Generosity Week Reflections: Sharing Skills and Space to Create a Better Client Experience

Erika Bigelow / 1st July 2019 / Comment / Culture

What is “Generosity Week”?

Last month, Wheelhouse headed back into the community for our Q2 Generosity Week. What is a Generosity Week, you ask? It’s a values-based community-wide event that sends every Wheelhouse employee to an organization of their choosing to flex their volunteer muscles and help populations in need. Once a Generosity Day, this tradition has expanded into a full week of volunteer-based giving. This quarter saw groups at seven non-profits doing a variety of activities like painting, organizing, cooking, bagging, providing job skills training, planting & watering. And it was incredible.

What Every Organization Can Learn from a Non-Profit

This year, Wheelhouse has been focusing on diversifying and integrating our teams. Instead of operating in silos for engineering, analytics, SEM, & SEO, we have worked hard to cross-train and gain credible new skills, technical and otherwise, so that we can provide a more valuable experience for our clients.

Interestingly, this is exactly what many non-profits have been doing for years, which was brought into vivid relief for us during this Generosity Week. One of our groups volunteered at the Greenwood Senior Center on a Monday, but their volunteering was actually organized through the Phinney Neighborhood Association, a separate non-profit located miles away. These organizations, operating on tiny budgets, had recognized the need to join forces and share resources so that they could provide the best experience for their clients.

The Greenwood Senior Center provides permanent storage space for the tools the Phinney Neighborhood Association needs to run an evening meal service for the local homeless and housing-challenged population, as well as the use of their kitchen. In turn the Phinney Neighborhood Association invites the Greenwood Senior Center seniors to attend the meals. Served up in courses from appetizer and soup, to entrees and desserts, the dining experience is refreshingly different from many community meals. One of our Generosity Week groups spent their time that day painting the storage space and re-organizing the products within, prepping the food for the dinner and ultimately serving.

On Tuesday, a different Wheelhouse group headed to Accelerator YMCA in the Central district. This non-profit works with youth ages 18-25, helping them with housing, job training, and education all while promoting a culture free from bias and injustice. They are located in the 2100 Building which tells you nothing from the name, but is a space beautifully designed for collaborative work between non-profits. Ten organizations that work to connect kids to the community call this site home and utilize the collaborative spaces regularly. There are board rooms, community rooms, art rooms, and a kitchen that are utilized by all the non-profits thereby creating an environment that is collaborative, functional, and positive. Our group spent the day in the kitchen making burritos for the kids and staff to eat during their job readiness and violence prevention classes or during case worker, financial aid, and family support meetings. Witnessing the collaboration within the many communities housed in the 2100 Building was inspiring.

Generosity Week Impact

If you too are inspired by creative community collaboration, here is where we went this quarter:

Generosity Week Program

For more on our amazing Generosity Week program, here are our most recent blog posts:

 

Want to Learn More About Wheelhouse or Generosity Week?

We’d be happy to hear from you! Give us a call, fill out our online form, or come visit our office!

By Erika Bigelow