Thanksgiving is a time for appreciating all you have, and many companies take this opportunity to host food drives, volunteer, or donate to local organizations. In fact, the Tuesday after Thanksgiving has been dubbed Giving Tuesday because it’s such a popular time to contribute to charitable organizations. Despite the hardships many businesses faced in 2020, charitable giving was up 5.2 percent over 2019. If you’re looking for ideas on how to give back this Thanksgiving, check out what these four tech companies are doing.
Second Harvest Food Bank supports people facing hunger and works to improve solutions to widespread hunger. Leading up to Thanksgiving, TechnologyAdvice hosts a food drive for the Middle Tennessee location, encouraging in-office employees to donate non-perishable food items and remote employees to give online. Then, they deliver the collections to the organization.
Additionally, TechnologyAdvice partners with Youth Villages every year for their Backpack Heroes program. 2020 was their biggest year by far. For the fall event, they purchased and delivered $1600 in school supplies and backpacks for 150 kids. These stuffed backpacks go directly to children with emotional and mental difficulties in the Nashville area.
Vidyard Hosts Give Back Days
Vidyard encourages employees to participate in Give Back Days during the final two weeks of November. Everyone in the organization is encouraged to participate, and, in total, they have a 99% participation rate. They encourage volunteering and giving back to the community throughout the year as well, giving their employees two additional volunteer days each year to give back to their community.
This will be their first virtual Give Back Day, although they have completed two in-person Give Back Days in previous years. They know the needs in their communities have only grown during the pandemic, and they wanted to still do their part and give back. They have an incredibly talented and skilled workforce and knew they had a lot of skills that they could provide to their community.
Instead of seeking in-person opportunities, they approached charitable organizations, asking how they could put their skills to use. The response was overwhelming, especially during a time when resources are limited and the needs in the community just continue to increase. Their marketing teams are helping with campaigns and content creation. They have members of their development team supporting website projects and technical support. They have sales and customer success managers showing the impact of video, helping with best practices in video, and getting them set up with their product for free.
CORAS & Their Community Food Drive
Tysons, VA SaaS CORAS, and their sister tech company Plasticity.ai do a Thanksgiving food drive, where they adopt a church and a few families in their community. Then everyone divides up the various courses and entrees and personally provides the materials to make them (sometimes with recipes). Especially with COVID, you can’t be with people in person, but you can put a human touch on philanthropy.
Their CEO Moe Jafari says, “It may be easier to write a check, but being able to pick out a gift and put in the effort and the thought behind it is what makes it special. People who are hungry need everything, especially compassion and connection.” He even sometimes adds a bouquet of flowers for the mom and extra chocolates for the kids.
CORAS has been working with the same church group for a number of years, and it’s an important partnership for both organizations.
Last year on Giving Tuesday, Pillar4 donated $50,000 to mission-aligned organizations working to combat child bed poverty and/or homelessness in their hub cities. These organizations include Central Texas Food Bank, Children’s Aid, The Green Chair Project, and Beds for Kids.
Their social impact initiative is aimed at battling child bed poverty in America. 1 in 6 children live in poverty in the US, and according to the National Health Institute, 25% of children experience sleep disorders or insomnia, often due to lack of a clean, comfortable mattress and bedding. Children in low socioeconomic status families have been found to be at higher risk of poor sleep, and poor sleep is linked to compromised cognitive development, lower academic achievement, and maladaptive school behavior. They are passionate about supporting this cause within their communities.
While monetary gifts are great, they aren’t the only way to help out those in need. Consider giving of your time and skills by volunteering or offering to help a charity with a project. Maybe your local food bank needs help spreading awareness of their upcoming programs and your marketing team could help them out. Alternatively, consider hosting a coat drive, where employees donate new or gently used coats that you can take to local shelters.
Whatever you decide to do, focus your efforts on your local community if you can. You’ll make a greater impact there than you likely would donating to a large national organization. And know that even small gifts can make a big impact, so don’t worry about your offerings not being enough.