Autumn is a time of change: the leaves turn from green to brown, children start a new school year, and the open enrollment period begins for those of us in the insurance industry. With the spirit of change in mind, each autumn the OneDigital Hartford team volunteers for one of our non-profit clients to help make a difference. This September, in honor of Hunger Action Awareness month, my colleagues Joanne, Russ, and Nancy chose their client Foodshare, the region's local food bank. Foodshare operates as both a food bank, supplying food to local service areas, and implements programs in the greater Hartford area that help foster self-sufficiency among the impoverished population, reducing the need for food banks. Having just started at OneDigital three short months ago, I personally appreciated how this volunteer opportunity brought everyone together and alleviated some of the stress of the busy season by shifting our focus to helping those in need in our community.
Prior to our offsite we held a month-long “Don’t Be Late” campaign, with the goal of raising $500 to donate to Foodshare. Each time a OneDigital Hartford employee was late to a meeting we asked them to make a donation of their choice to the “unpunctual pail.” Although this was the premise behind our campaign, there were also impromptu basketball games, donations “just because,” and spirit days which helped contribute to reaching our goal. All proceeds raised from this campaign went to help Foodshare fight hunger. Together, we were able to meet our goal, and with OneDigital's generous match, we donated $1000 (enough to feed 34 families for a month!) to Foodshare’s mission to end hunger.
On a Thursday morning in late September, 44 OneDigital employees visited Foodshare’s primary distribution center in Bloomfield, CT, where we sorted produce, frozen meat, and ice cream into family sized portions for them to be later transported to individuals experiencing hunger in the community. Collectively, our team was able to sort 14,864 lbs of food, which allowed Foodshare to distribute 12,387 meals to families in Hartford.
While we were able to contribute some of our time and money to assist Foodshare’s initiatives, the experience was something I found to be rewarding for multiple reasons. Being a new employee, this offsite was my first opportunity to partake in something bigger than myself. Along with my marketing team colleagues, Joanne, Russ, Nancy, and I all put the pieces together to make this event happen. From the catering, to the set-up, to volunteering, to the logistics, to the happy hour, we all played a crucial role in making sure the day ran smoothly. It was such a great feeling to know that my contribution to the offsite preparation and execution made a difference.
This involvement allowed me to connect with my colleagues on a deeper level rather than just interacting for the sake of business. This experience showed me that volunteering together, for a mutual goal, helps foster teamwork and enhances relationships among each and every one of us.
The annual offsite gave me a true insight to the culture here at OneDigital Hartford. The most prominent aspect of OneDigital's culture that was visible that day is that OneDigital cares. I witnessed that everyone on the Hartford team cares about one another. As a team, I learned that OneDigital Hartford cares about each other, their clients, their community, their initiatives, and their core values. I feel privileged that my first “real” job out of college is with a company, and group of people, that cares so deeply about the things that truly matter.