We all sat up and paid attention in 2013 when Life is Good announced that 10% of its net income would be donated to help kids in need. The Tom’s shoes brand originated in 2006 with the One for One® business model already embedded in its DNA. The Ben and Jerry’s Foundation was created in 1985 and now awards over $1.8 million a year to fund community action, social change and sustainability. Even our own client, Eastern Bank, has given over $120 Million to local nonprofits since 1999. The idea of corporate social responsibility is not a new phenomenon, and it’s no secret that with mindful millennial consumers dominating the marketplace, businesses that do “good” also do “well”.
One of the best things that agencies like ours can do to give back to the community is empower employees to make a difference, thus exponentially expanding our philanthropic reach. For this reason, and because charitable giving has been ingrained in CTP’s values since its origin, it was a no-brainer for CTP to join the nearly 1 in 4 companies in the U.S. that offer paid Volunteer Time Off (VTO). Thanks to the seamless integration of a newly-announced VTO policy, all CTP employees are now entitled to 3 VTO days a year to use at a nonprofit of their choice. This initiative aims to inspire and encourage CTPers to give back in ways that are personally meaningful to them.
As for me, I’ll be using my new VTO at Camp Sunshine, the organization that inspired me to bring this initiative to CTP in the first place. Camp Sunshine is a camp in Maine for children with cancer and other life-threatening illnesses. Unlike other similar organizations, Camp Sunshine invites the whole family to take part. Siblings and parents of the patient can attend support groups, while engaging in camp activities (archery, kayaking, rock climbing, swimming, etc.) with those who are going through similar circumstances, all at no cost.
My family has been attending Camp Sunshine since 2001, when my younger brother, Dave, was diagnosed with a one-in-a-million, life-threatening illness called Aplastic Anemia. Dave celebrated 16 years in remission this past December, and my family still returns to Camp Sunshine annually to volunteer together for the winter oncology session. It feels amazing to give back to the place that gave my family so much, and now I get to do so without using precious vacation time.
It’s so heartwarming to work in an environment that values the importance of giving back, and I cannot wait to see where my fellow CTPers choose to use their VTO. Here’s to the endless opportunities to give back in 2019.