May, 2015 :: 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.
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!
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.
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.