Over a few days in January, AppDirect team members kicked off our inaugural philanthropy project by volunteering to serve meals to homeless and other disadvantaged folks at GLIDE. A community center here in San Francisco, GLIDE aims to “create a radically inclusive, just, and loving community mobilized to alleviate suffering and break the cycles of poverty and marginalization.” Since the 1960’s GLIDE has offered a range of resources, from health services, to free daily meals, to religious events.
Team members from AppDirect volunteered for dinner shifts at GLIDE’s kitchen, which serves three meals a day, completely free of charge, to community members. This meant we suited up in plastic aprons, latex gloves, and hairnets and worked with a larger group of volunteers greeting guests, scooping carrots and pasta, wiping tables, mopping floors, and washing dishes.
Not only was the GLIDE project a great way for AppDirect to get involved in community service, but it was also a fun way for team members to spend time together outside of the office. Team members said that they enjoyed the bonding experience and the chance to go on a meaningful excursion with coworkers during the work day. “Volunteering at GLIDE with the AppDirect team was a great opportunity to spend time with some other team members outside the office and give back to the local community, even if just for a few hours,” said Brandon Binder, one of our salespeople who participated. “It certainly made me appreciative of everything I have, and put the stresses of the office in perspective. I'd love to do it again soon.”
For me, I would add that taking time out for philanthropy also adds a critical element to our company culture. Volunteering at organizations like GLIDE provides another opportunity for work/life balance, and it’s also a great outlet for team members to become more involved in the communities that we work and live in.
The dinner shifts at GLIDE were just the pilot project of what will hopefully become a long-term philanthropy program. We’ll keep everyone updated about where our adventures in volunteering take us next!
Melissa Olague is an executive assistant at AppDirect.