December 24, 2014
By Mary Stiff
It started with an idea. We do “Bring Your Child to Work Day,” and Discover Engineering Family Day, what about those whose kids have fur? What about our “furbabies?” They need love too!
“We should do a calendar that features our pets!” Shortly following the email requesting your favorite pet selfies, the photos began pouring in by email.
Of course, if you’re going to do a calendar, you need to do it for charity and since we were only marketing this to employees, we thought we might make a couple hundred bucks for an animal-related charity. No big deal. AMT wanted all of the proceeds to go straight to the three charities we chose, so they donated all of the production costs. The three charities we chose were Bourbon County Rescue, a small rescue group; Lost Dog and Cat Rescue Foundation; a larger, regional rescue; and, an organization called Puppies Behind Bars that works with inmates to train service dogs and then donates them to veterans who need them.
The orders started coming in and the calendars started going out. Our couple hundred bucks quickly turned into a thousand and then two thousand and while “the promotion” is over, orders still arrive since we’ll be offering the calendars until they’re gone.
People talk about corporate social responsibility as something that companies “should” do. But when you have the privilege of dropping off a donation to an organization that depends on them for their existence, it no longer seems like a “responsibility.” In the grand scheme of things, our little calendar won’t make or break an organization, but to stop and think about what each of them can do with the money they received you realize that maybe your impact is bigger than you thought.
It’s a moment to be proud of where you work. I am proud that my company leadership jumped on board enthusiastically. I was a little surprised at the volume of photographs we received of beloved animals of all varieties, even if it was challenging to get them all into the final version, and I’m thankful for those who helped put the project together. I’m appreciative of a printer who found out what we were doing and charged a little less to help out, and then threw a couple dozen extras in the box. I’m honored by the response we got when asked for donations of any amount. I work with generous people.
Isn’t it funny how giving makes the giver grateful. Social responsibility? Maybe so, but also maybe a little of something more.