Over the weekend, I was talking to a family member about how the company they work for wastes an extraordinary amount of materials. Now, this company works very closely with construction as a vendor of items that they need to complete their jobs. He was telling me about how they throw away huge amounts of wood! In fact, we are in the middle of building a carport at our home and he brought home 8 pieces of plywood that were out by the dumpster ready to go to the dump! They are brand new and still have the SKU stickers on them.
So let me ask you, the company you work for, what do they do with “leftovers”? Is it a restaurant, a construction company, a coffee shop? And if it’s your own company, what do you do with goods that you don’t need or want? Do you have any programs in place?
Colorado has a large homeless population. "The most recent Colorado Statewide Homeless Person Count published estimated the number of people experiencing homelessness on a single night in the state at 16,203". WOW! That's a big number!http://www.urbanpeak.org/colorado-springs/about-us/research-evaluation/homelessness-in-colorado/) These are not just single men and women, but families too! Can you imagine worrying day in and day out about where your next meal is coming from? Where you’re going to sleep that night? And you have kids to protect, feed and clothe.
Homelessness look different for everyone; it could be because you were in an abusive relationship and this was your only way out; you lost your job and weren’t able to find a new one to take it’s place. There are so many reasons why people are homeless. We don’t walk in their shoes and couldn’t possibly understand what life is like.
But one thing I do know. I am human and I can do my best to have empathy and to try to find ways to give back. I can contribute to their well-being by donating clothes and food. I can volunteer my time at a food pantry or a shelter. I can use my talents to make blankets when the weather changes and give them to those less fortunate.
So let’s come back to what companies can do. Perhaps you work at a cafe. At the end of the day, you have left-overs, What do you do with them? Do you have programs in place so that this food can be donated?
Perhaps you work for a company that doesn’t have goods that can be donated. Maybe it’s a financial institution or a salon. There are ways you too can help. Encourage your team to donate a day of service at a one of the shelters. You could teach them about how to take care of the small earnings they have. Or you could do haircuts free of charge to assist those who are trying to find a job. Or set up some sort of program where your team can bring in donations that get picked up monthly.
We all have things at home. Clothes our kids have outgrown, shoes we don’t wear or like anymore, home goods that are not useful anymore because we redecorated. There are so many ways we can all make a difference! As a company or corporation, what do you do to contribute?
Lastly, think about the impact you can make. As a Company or an individual. Think about how you want to be viewed in your community. Do you want to be known as Socially Responsible? As Ethical and Compassionate? As givers? Comment below.