Is it getting “chili”? Must be autumn at Outsell!

After a busy summer of beer tours, bingo calling, and a ballin’ Ping Pong finale, Outsell and the Caring Committee are gearing up for the finish line this fall and winter.

First up was our annual Chili Cookoff. Once again, a talented group of chefs competed for the hearts and bellies (and generous donations) of their fellow associates. This time, we threw salsa into the mix to give those summer tomato growers a chance to show off their goods. With over 13 entries, the Caring Committee and Outsell raised $412 in total donations to be shared with our 2019 partner, YouthLink.

You can see the creative names of our best performers below, with IT professional Jeremy Forstner‘s “Have You Tried Turning It Off and Back On?” chili taking the top spot. He was also the first-ever recipient of the new chili pepper crown!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

And coming this December, it’s the return of our popular Craft Silent Auction! This is the event made for a company like Outsell and all the latent creativity harbored in our associates. From winter wear to shiny jewelry, the Craft Silent Auction gives generous bidders the chance to find a one-of-a-kind gift for the holidays while also supporting our Caring Committee’s causes. Watch out for more details on this event, scheduled for Thursday, December 12th!

ICYMI: Congratulations to Andrew Swisher from the Marketing team, who was our inaugural ping pong champion. Outsell couldn’t have asked for more from the epic match-up between Andrew and Eric Schilling from the Regional Sales team. It took all 3 rounds for Andrew to put Eric down… will there be a chance for someone to unseat him next year?

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Between the entry fees and the Championship Challenge for Charity, Outsell associates raised over $350 for local community partners. Due to the success of this event, there will also be an all-new Bags Tournament this fall, with a similar $5 entry fee per participant. Knowing the competitive spirit in the office, it’s sure to be just as exciting!

Advertisements

A Summer of Caring Continues at Outsell

The Outsell Caring Committee and all our helpful associates have been busy the last few months! Let’s take a look at what’s been going on…

May Drive

In May, we put on a donations drive to get necessary items over to our charity partner, YouthLink, heading into the summer months. Thanks to the selfless & committed work of our committee and associates, we were able to gather up over 1,400 items for disadvantaged youth in the community! Here’s what Jelena over at YouthLink had to say about our results:

Thanks to (Outsell’s) support, YouthLink is able to provide young people experiencing homelessness with hot meals, seasonal clothing, education navigation, housing resources, and more. Most importantly, your support helps us create a space where young people feel safe, supported, and ready to take the first steps toward their future of self-reliance.

Excellent work, everyone!

Tacos & Bingo

In June, Outsell Caring Commitee members & fellow associates went offsite to YouthLink’s facility to cook and serve some tacos for lunch. You may recall we did a similar event earlier in the year… but this time, we got to call Birthday Bingo as well! Attendees all mentioned having a great time, and we’re already looking forward to our next offsite event at YouthLink later this year.

Youthlink

July: Beer and Ping Pong!

No, these weren’t events hosted in an old college dorm. We’re talking about the Outsell Beer Tour and the inaugural Outsell Ping Pong Tournament!

Outsell associates headed out for an afternoon on the town to tour local breweries 612Brew, Able Seedhouse, and Indeed. These breweries agreed to host our group and, in some cases, provided us with prizes for a raffle. We had a beautiful, HOT, sunny day for enjoying drinks & socializing, and ended up raising over $200. Thanks to everyone who came out to support the hard work of our committee & YouthLink!

Brewery Tour

Also this month, Outsell began hosting a ping pong tournament to raise additional funds. 32 Outsell associates have volunteered (or were begrudgingly sponsored) to join the tournament at a $5 buy-in, with the winner receiving their very own trophy! Stay tuned to find out our first winner…

Money raised from these events will be used to support YouthLink in what is typically a slower part of the year for charities. Thanks to all associates for the support!

 

Serving at Youthlink provides good food for the soul.

