Have you ever been hungry? Even for just a little bit? You skipped breakfast and went out on a hike. You didn’t have time for lunch during conference calls. Or, perhaps, you went to the pantry, and nothing called to you. How did that make you feel? Were you short tempered? Feeling a little uneasy? Maybe even lightheaded?
Now imagine that you experience that every day. You go to the pantry and you find a can of beans, or a few potatoes, and that is your food for the day. As you walk out on the streets heading for work you notice the restaurants, and the food smells great, but when you reach into your pocket you realize that you don’t have the money to even buy a sandwich.
Sometimes in our privileged world, we might feel that there are plenty of programs out there to handle issues like this – food stamps, soup kitchens, homeless shelters, and subsidized lunches. While these programs do help to alleviate some of the challenges, there are still many Americans living only blocks from us that are going hungry every single day.
With this in mind, we’d like to share a powerful story that starts with a local company setting a key business goal was to “make a difference” in society. Yes, you read that right – a business goal intent on making a social impact. Solidyn Solutions, an engineering services company headquartered in Denver, decided that they wanted to do something during their holiday celebration to give back to their community. Their leaders noticed that Keystone Resorts was offering a Community Impact Team Building event with their group meeting package, so they decided to have their all-company holiday party up in Keystone.
Dawn and Andy Marshall, key executives at Solidyn, are two incredibly caring people who are active in serving as advocates for low-income and homeless families in the Denver metro area. They serve on the board and volunteer with the Jefferson County Action Center. This desire to serve and improve the local community is a cornerstone value for CBST Adventures as well, which is why we often include a social impact component with our events.
Solidyn decided to host a Community ‘Mini-Golf’ Impact Food Drive Challenge at their event in Keystone, where employees would be challenged to create mini-golf courses with perishable food (in a non-damaging way, of course). CBST Adventures sprung to action, setting the stage for what was sure to be an amazing evening of sharing in the holiday spirit and giving back.
When the evening of the mini-golf event arrived, Solidyn’s employees and families arrived to find $5,000 worth of food waiting for them to build out 15 holes of ‘championship-worthy’ mini-golf course. The children of the families were ecstatic, and the engineer parents were even more thrilled. It was truly a sight to behold, as rarely have our events had so much engineering creativity and design.
What really made the event special was beforehand, CBST’s CEO, Jay Irwin, reached out to CityWILD, the youth leadership development non-profit in Denver and invited 11 CityWILD students to work the Solidyn event. The CityWILD students not only worked side by side with CBST staff and Solidyn, helping with the build out of the mini-golf course, but then they were given the tremendous responsibility to later go into their own low-income neighborhoods and deliver the non-perishable food to families in need.
Once the evening was over, the 11 CityWILD students and our CBST staff packed up three pallets of food to be distributed to these communities in need. One of the CityWILD students said to CBST’s CEO, “That was so much fun working the event, but what’s going to be more fun is distributing this food out into my community. It’s going to make such a huge impact on Christmas for my neighbors, and I know exactly who needs it the most.”
To make their deliveries even more special, the students put the food into meaningful packages and delivered them door-to-door. Rice, beans, tuna, granola, peanut butter, spaghetti and sauce, applesauce, and a tin of Christmas cookies for each family as a special treat were all included. Upon delivery, one woman starting crying and said, “The food is important and my family needs it, but it means even more to know that someone out there cares enough to think of me and my family during this time.”
Make no mistake, this was a teambuilding event for Solidyn and their employees; but, as you can tell, the impact of the event went far beyond the company of Solidyn. It’s such transformational and life-changing events that we at CBST Adventure’s love to create and help be a part of.
To learn more about CBST and our Social Impact initiatives, click here.