Was 2020 a little different from previous years? The Caring Committee hardly noticed… in fact, you could say a year like 2020 is why Outsell formed the Caring Committee! Thanks to the strong Caring foundation of Outsell and our Associates, we were more than prepared to handle the trials of this tumultuous year. Let’s take a look!
Much of early 2020 feels like an entirely different year, doesn’t it? It’s hard to believe our first event took place in the office with Associates crammed together—sans masks—to watch some people get pied in the face! Our first Outsell Penny Wars was a success, thanks to those who selflessly offered up their faces. All told, we were able to donate $423 in pocket change to the MS Society and Feed My Starving Children after a short period of fundraising.
Our next event, the annual Outsell Bake-Off, was scheduled to take place in March. We all know what happens next. Yet due to our company’s agile working philosophy, we still managed to make an impact in the community in the early days of the pandemic. As schools started to shut down, the Caring Committee recognized a need to support families and children who were suddenly encountering food insecurity and raised $1,320 for Sheridan Story—enough to provide meal coverage for 330 children!
Outsell and the Caring Committee continued to find ways to remain flexible in the ensuing months by committing to small but effective projects, including:
- Writing thank you cards to first responders
- Stitching together masks for hospitals to offer patients
- Establishing the Outsell Pen Pal program to keep company morale high during the extending stay-at-home orders
2020 will also be remembered for the history-altering events that happened right here in Minnesota. The Caring Committee organized both a Community Relief Fund and an in-person volunteer event on Lake Street in Minneapolis to help businesses that were impacted by rioting. The fund was a huge success overall, raising $3,630 from Associates to be spread out across the Lake Street Council (74%), YouthLink donations (16%) and the Boys & Girls Club of America (10%).
In October, a group of Associates got out of the house to help other homeowners in need by volunteering for the Habitat for Humanity A Brush with Kindness program. Thank you to everyone who gave up your time to paint and repair an existing home for low-income homeowners!
We’re all still feeling the emptiness in our bellies from no chili cook-off this year, though our first-ever virtual Pumpkin Carving Contest was quite the successful replacement! Thanks to a wide assortment of creatively carved pumpkins and our generous voters who put their dollars behind their favorites, we managed to raise $750 for the Boys & Girls Club of America.
The end of 2020 arrived with both a sense of normalcy and an exciting new achievement for Outsell and the Caring Committee. We wrapped up the year with our annual Toys for Tots drive, which was still a success despite not having the inspiration of our festive office holiday decorations. Thank you to everyone who contributed your money and your donations through the new virtual Toys for Tots donation platform.
As we enter the phase of the year for reflection and gratefulness, we want to express to all of you how incredibly moved we are by how much you’ve all used your Caring value to go above and beyond the call of duty. We’re always impressed with the commitment each year from our Associates, but this year, with so many obstacles in the way, we still came together to flex our Caring muscles in big ways. Thank you to everyone who got involved, and let’s keep the momentum going into 2021!