Swinerton Fall Giving Challenge: Giving Back This Holiday SeasonContributor: Swinerton Blogger | January 08, 2019 | Image Gallery »
November 1 marked the start of The Swinerton Foundation’s 6th Annual Fall Giving Challenge—a friendly competition with serious bragging rights! This year, the Foundation challenged employees to meet the following impact goals:
- Collect 40,000 pounds of food, and provide 48,000 meals to our hungry neighbors.
- Collect toiletries, shoes, clothes, and toys to provide essentials and gifts to 10,000 homeless and disadvantaged individuals.
- Donate 1,500 hours to local non-profits, which will provide food, essential items, and gifts to those in need.
- Donate $60,000 to local non-profits that support programs which address food scarcity and homelessness, and aid children, seniors, and adults with disabilities.
Each team chose various local charities to support. From food banks to community assistance centers to animal shelters, Swinerton employees logged 2,044 hours; collected over 79,757 pounds of food and 6,634 goods and $22,663 valued in toys; and donated over $94,228 over the course of five weeks—bringing holiday cheer to community members in need.
SRE teams are located across the United States; therefore, it was important to choose a charity that spanned many geographies so everyone could participate in the challenge.
That’s why SRE chose Feeding America—for every dollar an SRE team member donated, Feeding America was able to provide 20 meals! In Bend, OR, volunteers spent the day with Feeding America affiliate NeighborImpact. In just three hours, the team repackaged 2,000 pounds of donated food, which was then distributed throughout the community to elderly, homeless, and families in need. Down in San Diego, volunteers spent the afternoon at a barbeque to help non-profit CASA raise funds so they can continue to advocate for abused and neglected children in court.
The team in Austin worked hard to achieve 100% volunteer participation for the second year in a row, partnering with Central Food Bank of Texas, Meals on Wheels Central Texas, North Texas Food Bank, Austin Pets Alive, Caritas of Austin, and United Way for Greater Austin.
The Denver team understands that affecting change requires a path to self-sufficiency. That is why they chose to partner with organizations that not only provide hot meals and shelter to those battling the cold, but financial literacy and nutritional classes, education, job-training, and counseling, so those who have dealt with hardship can get back on their feet. Employees held food and clothing drives for Denver Children’s Home, Denver Rescue Mission, and Metro Caring, and collected books for Denver Public Library Friends Foundation.
Each year, the Hawaii team partners with local organizations in Honolulu to provide meals and gifts to community members in need. Always a staff favorite, employees participate in The Salvation Army’s Angel Tree Program, providing gifts to underserved keikis or kupunas. The team also held a food drive for the Hawaii Foodbank, collecting 910 pounds of food.
Proclaimed as the largest Thanksgiving fun run in the country, Sacramento employees happily participated in the Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services’ Run to Feed the Hungry. Additionally, the team supported Lilliput Families—reaching out to subcontractors, family, and friends for donations on Lilliput’s wish list. In California, there are 65,000 children in foster care. Half of them will not graduate high school and 1 in 5 will become homeless. Lilliput helps these children find a forever home so they can beat the odds. In Concord, employees volunteered for multiple organizations, each with a different focus area to serve local community members. The team once again partnered with Habitat for Humanity East Bay/Silicon Valley; Meals on Wheels Contra Costa County’s holiday gift card program, where employees wrote heartfelt cards to local seniors; and Food Bank of Contra Costa & Solano Counties, collecting food donations and sorting the items at their local warehouse.
Over in San Francisco, the team partnered with many organizations, including SF-Marin Food Bank, Family Dog & Puppy Rescue, and the San Francisco Fire Fighters Toy Program. A new partner organization this year, Family Dog & Puppy Rescue is a no-kill shelter and foster program which gives underdogs a second chance. Down in Silicon Valley, employees volunteered over 600 hours to local organizations, including Martha's Kitchen, Second Harvest Food Bank of Santa Clara & San Mateo Counties, Fisher House, The Health Trust, and The Salvation Army in Santa Cruz and Salinas.
Seattle team members supported FareStart, YouthCare YouthBuild, Renewal Food Bank, and Northwest Center. FareStart is a unique organization that provides culinary and food service job skills training to those experiencing hardship. After completing the necessary training, graduates are then placed into jobs, with more than 90% attaining employment within 90 days of completion. In Portland, employees had a blast volunteering at the Children’s Book Bank on Giving Tuesday. Volunteers cleaned and sorted over 8,600 books, enabling the organization to serve 621 preschool students this year! Additionally, the team donated food and hours to Oregon Food Bank, Ronald McDonald House Charities, and Volunteers of America.
New to the Challenge this year were our teams in Atlanta and Charlotte. Although true freshmen in the competition, they jumped out the gate eagerly ready to give their competitors a run for their money. The team in Atlanta chose to focus all their efforts with one local organization—Sandy Springs Community Assistance Center. Employees helped the Center distribute food before Thanksgiving, sort and stock food donations at the food pantry, and purchase and prepare gifts to be donated to children in need. Volunteers in Charlotte partnered with Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina. The Food Bank serves 14 counties in North Carolina and five counties in South Carolina. Approximately 18% of their service area population lives in poverty, including 188,000 children and over 41,000 seniors.
Employees in Irvine and Los Angeles hosted an event to raise funds for their selected charities where employees had the opportunity to smash a pie in the face of their favorite bosses. Funds raised, goods collected, and volunteer hours donated supported Covenant House California, Second Harvest Food Bank of Orange County, Foodbank of Southern California, Community Action Partnership of Orange County, and Waymakers. Each year the San Diego team supports Mama’s Kitchen and the San Diego Food Bank, selling Mama’s pies for Thanksgiving and collecting non-perishable food items for the Food Bank. The team also volunteered hours for both organizations.
|Tier 1 Winner||Tier 2 Winner||Tier 3 Winner||Tier 4 Winner|
|Southeast||Seattle||Colorado||Bay Area Groups|
Most Overall Volunteer Participation:
Southeast and Austin
Winners in each category received a $10,000 grant to the charity of their choice. The Southeast and Austin will also receive a $10,000 grant and awards breakfast. Congratulations to everyone who participated in this year’s Challenge. Your hard work has truly made an impact in our communities! In total The Swinerton Foundation donated $264,615 during Fall Giving.