More and more companies are offering benefits surrounding philanthropy and team-focused volunteer days. Encouraging employees to give their time (during work hours) to help out local organizations is a great way to promote engagement within the company and a stronger team environment.
Brandpoint agrees that this workplace benefit is an important one. Our company puts an emphasis on giving back to the community and encourages employees to volunteer at local nonprofit organizations in the Minneapolis area.
But with busy schedules, we all know it can be difficult to find time to volunteer. To accommodate and encourage volunteer activity, Brandpoint employees are given eight hours of PTO time to volunteer a year. Employees can use this work time to help out at any nonprofit organization of their choice. Group volunteer activities are also encouraged to support team bonding.
The Marketing team at Brandpoint took a trip away from the office this August to support a local nonprofit they were all passionate about, the Greater Minneapolis Crisis Nursery.
The Greater Minneapolis Crisis Nursery
The Greater Minneapolis Crisis Nursery is a nonprofit organization in Hennepin County that works toward ending child abuse and neglect, and looks to create strong and healthy families. This organization has been around since 1983 and is located in South Minneapolis.
The Crisis Nursery knows that life can be overwhelming sometimes, and they want to be there to support and help families during difficult times. The organization is a trusted resource for families in crisis and they offer free services to children and parents. Some of their services include a 24-hour crisis helpline, crisis counseling, education and connection to community resources, clinical home visiting, a mental health program and overnight residential care for children.
Cooks for Kids
There are multiple ways to support this organization. In addition to donating or becoming a staff member, the public is encouraged to volunteer through one of their different programs or opportunities. The Minneapolis Crisis Nursery has the Cook for Kids program, child care, enrichment activities and internship opportunities.
Brandpoint’s team decided to volunteer through the Cook for Kids program.
Cook for Kids is a program where your team of volunteers prepares or sponsors a meal for the children at the nursery. There are three different options for this volunteer opportunity: the Shopper, Chef or Sponsor. The Shopper decides on a recipe, purchases and brings the groceries for the recipe and prepares the meal. The Chef option is where you give the Crisis Nursery $100, they buy the groceries for you, they decide on a recipe for you to make and you prepare the meal. Lastly, if you aren’t able to make it to the Nursery, you can sponsor a meal by donating $100 and the Nursery will take care of the rest for you.
Our group decided on the first option, the Shopper, to get the full experience! Prior to volunteering, we decided on a fun meal that we were going to prepare for the kids and staff. We had a couple guidelines that we had to follow in order to provide a nutritious and balanced lunch for the kids. We decided on turkey sandwiches, peppers, hummus, strawberries and bananas. After finalizing our list of ingredients we needed, we made a trip to the grocery store to round up the items.
On the day of, we showed up with our ingredients ready to make sandwiches! We split up who was doing what and then we prepared our meal in the kitchen at the Nursery.
The best part of the day came after the meal preparation! We were able to sit down with the kids from the nursery and eat the lunch we prepared with them. It was fun to see how they opened up to us throughout the lunch hour, from being a little shy and apprehensive at first, to racing around the lunch room and showing us how many push-ups they could do. We saw all of their little (yet very big!) personalities shine through once we started talking and eating with them. We were also pleasantly surprised by the positive reaction of the meal itself (only a couple peppers ended up on the floor), and hummus ended up being a crowd favorite. One of the girls even asked for an extra!
We truly had a great time at the Minneapolis Crisis Nursery. It was nice to be involved in all three parts of the Cook for Kids program. It was also a great team-building experience for us as well. We will definitely be back!
We are lucky to work at a company that encourages volunteer activity and supports nonprofit organizations throughout the Twin Cities.
Looking for a way to give back and support local kids and families? Join the Minneapolis Crisis Nursery at their next event, Harvesting Hope, to help raise money for the Nursery. This event takes place on Sept. 27 at the Westin Edina Galleria. It includes wine, beer and spirits tastings, along with the opportunity to socialize with over 300 others who are passionate about the Crisis Nursery. Don’t miss it!
For more details on the event, visit https://www.crisisnursery.org/events/harvesting-hope/.