We all have an opportunity to make a positive difference in the lives of others. For the most part, these opportunities happen on “our own time” outside of work. On occasion we’re able to combine our professional lives with philanthropy, and it is truly special.
Just such an experience was made possible at our recent NA Partner Conference in Ft. Myers, FL . Our partner Synnex sponsored a team building activity to build bicycles for the Boys and Girls Club of Lee County. For one hour, a group of 300 business partners, sponsors, and employees split into teams and built 30 bicycles for children ranging in age from 6 to 10.
The best part was that it was all a surprise for the children! They arrived at the hotel thinking they were going to receive a tour of the property—just “okay” for a 10-year-old, right? When they entered the ballroom their faces filled with amazement to see a row of brand new bicycles and a large group of adults gawking and cheering. Young faces filled with delight… and a bit of confusion. At this point the children thought maybe they would ride around on some bikes for a while and then go home. Better than a hotel tour for sure, but still not great.
After a few minutes of saying hello and sitting on the bikes, the children learned that the bikes where theirs to keep and they were taking them home with them that very day.
The little boy in the photo with me asked, “Do I get to keep it?” He was totally shocked to find out he could. The whole group let out a cheer and filled the room with incredible excitement! As we rounded up the children to take photos, I Iooked around and saw faces of fellow Conference attendees holding back tears of joy and pride.
We captured the activity through pictures and video, but nothing will ever replace the feeling of being there with the children. We experienced the magic of giving, making a truly positive impact in the lives of a group of children who might not otherwise have a bike of their own. While this was a wonderful surprise for the kids, it proved to be a lifetime memory for all of us involved.
See more photos on our Pinterest page here.
This activity was very special and best of all, in-line with our company culture, which includes a strong focus on philanthropy. Recently, the company has supported charitable organizations, including the Tour de Cure, Lazarus House soup kitchen where small groups of employees periodically volunteer; we hold fund raisers to support local animal rescues; and currently, a number of employees in the company are supporting Movember, a cause dedicated to bringing awareness to men’s health issues.
Based on the tremendous success of the activity and overwhelming positive feedback from Conference attendees we hope to include a similar community service or charity activity at our future conferences.