Vancouver, BC: Remember ‘sports days’ growing up where our schools would have one day a year where all the students would be allowed to go out and play. It was a day when tug of war, relay races and silly games ruled the day. It was a day outside playing on the school field, enjoying hot dogs and ice cream for lunch and winning ribbons just taking part in fun games. Some friendly competition, mosquito bites and a day to wear shorts. It was a day to build school spirit and let students network without a smart phone, twitter or Facebook.
These days many companies get the staff out for the same kind of fun and adventure and call it ‘team building’. Only the adult version includes scavenger hunts, latest smart phones, enjoying meals and golf tournaments. Local IT company, the Matrix Group, recently had a team building day but the staff didn’t really know what they were in for.
The day started off with a casual breakfast where everyone got to kickback and start the day with fresh omelets and coffee. After breakfast, came the news of what was next on the agenda. Matrix owner, Likky Lavji told the entire staff they were going on a shopping spree!
Thoughts of designer shoes, purses and tech gadgets started to fill the bubble thoughts that suddenly appeared around the staff members. But this was a shopping spree with a twist. Staff weren’t shopping for themselves.
Destination – the local grocery store.
Mission – help fill the very empty shelves during the slowest time of the year at the Greater Vancouver Food Bank.
Moral of the Story– Staff experienced a new level of team building. Working together to give back to their community and walking away filled with gratitude.
The day continued with other fun and games including a scavenger hunt that ended with being able to choose whatever cuisine they wanted for dinner. A good feeling after taking part of their day to help put food on the table for others.
The new CEO of the Greater Vancouver Food Bank, Aart Schuurman Hess says they are seeing more and more local business owners getting their staff involved in gathering food donations.
Hess even has some ideas for companies looking to have a little fun while helping a local food bank. “Companies can have a contest to see which department could raise the healthiest food for example.”
Hess also says the Greater Vancouver Food Bank is seeing a few other trends emerging including employee donating monthly portions via pay cheques, and one company who saves up their lunch money. Once a month the staff bring lunch from home and donate the money they save from eating out to the food bank.
The food bank itself has motivated staff taking part in such trends according to Hess. “This year we have seen a growth, however we will put in extra efforts to increase Corporate participation; we ourselves have a contest to see “which volunteer group” prepares or works the largest amount of skids (donations).”
The Greater Vancouver Food Bank is hoping this trend lasts year long and especially now when the shelves tend to be the barest. July and the summer months, when most people are thinking of vacation getaways or busy with kids home from school, food donations tend to decline to their lowest of the year. This year, the GVFB is holding an event to change that – Christmas in July!
Wednesday July 24th is Christmas in July
The Greater Vancouver Food Bank
WHEN/WHERE: Starting 5am at Burrard Skytrain Station in downtown Vancouver. (Corner of Georgia and Dunsmuir).
A winter wonderland will also be set up with a real Santa and dare we mention, snow.
Greater Vancouver Food Bank – 604-876-3601
By: Kuljeet Kaila