Whew! Is it dusty around here or is it us? Time for some Spring cleaning!

youthlinkIt’s been quiet around here at the ol’ Caring Committee blog, but rest assured good things have been happening. First, we announced a yearlong partnership with local charity Youthlink to help combat youth homelessness in the region.

Children and Homelessness are two of our big areas of focus this year (as voted on by Outsell associates) and so we think Youthlink helps us with that quite well.

Second: The announcement of Caring Points! Are you a chair on a local charity’s board? Have you donated to a cause that’s close to you? Did you get dragged along by your S.O. to rake leaves somewhere? Why not get some points for it? Top 5 points-earners each quarter can claim some pretty sweet prizes (with the 1st place winner getting a cozy little Caring Bear to snuggle with at their desk!) You can redeem any points here. (P.S. Anything you did in March 2019 will be rolled into Q2 points, so don’t let your good efforts go to waste!)

For our event recap this month, we’ve got a guest post from Denise Slattery in Finance. Denise helped lead the charge for our first ever co-event with Youthlink: serving food at their facility. Denise and crew helped feed delicious tacos to a large amount of youth experiencing homelessness. You can even watch a time lapse of the event.

Take it away, Denise!

I am going to share with you our first Volunteer opportunity for our new Caring Committee partnership with Youthlink.

Our first event was the Sponsorship and preparation of lunch for 75 clients and staff.

Upon our arrival at Youthlink, Nell Campbell, Trevor Gehring, Kevin Finley and myself met with Jolena Song, the Volunteer Coordinator. She gave us a tour of the facility and told us about the various programs provided for their clients.

After the tour, Jolena introduced us to Kitchen staff, who are all clients there. The experience they gain by working in the kitchen helps them get jobs in the foodservice and hospitality industry.

We then got to work cooking, chopping and preparing all the fixings for a delicious taco bar. Kevin not only helped with chopping, he also shot a video of the preparations in the kitchen.  Trevor had what we considered the hardest job, chopping all the onions and not crying.

We really had a great time working together and received many praises from the people there, as this was one of the favorite lunches to be served.

Thanks, Denise! What a great way to kick off the Caring season for Outsell. We’re hoping all our events with Youthlink, both at the facility and outside of it, go as smoothly and are as well-received as this one. It’s only possible with the help of volunteers of Outsell and those coordinating events like this one.

If you’d like to hop on the Committee and help us with an event, let Linnea, Andrew or Erik know. We’d love to have you aboard! Stay tuned for more announcements of events to come, along with recaps like these.

And don’t forget to get in your caring points!

Caring Continues in the Fall

We’ve been quiet on the blog through the end of summer and into the fall, but with snow coming down outside (already!) it appeared to be time to offer a little update on our busy Caring Committee activities in Q3/early Q4.

This year, the Caring Committee played a “trick” on associates by pairing the Chili Cook-Off event with other Halloween festivities. The gamble paid off, with a total of $500 raised for the Franklin/Hiawatha Encampment to help with initiatives like preparing the camp for winter and additional services provided by Natives Against Heroin.

The Chili Champion this time around was Becky Radous with her unique spicy concoction. Congrats Becky!

Back in August, the Caring Committee put on the first joint Volunteer Day. On August 23rd, associates either ventured out to Simpson Housing to put together meals for the homeless or stayed in the office to put together toys & crafts for the transient animals of the Golden Valley Humane Society.

Overall, approximately 115 people experiencing homeless were made a meal, while the animals got a pretty cool snuffle mat.


The Outsell Caring Committee will conclude their busy year with a Snack Packing event and the always-popular Silent Auction, where Outsell associates are invited to enter items they’ve made at home or had a part in crafting. Stay tuned for our annual wrap-up later in December!

