By: Amanda Bauman, Senior Manager Community Affairs
Volunteering is one of the most valuable things you can do for another human being, and it goes a long way. But as a Purpose-driven company, we have the opportunity – indeed, the responsibility — to give back on a larger scale.
It is truly #GivingthatMatters.
It starts with our employees, right in our backyard, where big things are happening in small organizations such as UrbanPromise.
Tony Vega, head of the UrbanPromise StreetLeader program in Camden, N.J., says, “it’s about belonging – to a family, to a supportive environment – and that belonging changed my life.”
Tony grew up in Camden like many youth in the city: on the wrong path, and searching for hope. That’s when he found UrbanPromise, a 30-year-old youth development organization, which works to equip children and young adults with critical skills necessary for academic achievement, life management, and leadership.
I’m proud that Campbell was UrbanPromise’s first corporate supporter. For two decades, we have provided more than $700,000 in cash and in-kind support for its summer camps, youth job training opportunities, alternative high school, and more.
The investment enables UrbanPromise to deliver a 100 percent high school graduation rate in a city where the average hovers at 60 percent. Of these graduates, 97 percent go to college, and many come back to volunteer with UrbanPromise. In fact, 30 percent of UrbanPromise staff are alumni of its youth development programs – Tony Vega among them.
Working with UrbanPromise for more than 10 years, I can attest to the feeling of family as soon as you step onto the campus. From the smiling faces to the bright artwork to the kids telling jokes, you can’t help but feel you belong to this amazing place.
I’ve enabled our employees to support UrbanPromise in many ways, everything from renovating a kitchen to laying a concrete sidewalk to mentoring youth to, most recently, building the organization’s strategic plan.
Participating in a service week event is only the beginning.
Getting folks excited about helping UrbanPromise is easy – the faces of the hundreds of successful youth is more than enough.
Recently, Campbell’s corporate leadership team, including CEO Denise Morrison, spent the afternoon at UrbanPromise, sharing career advice with teens and having strategic discussions with staff on branding, values, and their social enterprise.
When they identify additional needs, Campbell employees continue to help. Case in point: While tutoring UrbanPromise high schoolers on the SAT, another colleague struck up a conversation with staff about their branding needs.
He’s now spearheading a branding committee – something the organization could not have resourced on its own.
Each year, I introduce our employees to our remarkable network of non-profit partners spanning 28 locations where we have operations. The fact I can continually enable those partnerships is why I know I have the best job around. And during our annual week of service, I’ll get to see that happen again and again, in support of more than 60 organizations across the U.S.
It just happens to be my favorite week of the year.
Follow the action through #givingthatmatters on Instagram and Twitter.