**By Donna French, Senior Director and ASC member
It is that time of the year again; the holidays are upon us and we can make a huge difference in our local communities by giving to those in need. For Viridian Associates, the holidays are the optimal time to also give back to the Earth and to teach others about the importance of our mission of sustainability.
As a member of the Associate Sustainability Council (ASC), a council dedicated to spreading Viridian sustainability messages, my goal has been to personally hold a sustainability event every month this year. A few weeks ago, after another sustainability event that I had planned fell through, I was inspired to start a food drive. Having to think last minute, it hit me that collecting food donations at opportunity meetings was a great way to involve more people in sustainability and to help others understand our greater mission and purpose as a company—individual choice, collective impact.
This October, I—along with several Massachusetts leaders—am asking Associates and guests to bring a nonperishable food item to each opportunity meeting. By incorporating sustainability into opportunity meetings, our prospects are getting a glimpse of Viridian’s culture of giving back.
Knowing that the holidays are around the corner, I’ve decided to extend the drive several months so that we can collect food as well as coats and toys to bring warmth and fun to those in need this winter.
For those of you in Massachusetts, please contact your local leaders or me if you have any questions or would like to assist in coordinating this project. Below are the meetings that are already working to collect donations:
- West Yarmouth: Thursdays at 6:30 pm, Atlantic Group Energy, 550 Willow Street
- Foxboro: Thursdays at 7 pm, The “V” 337 Cocasset St.
- Somerville: Mondays at 7:30 pm, Oliveiras Steak House, 120 Washington St.
- Worcester: Mondays at 7:30 pm, Elbasha Restaurant, 256 Park Ave.
- Wilbraham: Wednesdays at 7 pm, Abruzzo Restaurant, 2589 Boston Road. (downstairs in the Banquet Room)
Project coordinators are being asked to weigh and count donations and submit data to firstname.lastname@example.org along with a photo and the name of the organization they’ve chosen to donate the goods to so we can track the progress and impact of this project!
For those of you who think planning a sustainability event is complicated, I encourage you to take a look at my story. My vision for this project can easily be replicated in all our markets. Collectively we have the opportunity to greatly impact the lives and holidays of so many people. By being part of Viridian, I have really learned that by making a few simple choices such as donating a food item, coat or toy, we can make a huge collective impact. Please contact me at email@example.com if you would like help duplicating this project in your market.
We can all help feed the hungry, clothe the needy and make the holidays special for children. Together we can clean up the air we breathe, create jobs and be energy independent. Each one of us can make this happen! I am so proud to be a part of GENERATION V.
On behalf of the Massachusetts Field Leadership and the Associate Sustainability Council, thank you so much in advance for your donation!
When we first committed to our 7 Continents in 7 Years pledge, I knew we were beginning something special. I knew we would be impacting many lives. I knew we were taking a critical step toward demonstrating our belief in global citizenship. I knew we would work hard to find the right project, the right partner and the right fit for each journey.
What I didn’t know is how much this pledge would affect us personally. What I didn’t expect was the impact of seeing these humble people living without electricity, and the joy of knowing we could bring light to their village. What I didn’t expect is the feeling of gratitude I would have for the people we had come to help.
One of my most memorable moments was our final day in Ghana, after we had completed our projects. The local people, in conjunction with our dedicated partner World Joy, put together a dedication ceremony to thank our group for our efforts. I remember sitting on the steps of the health clinic we had just worked on, surrounded by the Ghanaian children as dancers showcased their culture and their passion while the local elders and leaders observed proudly. I clearly remember thinking this was the definition of a community, and being very grateful to their community for allowing us to share a few days with them. To see a video journey of our complete adventure in Ghana, click HERE
With an estimated one in every five people living without access to reliable electricity across the globe, this journey was, for me, the perfect match for our mission. I truly believe that companies like ours have an enormous responsibility to show others what it means to be global citizens and to demonstrate what people with passion can accomplish.
I am grateful to each of the Associates who joined us on this journey. I am grateful to our partners who made the projects a reality and continue to ensure they are maintained. I am grateful to the Ghanaians for accepting our effort to make a small change for the better in their lives. Mostly, I am grateful to each and every one of our Associates and customers who every day make simple choices that allow us to embark on impactful journeys like this one.
My name is Michael Fallquist, and I am Generation V.
Even though spring has been reluctant to arrive, we’ve officially
ended the WOVEN clothing drive, our winter sustainability initiative. We’re
proud to report that the Viridian community has supported this initiative over
the past few months by bringing clothes to each of the regional training
events, to the WOVEN events, and to drop-off points or to a local charitable
organization. We collected clothes at each Viridian event as well as at several
local drop-off points.
All in all, we collected hundreds of pounds of clothes
to donate to places in your communities. It’s just another reason to be proud
of a company making a difference in the world. Look for more of these efforts,
especially those from the women of WOVEN, featured in this month’s VLife.
Here at corporate, the Viridian staff brought in their share
of unwanted clothing. We will be donating these clothes to the Norwalk
Emergency Open Door Shelter, located only a few short blocks from our
office. Thanks to everyone who
continued the cycle of sustainability by giving to those in need in your local
communities. We hope your closets look a little less cluttered too!
Photos: Joe Epstein