star Thrower by Loren C. Eiseley
In 2010, Drake & Company launched a staff initiative to give back to our community through service and philanthropy. To be honest, these weren't exactly new concepts for us - as a company, we had donated numerous pro-bono hours to nonprofit clients and participated in holiday giving programs. As individuals, our staff members regularly volunteer their time and talents to organizations they believe in, from running charity races to tutoring in classrooms to serving on nonprofit boards to mentoring.
In an effort to increase these activities throughout the year, we created the Drakeco Gives Back program -- you can read more about it here and here. The goals of the program are to:
- Learn more about the organizations and causes in our community and what we can do to make a difference.
- Increase Drakeco involvement in the community - both as a company and individuals; build a spirit of "volunteerism."
- Promote and lend our support to causes our employees care about.
Well, the staff has voted - and here are our "causes" for 2011.
1st Quarter (January-March): Children's Foundation of Mid-America
Helping children and families is a cause close to our hearts - this organization works to help children who have been abused, neglected or who struggle with family stressors through strong residential homes and family-focused community support program.
2nd Quarter (April-June): Crohn's & Colitis Foundation - Mid-America Chapter
Another cause close to our hearts, as we have staff members affected (personally and within their families). We hope to participate as a team in the Take Steps walk in St. Louis on May 7.
3rd Quarter (July-September): Circle of Concern
This cause is right in our own backyard, serving low-income families in west St. Louis county. In December 2010, the organization fed close to 2,500 people, and we look forward to helping out with their back to school drive.
4th Quarter (October-November): Center for Women in Transition
With Drakeco VP Hugh Whaley serving on the organization's board of directors, we couldn't pass up this opportunity to pitch in. The Center assists women in the criminal justice system in making a successful transition to their families and communities through practicing and promoting restorative justice.
So why are we telling you all this -- just to toot our own horn? Our hope is that the readers of this blog, our clients and others in the association community will take just a moment to check out the causes above (or others in their community). If our efforts lead just one person to find a cause that inspires them to get more involved, then it will be a success.
Just remember the story of the starfish...
If you'd like more information about getting involved with Drakeco's Cause a Quarter, please contact Becky at firstname.lastname@example.org.