May, 2015 :: Pay It Forward

Pay It Forward

Our community service event for the month of May was a unique experience for all of our idGROUP employees. Our office was divided into 16 groups which were then given cash and instructions on how they were to Pay it Forward in our community. The people in each group were picked and paired to encourage team building outside of our usual work teams. The teams were encouraged to get out and have lunch together to brainstorm about their plans to make a change in the community. Ultimately it was up to the team to determine how they would do this, whether through small acts of kindness or one lump sum donation to a charity or family in need. Working with a group of creative-minded designers led to some exciting ways to bless the community!

A couple of teams pooled their funds to pay for a petting zoo and pony rides for the kids at Buckner’s After School Program. There were about 20 kids that ranged in age from 7–12 years old. The petting zoo included a tortoise, goats, potbelly pigs, a calf, ducks and chickens.

Petting Zoo

Another group visited Klyde Warren Park with toys and lunch money! They handed out toys to the kids (and pets) at the park. They also picked up the lunch tab for patrons at food trucks. This group met a family on their first day in Dallas! What a welcoming committee!

Klyde Warren Park

Yet another team decided that they wanted all of their money to impact an individual or family and located just the one by contacting Dallas Life. They were put in contact with the Davis Family—a mother, father, and their four daughters—who recently graduated from Dallas Life’s 10-month program. The family just moved to their very own apartment and were gracious to receive the money as they regained their footing in life!

One group chose to use their funds in many small instances to spread the blessings! While out for their brainstorming lunch, they gave a 100% tip. They also paid for people’s breakfast at both Whataburger and Taco Cabana. And gave cash to a homeless veteran.

A different team stopped by a local florist to pick up some arrangements that they then took to the nursing staff at Brookhaven Nursing Center in Carrollton. “You are so loved. Have some flowers!” The patients also stopped by to enjoy the bouquets.

One of the groups that joined forces with the “Petting Zoo Group” also used some of their funds to purchase breakfast for the local fire station. The group was able to model a hat, jacket, axe and fire truck with the happy (and well fed) firefighters!

And another team decided to show acts of kindness to the animals and humans at the Dallas SPCA office. They purchased supplies for the animals at the shelter and delivered a cookie bouquet to the staff.

This particular group decided to not spend their lunch money, but to use it along with their Pay-it-Forward cash to spread cheer around the office. They chose to hide $5 bills around the office as a nice surprise for those doing nice things like making the daily pot of coffee, replacing toner in a printer, replacing paper towels in the restroom, etc. The remainder of the funds were used to help a little girl named Madison. Madison is a 3-year-old oncology patient at Children’s Medical Center. The group gave Madison a Build-a-Bear dressed in her favorite colors, and a gas card to her family to help alleviate some of the financial burden of travel to and from the hospital.

Office surprises

One team payed it forward by contributing their funds to the International Leadership of Texas School in Arlington. 65% of the students at the school fall below the poverty line and some do not have enough money for lunch. They were heartbroken to learn that these little ones must go without a meal during their school day. The group donated all of their funds their funds via Go Fund Me to provide lunch to either 42 students at regular cost or 375 students at reduced lunch cost.

Another group with tender hearts for animals donated their funds to the Lost Paws Rescue of Texas. The donation will help them support their mission to finding loving homes for their temporary live-ins and forever friends.

And yet another team used their cash to make a generous donation to Lena Pope’s Early Learning Center.

Don’t forget the veterans! This group chose to provide Thank You notes to the office so that everyone could take part in spreading gratitude. The group will personally deliver these handwritten notes to the Dallas VA Hospital and drop off some items to help veterans pass the time they’re there.

VA Hospital

May, 2015 :: Annual Blood Drive

This year we collected 6 pints of blood, enough to potentially save 18 lives. Thank you Carter BloodCare for bringing their mobile donation center to our office and idGroupers for giving your time and life-saving gift! 

April, 2015 :: Dinner at Ronald McDonald House

Dinner at Ronald McDonald House

Thanks to everyone who helped server dinner last night at the Ronald McDonald House. Baked Ziti for 80 isn’t a task so easily pulled off without your helping hands. We also had the opportunity to mingle with some of the families during dinner time. We learned about some of their stories and were graciously thanked for preparing them a warm meal to come home to. We met Lexie and Blake and you would never guess the hardships they have overcome and are still faced with. They were the brightest-spirited kids with AWESOME attitudes. The experience is always humbling, but much more so last night as we got to know these folks more personally.

The Ronald McDonald House is a home—provided for little or no cost—to the families of children being cared for at nearby hospitals due to a major injury or illness. Rather than commuting to the hospital or sleeping in a hospital room, RMH provides them a warm home to sleep at each day. It is their home-away-from-home. Additionally, volunteers provide, prepare, and serve warm meals to the families 3 times a day, 7 days a week.

March, 2015 :: “Feel the Burn” Annual Chili Cook-off

“Feel the Burn” Annual Chili Cook-off

Another successful Chili Cook-Off! Thank you cooks, helpers, decorators, dishwashers, errand runners, cleaners, greeters, chili stirrers, sign makers, photographers, furniture movers, donors, announcers, etc. It took a lot of help to get this thing all pulled together. Great job and THANK YOU to everyone who participated in some way!

We’re happy to report we raised $905 for Komen Race for the Cure at the cook-off. In addition all the leftover food was donated to Dallas Life, where they were most appreciative for tonight’s supper.

Swing on over to our Facebook page for more photos.

Chili Winners:

  • Best Name  :: What You Talkin’ About Chillis — Brandon Kulwicki
  • Best Overall  :: Killer B’s – Boar and Bison — Melanie Hoy
  • Most Unique  :: Green Machine — Rachelle Smith
  • Spiciest  :: Manifest Chili — Anne Taylor

March, 2015 :: Dallas Life

Dallas Life

This month we were back at the Dallas Life homeless mission, serving lunch to a large group of folks. It was fun to work behind the scenes in the kitchen and gratifying to be able to serve a good hot meal to people who really appreciate it.

THANK YOU to everyone who volunteered their time today!

February, 2015 :: Monarch Pavilion Rehab

Monarch Pavilion Rehab

For February’s community service a group of us went to the Monarch Pavilion Rehabilitation Suites. We brought snacks, crafts, nail painting supplies and spent some time with about 15 of the residents.  Some made Valentine’s Day cards and painted canvas tote bags. Others waited to be pampered and have their nails painted. All in all, everyone had a blast!

January, 2015 :: Dallas Life Blanket Drive

Dallas Life Blanket Drive

Over the Christmas and New Year holidays we collected blankets, sweaters and other warm clothing for Dallas Life and their homeless recovery ministry.  Even though it’s been warm the past week, cold weather is certainly coming again and everyone’s contributions are greatly appreciated!

November, 2014 :: Salvation Army Angel Trees

Salvation Army Angel Trees

This year our employees bought gifts for 70 kids through the Salvation Army’s Angel Tree program.

Each red bag is a bright Christmas morning for children in situations that would otherwise be gray and dull. Those presents aren’t the reason for the season, but they will surely make a kid smile.