At Automox, we have long believed it is our responsibility to give back to the communities in which we live and work. A long, long time ago (in the beginning of 2019, so about a decade ago in startup years) a group of us got together and said, we can do more together. And thus, Automox #Giving was formed!
To no one's surprise, the idea was embraced by the company from the top down. When our group approached the leadership team and suggested we offer the opportunity for everyone to take a morning off and volunteer once a quarter, they didn't hesitate to agree.
Our first #Giving event in 2019 was spent with There With Care, a national, Boulder-based non-profit which provides resources for families and children facing critical illness. We helped organize their storage room and package up some boxes of household necessities.
Since then, we've held on strongly to our culture of giving and have tried to grow our volunteer efforts in tandem with the company’s growth.
Growing our #Giving
We were able to do several more sessions with There With Care, as well as a coat drive for Coats For Colorado in 2019. Then, early in 2020, when in-person volunteer events became infeasible, we organized a fundraiser for Harvest of Hope. We made the ask for support at an all-hands meeting and raised $1,600 by the end of the meeting!
When we learned 1 in 3 Colorado families go hungry due to COVID-related unemployment, this prompted us to do a food drive. Automox pledged to match up to $5,000 of what we raised, and our CEO himself, Jay Prassl, personally pledged another $2,000 match. We raised over $14,000, which equated to 57,400 meals.
Making it Official
In 2020, our workforce grew from all Colorado-based employees to over 250 employees in 40 states. We knew it was time to formalize the initiative.We created a #Giving committee and asked Automox for an annual giving budget to plan for events throughout the year.
The leadership team came through big time. I can honestly say it was an impressive commitment for a company still growing up and trying to make a name for itself. It really spoke to how much our leadership meant what they said when they told us that giving was an important aspect of the company culture (putting their money where their mouth is, so to speak).
The #Giving committee has since established quarterly giving themes, based on our company’s core values. These values guide our focus for finding charities and causes to direct our efforts. We also solidified #Giving Fridays (the formal evolution of our initial request to take a day off to give back).
Our first #Giving Friday was in June 2021. Dozens of Automoxers took time out to give back in a variety of ways. Our big event for our teams located in the Boulder-area was helping out One Tree Planted reclaim some of the devastation caused by wildfires last year. Other team members across the country cleaned up trails, donated school supplies, helped out at food pantries, and even got their hands dirty assisting their neighbors with gardening.
Between the dedicated budget, giving themes, and #Giving Fridays, our culture of giving now goes year-round, responds to immediate and urgent events, and helps unite our diverse and dispersed team. I’m proud to be a part of it, and proud to be a company that not only gives back but encourages the entire team to give back as well.
Our next #Giving Friday will take place September 17, 2021 and will be focused around food insecurity and providing needed meals for community members. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, or LinkedIn to see how it goes!
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