 

Outsell Puts a Few Away for Charity

Brew-TourThe revamped Beer Tour was another resounding success for the Outsell Caring Committee, drawing a brew crew of 23 thirsty associates and $237.11 going to Avenues for Homeless Youth. According to their website, “Avenues for Homeless Youth provides emergency shelter, short-term housing and supportive services for homeless youth in a safe and nurturing environment.”

The charity was selected to support the company’s focus on Homelessness in 2018.

This year’s tour began with a drawing for raffle prizes, a first for the event. A few associates went home with growlers from the participating breweries, as well as an assortment of Outsell swag. On the tour itself, 51 tickets were turned in to redeem drinks… though we wouldn’t put it past Outsell associates to purchase a few more on the side…

giveaway.png

For the first time, participants could pay the committee via Venmo, a digital wallet that makes cash transfers online. This efficient new process made visiting the participating breweries much simpler than previous years, and could lead to promising new opportunities for future brewery tours and Caring Committee events.

We’d like to thank InBound Brew Co., Fulton, and Clockwerks Brewing for helping make this such a successful event! From all of us on the Outsell Caring Committee… SKOL!!

20180628_152238
Associates tour Fulton Brewery. Photo courtesy of Wayne Moran.

Competition steers the 2018 Outsell Food Drive

Food Drive 2
Eric Mickols, Claire Helling, and Aaron Jerdee present Groveland Food Shelf with donations from the 2018 Outsell Caring Committe Food Drive

The Caring Committee’s Food Drive—one of the original events in the committee’s mission—returned stronger than ever in 2018 after some spirited competition between associates. Together, the company brought in 515 pounds of food alongside $960 in cash donations for Groveland Food Shelf!

Product Manager Eric Mickols kicked things off upon noticing the food collection was slow to start. Using his Innovation value, Eric threw down the gauntlet by donating an initial 25 items, while also allowing fellow associates a “head start” by sprinkling another 75 items around the office.

The trash talking ramped up until Jon Petron of Advanced Services decided enough was enough and gathered his team to fill a car full of food. Meanwhile, down on Floor 31 Aaron Jerdee campaigned his sales team for monetary donations to boost the overall amount.

Associates who donated to the Food Drive were entered into a raffle for an assortment of Outsell-branded prizes, including lunch with CEO Mike Wethington. It was another hugely successful event for the Caring Committee this year, meeting one of our Associates’ 3 desired initiatives in 2018, combating Homelessness.

Coming up next: The always-popular Summer Beer Tour! Profits from this year’s Beer Tour will be going to Avenues for Homeless Youth, so get your donations in for beer tickets today. The 3 breweries on the route this year include Inbound Brew Co, Fulton, and Clockwerks Brewing.

  • $20 Donation includes 2 Beer Tickets + 1 entry into the Craft Beer Themed Giveaway
  • $30 Donation includes 3 Beer Tickets + 2 entries into the Craft Beer Themed Giveaway

 

The 2018 Bake-Off is in the books

Maker:0x4c,Date:2017-12-4,Ver:4,Lens:Kan03,Act:Lar01,E-YThe first event on Outsell’s Caring Committee calendar took place two weeks ago with a return of the Spring Bake-Off. All told, Outsell associates pitched in $278.64 for the Animal Humane Society.

Like the chili cook-off it was inspired by, the Spring Bake-Off challenges bakers to create desserts delicious enough to win votes by way of cash. This year, Aaron Jerdee won with his extra-special Special K Bar recipe, unseating baker extraordinaire Ryan Linn for the first time in multiple years.

Aaron and fellow Caring Committee member Claire Helling both visited the Animal Humane Society in person to deliver Outsell’s contribution. We think they may have had other motives for showing up…

At the beginning of 2018, the Caring Committee posed the question to all Outsell associates: Which local and national charities mean the most to you? The 3 most popular categories were charities that assisted animals, children, and homelessness. By donating to the Animal Humane Society during their Walk for Animals drive in May, Outsell is showing its commitment to our furry family members.

Stay tuned for more news on our upcoming events.