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Ten Forward's New Community Outreach Project!

Published April 22, 2019

💥Having fun at Costco in Middleton, WIAt Ten Forward we aim," to create environments where success is inevitable for our employees, clients, and communities." 

I believe in this mission and I wanted to put some action behind it to help out the greater Madison community. 

I presented the idea of creating a Community Outreach committee to the team at one of our staff meetings, where the company could make donations to a community organization in Madison each quarter. 

My thinking was, "How can we amplify Ten Forward's power for creating resources in our community?" If I personally donate $50 to an organization, then that's just $50, but when I have my company on board, that organization now has access to more funds and ultimately, more support.

How does it work?

As a result of my proposal, Ten Forward now has a $500 budget set aside each quarter for Community Outreach donations. The team gets together and decides on which organization they'd like to be the beneficiary, taking into account how the chosen organization aligns with Ten Forward's mission and values. 

Once their request is approved, we tailor implementation to the individual organization's needs.

Our first recipient: Porchlight! 

For the first quarter edition of the Community Outreach project, we chose Porchlight as our donation recipient.

Porchlight's mission is "to reduce homelessness in Dane County by collaborating with the community to provide shelter, affordable housing, and supportive services that eliminate barriers and empower the individuals and families we serve." 

Porchlight is the largest provider of low-cost housing in Dane County, and we felt that their work in the community directly aligned with Ten Forward's mission to maximize the chance of success in every scenario.

Among the many services Porchlight provides for the community, two services stood out the most to us: the Veteran's Transitional Housing Program, and the Eviction Prevention / DIGS Program

For the former, veterans are provided a case manager, a peer support specialist, and a VA social worker to assist them in their transition to permanent, stable housing. Porchlight’s Eviction Prevention program, DIGS (Dwelling Intervention Grants & Sustenance), provides assistance designed to prevent homelessness in the wake of a short-term financial emergency for a household. 

We understand the importance and significance of receiving emergency financial aid to maintain shelter and prevent eviction, and how valuable financial support is for a family in need. 

What we donated

Kyla and Vickie striking a pose before checking out 🤩We decided to donate in two ways; combining a straight financial donation with in-kind items from Porchlight's wish list

If you're reading this and are feeling inspired to donate to Porchlight, please go for it! But make sure that all donated items are things that can be easily split up and shared amongst residents.

For example, some folks at Ten Forward are fans of Costco's huge laundry detergent containers, but since you can't easily split up laundry detergent, we decided to go with laundry detergent pods instead. 

We also noticed that Porchlight's donation room was stocked up on toothpaste, blankets, and toothbrushes, but lacked shampoo and hair products, as well as body wash and mouthwash. 

Plans for round two

Feeling good at Porchlight after dropping off goods! ❤️

Overall, we were pretty happy about the first foray of the Community Outreach project, and are excited to do it again for quarter two.

We've selected our next recipient and are looking at possibly hosting an event to raise even more money for donations. 

If you are interested in giving back to your community and want support from your company, just ask! You'll never know if you don't try.

Author details

Victoria Guerrero

(Former junior developer)