As we look ahead into the New Year and get ready to create new resolutions, there is one thing we can surely be proud of: we delivered on our resolution to give back as individuals and as a team in 2022. We have moved, played, organized, competed, and learned with the purpose of giving back. Not only that, but we also served our community; in 7 months, we spent over 150 hours volunteering at Canadian charities including The Greater Vancouver Food Bank and Toronto’s Fort York Food Bank. The Impact we make through volunteering is all thanks to our Groundswell for Good Days, our policy that enables all full-time employees to spend three days a year volunteering for an organization they are passionate about supporting. “I love our mighty Impact Team and getting to give back to a variety of causes. It just warms my heart!” – Kathryn Hall.
Let’s take a look at some of the Impact Groundswell made in 2022!
We started the year with an Activity challenge! The goal was to collectively move 1,500 km in the span of one month. The purpose of this activity was to achieve our goal as a team and raise money for the BC Children’s Hospital.
We ran, walked, did yoga, and more throughout February and used the Count.it app to track our movements. Count.it made it very easy to track our progress, and soon enough, we reached our goal and donated $2,500 to the Hospital!
RBC Race for the Kids
Every year RBC organizes Race for The Kids, the largest fun run in BC, to raise money for the BC Children’s Hospital. This year the Groundswell team came together to attend this amazing event! Our employees and their significant others participated, running and walking 2 km or 5km. It was a fantastic experience that we are looking forward to doing again!
To keep the active spirit, we organized Office Olympics in our Vancouver Office. With a little brainstorming, the Impact Team organized entertaining (and a bit silly) challenges for teams to compete in. Our employees raced on office chairs, made paper planes, dashed with eggs on spoons, and jumped and moved in varying directions to get ahead of the competition. We played, had fun, and most importantly, raised money for a great cause. With a $20 donation on behalf of each employee that participated, we donated $600 to the BC Children’s Hospital.
One of our team members shared that “Office Olympics was a great hit! This one event allowed us to fulfill so many goals – team-building, physical workout, laughing, and raising money.” What an amazing way to give back by getting together in the office for a good cause!
Kids are not the only ones who enjoy games – adults do as well! For the first time ever, we participated in ExtraLife, a program run by Children’s Miracle Network. Gamers across the world unite by playing video and board games, all in support of their local Children’s Miracle Network Hospital. To raise money for BC Children’s Hospital, our office transformed into a parkade for an evening of games! Some of our games involved Nintendo, XBOX, and SNES mini. To make donating easy and fast, we shared a QR code for folks to scan that would take them directly to the Groundswell Fundraising page. One of our employees commented on this event, “My favorite event was ExtraLife! Everyone seemed really into it and I can see potential to do it again in the future. Lots of fun and we reached our goal!” Again we over delivered on our goal and raised $520, all while having fun with coworkers.
Being a team of inspiring individuals, Movember would not have made such an impact without our employees forming the first official Groundswell Movember team. Together, they started growing mustaches and set up a goal of raising $2,000 to increase awareness about men’s mental health, prostate, and testicular cancer. One of the initiatives many participated in was taking a walk or running on Tuesday for 30 minutes, with the goal of collectively moving 60 KMs for the 60 men lost to suicide every hour globally.
To let conversations flow easily, we adapted our weekly Friday Retro to focus on raising awareness about men’s health. There was a comfortable and safe space for everyone to share their experiences and learnings.
The Groundsell Movember Team raised over $3,000 dollars for men’s health in November.
Covenant House Boxes
For the second year in a row, we assembled Holiday Care Boxes to donate to the Covenant House Vancouver. It is a highlight of our year of giving back and something employees look forward to. This amazing organization provides services for youth in need, including housing, meals, and health & wellness programs.
To make things more fun this year, we sparked some friendly competition! Our office split into teams, each given three boxes to fill with donations. During November, employees donated items from candies, cookies, and coffee vouchers, to blankets, gloves, and warm socks. All goods make a perfect winter gift for youth in need. The winning team donated 488 items and won a team lunch to celebrate their team spirit. Overall, Groundswell employees donated 1299 items from 15+ categories.
The culmination of this endeavor resulted in a fun evening when employees joined forces to put the donated items in beautiful individual gift boxes. We decorated our office with lights and greenery, enjoyed Christmas treats, and danced to festive music. It felt like we were in Santa’s workshop helping Santa prepare for his yearly journey of delivering gifts to those awaiting! The team prepared 58 gift-filled boxes with additional items donated to Covenant House to use at their discretion.
We are already planning our impact initiatives for 2023 and are so excited to make a difference in our community. With a larger team than ever, we know that we can use our time and money to do amazing things!