Sojern Volunteers With Local Organizations Around the World
SGB supports organizations in San Francisco, Singapore, Dubai, and Omaha.
As a global company, we believe that creating an inclusive culture means bringing our employees together through meaningful experiences. We want to make an impact on a local level and our Sojern Gives Back (SGB) team coordinates opportunities all over the world to focus on initiatives including going green, literacy, sustainability, reducing inequality, and more. Our SGB teams have partnered with local organizations this year in San Francisco, Singapore, Dubai, and Omaha.
Coordinating with the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy in San Francisco, the team participated in a clean-up at Fort Mason. The National Parks Conservancy is a nonprofit organization that supports park stewardship and conservation for the Golden Gate recreation areas in San Francisco.
Eleven members of the Sojern team joined in on the day’s activities. What is great about our SGB organization is that our executive leadership team not only champions it but gets involved. Joining the team for the event were Mark Rabe, chief executive officer; Aman Kothari, chief financial officer; and Dave Goulden, vice president of product.
The team was given a history of the park and its buildings (previously a historic military base), before donning work gloves and safety vests. With the goal of repainting the walkways to denote safe paths for pedestrians, Sojern’s project was to clear out the planters so the sidewalks were clear and the beds were free of weeds and non-native plants.
“This volunteer day allowed us to catch up with teammates and meet new faces,” said Jessica Cook, staff data analyst. “Spending time with Sojernistas outside of the office is a great way to learn something new about them and form a closer professional relationship.”
Partnering with Food from the Heart, our SGB Singapore team identified the lack of food supply as a major impact of the pandemic. Singapore was hit very hard by COVID-19 and the numerous restrictions imposed to safeguard its people. As such, volunteering opportunities and donations were restricted and overall donations drastically dropped since the beginning of the pandemic.
Due to the government’s social gathering restrictions in place, only 10 members were able to participate. The team worked in a warehouse packing food rations to be distributed to underprivileged families, and primary and secondary school students. They sorted through mounds of food while figuring out the best way to get them packed efficiently and stored in movable cages for easy transport. Team members who were unable to participate dropped off food donations onsite to show support.
“It was a great team effort resulting in us finishing way ahead of time. It gave us a chance to tidy up the place and ensure the new batches of food donations were within the allowable shelf life,” said Gavin Koh, senior business development representative. “We are all grateful for the opportunity to participate and show our support to Food From The Heart SG.”
Working with Thrift for Good, our SGB Dubai team focused on supporting a sustainable, zero-waste organization. Thrift for Good is an initiative born from the vision of a sustainable world where everyone has what they need to thrive. It exists to fuel meaningful projects by reselling donated items and supporting projects and people in need by donating the items when requested. The organization supports Gulf for Good, which helps children around the world through health, education, and housing.
Thrift for Good is powered by volunteer supporters and our SGB team was grateful to be a part of an initiative that promotes sustainability and reduces waste. The team supported Thrift for Good by jumping right into tasks–receiving pre-loved items from clients, sorting them, steaming in-store clothes, and pricing them.
“We enjoyed helping the team get the store in order, bringing our small and mighty office of eight together,” said Dawn Woodhouse, platform sales engineer. “It was a great way of giving back to the community.”
Teaming up with Together Omaha, our SGB Omaha team wanted to provide healthy foods to struggling families in the metro. They kicked off a highly-competitive food drive and divided the Omaha office into four teams. They also set up four working shifts for Sojernistas to volunteer at one of the two Together Omaha food pantries and help get donated items into the hands of those who needed them.
With three ways to support the cause–food donations, monetary donations, and in-person volunteering–the teams competed throughout the month of April. After intense competition, the team delivered the food to the warehouse where it was weighed to see how much each team donated and the overall impact. The total weight was 2,300 pounds. Looking at the numbers, they calculated that the 2,300 pounds of food donated equated to 1,917 meals. That number means that every person in the Omaha office donated an equivalent of ~15 meals. They also collected nearly 2,000 dollars in monetary donations, and all monetary donations were spent on additional food purchases.
“A flame was ignited in all of us after hearing stories about the peace of mind these families felt when needing support from a food pantry,” said Tricia Wise, staff project manager. “It allowed them to worry less about feeding their families.”
Thank you to Jessica Cook, staff data analyst; Gavin Koh, senior business development representative; Camille Venturina, senior regional sales manager; Dawn Woodhouse, platform sales engineer; Tricia Wise, staff project manager; and our SGB members who contributed their time during these events and helped us write about it.
Sojern Gives Back (SGB) is an initiative born with the objective of giving back to local communities everywhere in the world and where Sojern’s team members work and reside. At Sojern, every employee has 40 hours per year to use for volunteering initiatives, independently or in a team.
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