This is the first in a series of blogs highlighting corporate sponsors who have selected the Food Bank of South Jersey as a “charity of choice.” Through the Food Bank’s Corporate Engagement Program, companies can fulfill their philanthropic commitment while engaging employees through volunteerism and much more.
GrayHair Software, an industry leader in postal solutions and compliance support since 1999, has always been committed to giving back to the community. Under its leadership, GrayHair fostered an internal group called “Create a Difference “to coordinate two outreach events per quarter. That’s when Food Bank of South Jersey (FBSJ) came into the picture.
GrayHair has been involved with FBSJ since 2014, participating in such events like the Hunger Games, an event that challenges corporate teams to prepare an impressive dish in 45 minutes using a mystery box of ingredients. Fun fact: the team won first place in their first year!
At GrayHair, giving back is part of the company’s DNA. The company encourages employees to have a start-up mentality and to follow their passions.
Bobby Tiedeken, GrayHair’s Director of Marketing notes that every quarter, employees get a certain number of days off to volunteer at a charity of their choice. “As our business continues to grow, that culture of giving and creating your own value-system is rolled into everything we do.”
GrayHair not only stresses the importance of giving back, but making it fun. A key focus of the Create a Difference (CAD) team was to identify how GrayHair, a small, quirky software team with a unique outlook of life, could take that uniqueness and showcase it. The CAD team has organized group volunteer projects, including cleaning a local beach, caring for animals at a local shelter and numerous initiatives for individuals without shelter; such as making dignity bags and hosting clean your closet clothing drives. Small details are planned to make participation easy and the events even more fun – like providing a bus to take volunteers to the beach and creating specific team shirts for the event.
GrayHair’s quirkiness is manifested in an internal award called, “Top Banana Award,” in which a department recognizes the good work of another department. Each month, the banana changes hands – it’s a statue lovingly decorated to reflect each department’s personality.
The team uses this same enthusiasm to help cross-promote their business and local charities. Each year before FBSJ’s Hunger Games, GrayHair has an event ramp-up, including a sign-making event, tailgate, games and food trucks at the office. The team even hosts a pre-party the day of the event that they invite other companies to “crash. “
“We’ll have noise makers, goodies, people dressed up in costumes,” says Bobby. “We try to envelop everyone in the fun as much as possible, while also promoting a cause that is worth the commitment.”
The fun won’t stop anytime soon for GrayHair – their goal is to eventually sell out a Hunger Games event.
“We’re passionate about the Food Bank of South Jersey and proud to support our local communities. We look forward to many more years of fostering a business with giving back at its very core,” says Deb Lemon, VP Resources and Planning and one of the founders of the Create a Difference team.