As our world changes and experiences events of all kinds, the team at Somos sees an opportunity to make a difference. There is a culture of giving at Somos that encourages our employees to live out our corporate values each and every day. We believe this is our opportunity to do good by doing right. To date, most of our focus has been to support local non-profits in the communities in which we work, but it has also included international relief efforts.
Connecting Nepal with Relief Aid
Somos and its employees came together and raised approximately $4,000 to support the American Red Cross disaster relief effort in Nepal. On April 25, 2015, Nepal suffered a devastating 7.8 magnitude earthquake that left thousands of people dead and many more homeless. Nearly 8,000 Red Cross staff and volunteers mobilized to provide humanitarian aid such as medical care, emergency shelter, food, water, hygiene kits, blankets, kitchen items, and cash to help families survive in the critical days and weeks after the disaster.
Connecting Communities with Better Hygiene
At our 2015 Toll-Free User Summit, our employees, attendees, and representatives from the Clean the World organization joined forces and assembled hygiene kits. These kits, which contained soap, shampoo/conditioner, body lotion, toothbrush/toothpaste, a washcloth and a personal note of encouragement, helps reduce the rate of hygiene-related illnesses. There were over 300 kits assembled and delivered to Families in Transition of Seminole County, a program that helps aid homeless children in Florida’s Seminole County public school system.
Clean the World is an organization dedicated to saving lives by collecting and recycling discarded soap and hygiene products. They redirect products from the hospitality industry and other sectors that would otherwise cause environmental waste. Through the distribution of these and other donated products to impoverished people, their corporate mission is to prevent millions of hygiene-related deaths each year, reduce the morbidity rate for hygiene-related illnesses, and encourage vigorous childhood development.
Connecting the Boys and Girls Club with Play
At our 2014 Annual Employee Retreat in Newport, Rhode Island, our employees participated in a team-building exercise that armed each team with wrenches, enthusiasm, puzzles and challenges in a race to construct a child’s bicycle. After each team presented their decorated bike and a “TV commercial” to their colleagues, they learned that their efforts would result in meeting their customers, underserved children from the local Boys and Girls Club. These children, ages 8-12, received their very first bicycle and helmet. There wasn’t a dry eye in the room watching our employees assist these children with their new bicycles. “It’s great that Somos provides its employees with opportunities to directly impact our community and to see the results of our efforts. Seeing the children’s faces when we gave them the bikes [that] we built was really heartwarming", said Mike Kimmel, Somos’ Director of Requirements Analysis.
Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA.org) is an organization dedicated to providing kids a safe place to learn and grow – all while enjoying the time to play. Their club programs and services promote and enhance the development of boys and girls by instilling a sense of competence, usefulness, belonging and influence.
Connecting Holiday Cheer with Memory Care Assisted Living
During the 2014 holiday season, our employees volunteered at a local assisted living facility. Employees, some which were dressed up as Santa, Mrs. Clause and Santa’s helpers, decorated gingerbread houses, baked cookies and sang holiday carols with the residents. Santa spread cheer with his jolly laugh and passed out gifts to all of the residents. This memory care facility serves the needs of the older adult population, promoting independence and dignity for residents diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease or other dementia.
Connecting Hope with Homelessness
During the month of November in 2015, Somos hosted a challenge called “Fill a Cube for Hope” to help fight hunger and poverty by employees making donations of food and clothing for those in need. This challenge resulted in more than 17 boxes of food and clothing being donated to two local non-profit organizations.
Homelessness and poverty is right in our back yard. There are more than 1,200 children, women and men who deal with homelessness in Fairfax County in Virginia, 33% of whom are under the age of 18. Cornerstones, which is an organization promoting self-sufficiency by providing support and advocacy for those in need of food, shelter, affordable housing, quality childcare and other human services, and the Embry Rucker Community Shelter. This is a 70-bed residential shelter that provides healthy, safe, emergency housing for families and single men and women.
Connecting the Hungry in Las Vegas with a Hot Meal
At our 2015 Q3 Vendor Meeting held in Las Vegas, Nevada, where 1 in every 4 children lacks access to enough food for an active and healthy life. Somos challenged our vendor partners to add to our original contribution of $1,000. Through these combined efforts, we donated close to $8,000 to Three Square, a local charity that works to address the serious issue of hunger by providing meals to hungry children and their families.
Connecting the Military with Survival Tools and Care Packages
Somos is a proud supporter of our military and we continue to show our support through various efforts. During our 2015 Annual Employee Retreat, our team participated in a series of team-focused games and exercises. As a reward for completing these exercises, all employees built survival paracord bracelets, which were included in specially customized Go USO care packages that were sent to our troops.
Additionally, our employees assisted in making the holidays a little brighter by making donations for care packages to be sent to troops. The generous donations of our employees resulted in 21 boxes being shipped to members of the United States Marine Corps and the United States Army. Somos also made a $1,500 donation to the Wounded Warrior Project whose purpose is to raise awareness and enlist the public’s aid for the needs of injured service members and by providing programs and services which honors and empowers Wounded Warriors.
Connecting Team Building to a Food Pantry
During our 2015 Annual Employee Retreat, our employees participated in a scavenger hunt which took place in Grand Central Terminal in NYC. While building team relationships through this multi-faceted adventure, Somos also continued its commitment to support local non-profits by making a contribution of $1,595 to a Food Bank in New York.