This summer, nearly every member of the KGO team traveled to Baltimore, Maryland for a day of community service and team-building. We spent the day volunteering with 4MyCity, a nonprofit working to end hunger, reduce waste and ensure good food ends up in the hands of people in need–not landfills.
Together, we sorted through donations of food and clothing, compiling care packages and packing donations for delivery to people in need. The experience was one we won’t soon forget as we not only learned many valuable lessons about the impact of food waste, but it also taught us a lot about our team..
In this blog, we’re sharing 5 key takeaways from the experience. We hope you’ll come away feeling inspired to find ways to give back in your community as well.
1. The KGO culture is strong.
For many employees, this event was their first opportunity to meet everyone at once in person. Those who doubt the potential of remote work may assume this could pose a challenge when we’re finally tasked with working together face-to-face, especially since many of us were doing something we’d never done before. However, this was far from the truth. KGO’s longer-standing employees immediately connected with and formed relationships with our more recent hires, and each of us seemed to gravitate to those that we do not work with daily through the screen. With guidance from the 4MyCity team, we easily worked in teams to efficiently get the job done.
2. We do our best work as a team.
In fact, this experience revealed to us how strong we are when we work together. As a team, we managed to sort through over 5 palettes loaded with boxes of items that would have otherwise ended up in landfills. While some team members organized the hundreds of boxes filled with donations, others helped to load packages complete with fresh fruit, beverages, snacks and more into volunteer’s cars for delivery to those in need.
Although we had never done this before, we quickly developed a system to organize donations. Eventually, we were flying through the task! We even finished early and had time to wait until another truck full of donations were delivered.
3. Every donation matters.
A few members of our team spent their time organizing clothing donations. The donations even included a number of high-quality brands. Although 4MyCity focuses on reducing food waste by ensuring good food doesn’t get thrown away, they don’t turn any donations away. Without 4MyCity, these usable items would have ended up in landfills, instead of making their way to those in need.
4. Far too much good food goes to waste.
Many of the items 4MyCity received for donation were brands that KGO team members would have been happy to purchase in a grocery store. The United States wastes more food than any other country in the world, with nearly 80 billion pounds of food thrown away each year. As a consequence, food takes up more space in landfills than anything else. Surprisingly, much of this waste comes before the items land on the shelves of grocery stores.
We were stunned to learn just how many high-quality food, clothing and other items were headed for the landfill. This is something that most Americans do not see on a daily basis, but something that KGO employees were able to witness first-hand through the amazing work that 4MyCity was doing.
5. Your core values matter.
Sustainable living is the heart of 4MyCity’s core values. It has led them to branch out and design their own compostable bags, which they use to deliver donations to people in need. They also offer a composting machine free of charge to their community. The machine almost immediately transforms compostable waste into usable soil, which shows community members how even our waste can be repurposed into something that promotes growth. Their core values are making a difference in their community.
Meanwhile, acts of service are a part of our core values. By acting upon our values, we grew closer as a team and each discovered a renewed sense of purpose in the work we do. Though we may not be feeding the hungry every time we clock in for work, we are part of a team that’s committed to taking care of one another – as well as those in need.
Join the fight to end hunger.
Our time volunteering with 4MyCity reminded us that commitment and teamwork can go a long way. Despite the fact that many of our team members were collaborating face-to-face for the very first time, we immediately got to work to achieve our goal: doing something good for the community. We came out of this day of service with an even greater camaraderie than we had going into it and with a commitment that we’ll get together to do this again.
Want to contribute to the fight to end hunger? Volunteer with 4MyCity, or make a donation to support their hard work.