By Christina Camara
Accountants love data, and the number crunchers at CBIZ
are especially pleased with their level of charitable giving this year: 648,034 pounds of food donated to community food banks across the country.
The amount far exceeded the company's food drive goal for 2012, and the hundreds of CBIZ participants had fun doing it. The theme this year, "Mission: Possible," got the creative juices flowing among CBIZ employees, who came up with some novel ways to attract attention to their cause. They developed elaborate displays in their office lobbies, including a giant Etch A Sketch® made from cans of food in Knoxville, Tennessee, and the Rubik's Cube display at the Memphis CBIZ Thompson Dunavant office.
CBIZ National Marketing Manager Erin Lombardi said offices created their own themes and competed amongst themselves to collect the most food and win a lunch served by their apron-wearing CEO Steven Gerard.
In Denver, CBIZ employees restocked the emergency food pantry at the Mile High Montessori Early Learning Center. The CBIZ office in Easton, Maryland, gathered nearly 30,000 pounds of food on its own – that's 900 pounds per employee.
Some offices held pie contests or sought donations that allowed employees to wear jeans to work. Another charged employees to raise money.
With more than 5,000 employees in over 130 locations, CBIZ is geographically dispersed, and it can be difficult for employees to feel part of a whole. While individual offices have a long history of community involvement, CBIZ leaders wanted to find a project that could make an impact locally, yet give employees pride in the organization as a whole, says Mark Waxman, chief marketing officer at CBIZ.
"This really has been the first big project that we've done to bring all the offices together to [meet] a large collective goal," Waxman said. The food drive, now in its fourth year, collects more food every year and gives employees an outlet to contribute to a larger cause. "It's time to break loose and have fun, and to do something good for the community."
By all accounts, the drive has been an incredible success, with offices nationwide donating more than 1.5 million pounds of food since the program began.