One of the best ways I’ve found to build community in the office is by working together to give back to the greater community. Last week, the FirstRain team and I continued our annual tradition of volunteering at the Second Harvest Food Bank. SHFB is a fantastic organization that strives to end local hunger around the San Francisco Bay Area. I was pleasantly surprised (and impressed with the massive amount of food to sort) to learn that gathering and collecting enough food was not the organization’s main concern. The great need for volunteers, like those of us from FirstRain, is necessary in order to help sort the food. Kristin Sulpizio, the Director of Volunteer Services told us the “the food is there, it’s finding people to help figure out what to do with all of it, is our problem”.
FirstRain participated in this event not only to give back to the local community but to hopefully encourage others to follow in our footsteps. I know activities like this strengthen our own FirstRain community. Working together outside of the office allows my team to engage in an experience that deepens their sense of shared values, such as social responsibility and caring for others. Every year, I know I can count on our team to clear their busy schedules, to show up and to work very hard. This morale is later translated inside the office, all part of the many reasons why FirstRain’s company culture is so dynamic.
Everyone got his or her hands dirty that day. Working as a team, we were able to quickly and successfully sort through a hefty amount of food in our two-hour time slot. Thanks to the entire FirstRain team’s effort, we helped 236,000 people receive food this month! The day was a huge success and everyone left the bank in great spirits. As always, I was pleased and proud to see my team come together for such a great cause –and one we will continue to support!