Feeding America is one of the national charities Heritage has chosen to support. In Indianapolis, Gleaners is the local affiliate. There is a high percentage of people living at or below the poverty level in the Marion county area of Indianapolis. Many residents rely on Gleaners to make ends meet. This opportunity was a great way to give back to the community where we work, and many live.
In May, our Indy Customer Service Group conducted a team building activity at Gleaners. The group was broken into 4 teams. Each team was assigned a day to go to the food bank warehouse and work. Before each team started their tasks, they were shown a video that better explained the organization’s mission. Many of us were moved by the positive impact this work has on those in need and by the appreciation of those who benefit from it. One team sorted food for the pantry (checking expiration dates, etc.). Another team made up snack packs for school children’s after school snacks. One team boxed food for the elderly to fill in their food needs from month-to-month. And the final team boxed food for students to take home over the weekend. In many cases, the food packed is the only food these individuals will have.
This was a great team building activity as the groups worked together for a great cause, and also had the opportunity to get to know each other better on a personal level. It was an opportunity to make a difference in our community and also build closer relationships among our employees. All the teams had very positive feedback from the experiences. Many made the comment that after just a few minutes of working together in the scenarios given to them by Gleaners, the individuals reorganized on their own to be as efficient as possible to get the most work completed. Most also had a greater respect for the Feeding America organization after learning more about their mission.
The Customer Service Group wants to continue this work and build it into a tradition at Heritage. We will be looking to expand the team building challenge to other departments at the Indy locations. We feel everyone will find it a rewarding experience while making us a stronger Heritage at the same time.