KSR Month: Slow and Steady Wins the Race

Excitement spreads fast every time our global month of service rolls around, which consistently makes planning for KSR activities a fun and rewarding experience. Giving back to the community in Stuttgart is close to our colleagues’ hearts, and Ketchum’s global commitment to CSR is felt throughout every hallway, conference room and cubical in our office during this time of year.

Nonetheless, planning for our second KSR Month wasn’t exactly logistically easy, but a consensus was eventually reached to support a place that happily takes all of the help it can get: the local animal shelter, Tierheim Botnang.

Tierheim Botnang was founded in 1916, was completely destroyed during World War II and, at first, was only partly rebuilt because there wasn’t enough money to complete construction. In the early 1950s the city of Stuttgart helped finance a completely new building, which still stands to this day. Even though their staff puts the animals first, and takes great medical and personal care of them, there never seems to be enough helping hands, money and space.

We started volunteering there in 2015 after learning of their struggles. So when it was recommended that we continue our efforts on behalf of the shelter, our colleagues were thrilled. On this year’s agenda were turtles (yes, turtles!) that desperately needed a new compound and houses to sleep in. So off our first group went on a sunny fall afternoon, leaving all computers and smartphones behind, to get our hands dirty.

A few sore muscles and contagious smiles later, our colleagues returned to inform us that they had not only ripped apart the old compound, hacking away at roots and little trees, but also constructed a completely new one with shiny yellow wooden boards.

Unfortunately, before the remaining teams could participate in the imitative and finish the project, we received a call that our contact person at the shelter who coordinated our work onsite had an accident. We were glad to hear she was going to be ok, but also learned that she wouldn’t be able to coordinate the rest of the groups because she was on bed rest. And because they are chronically understaffed, there was nobody to take her place and we had to cancel the two remaining visits.

Under any other circumstances this would have been very sad news, but, as is often the case, there was a silver lining. We learned shortly after our work for the shelter that our team were chosen as one of the winning participants of Ketchum’s global KSR Month contest and, as a result, was rewarded with $250 US dollars to give to the charity of our choosing. Needless to say that it was a joyous moment for us. We are able to give back to the shelter after all! Thank you for this great opportunity, Ketchum, and thank you to our colleagues who make KSR Month so much fun!