Gives Backpacks & School Supplies to Children in Need


**Plus, why SMB’s should encourage employees to participate in community service together.

We remember what it was like to go back to school. Who didn’t
want that perfect backpack, plus every item on the school supply list? When we
found out how many children in Houston were without these essentials, we took action. The YMCA of Greater Houston is a hub for helping children. Its fabulous and well-run community centers and programs make it a great place to get involved. Needless to say, we were delighted to learn about Operation Backpack, an organization that collects
backpacks, lunchboxes, and school supplies for children in need.


We began by setting up drop-off points at both



Within 1 week, we had over 60 FILLED backpacks! Yes, each one was filled with all the supplies on the list. It was time to make
the drop, but not before taking a group photo.


Sarah, Shannon, Ana, and I piled into the car, backpacks in
tow, and made our way to the YMCA Houston on Stella Link. This is an
unbelievable new building, with tons of fun activities for kids and parents.


We were greeted by a wonderful volunteer, Marvin.


We were also warmly received by YMCA Houston Executive
Director Brandy Perryman (who was one of the coolest names EVER). He helped us
carry bags in, posed for pictures with us, and couldn’t wait for to
participate in more community programs.



Why This Matters

A recent Watson Wyatt survey suggests that “highly engaged
employees miss 20 percent fewer days of work and are almost 80 percent more
likely to be top performers. About 75 percent of them exceed or far exceed
expectations in their most recent performance review. These workers also tend
to be more resilient to, and supportive of, organizational change initiatives.”

Having engaged employees in your organization leads to enhanced
performance by the organization as whole. As employees feel more attached to
the company’s mission and vision, they begin to feel loyalty. Issues like
children’s education enhance attachment to the organization when staff are
encouraged to get involved.

When employees participate in community causes as a group, it
helps them understand that their performances are directly connected to the
company’s performance. By encouraging them to work together in the name of
charity, camaraderie is established and professional connectedness develops. Not
every business has an extensive bankroll to donate large amounts. Instead of
cutting a big check, make an impact through the workplace by getting everyone
involved with an ongoing program or special project like Operation Backpack.
This requires very little money or time, and makes a real impact.

Watson Wyatt calls these “engagable moments,” and they equal
a win-win for the organization, and the community. We encourage you to get your
company behind a great cause. It will stimulate everyone’s creativity and drive.
You might even have a little fun.

P.S. – Follow on Twitter for more on our commitment to social action.

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