Winning By Giving

November 6, 2015

IMG_2275As a member of Ketchum’s Sustainability and Social Impact Practice, nothing gives me more pride than the fact that Ketchum embodies the counsel we provide to our clients. Which is why there is no better month than September, Ketchum’s annual month of service: Ketchum’s Social Responsibility (KSR) Month. This year over 1,200 colleagues from 36 offices across the globe supported 45 local and national nonprofit organizations resulting in our most successful month of service to-date (click to tweet)!

Here in San Francisco, we had three different opportunities for people to get involved: volunteering at the SF Marin Food Bank, helping with various cleanup activities at local pet shelter Bad Rap, and by hosting a book drive with our global KSR partner, Room to Read.

Our time at the Food Bank was particularly memorable: seven of us started our morning packing dry goods that would ultimately be distributed throughout the Bay Area to those in need. The SF Marin Food Bank serves over 107,000 meals daily, and I am proud to report that in our four short hours, our collective group packaged almost one ton (Yes, 2,000 pounds!!) of dry pasta, beans and rice. If we were able to pack one ton of food in four hours, imagine if we all pooled our collective brainpower to help solve hunger altogether? Food for thought.

As the day came to a close I snapped a picture for our internal KSR contest for a chance to have $250 donated to the non-profit organization of the winner’s choice. And I won! Not only did we have a great morning of volunteering, but I was able to cap it all off with an even sweeter prize—the opportunity to present a $250 check to SF Marin Food Bank so they can continue the great work they do.

IMG_2260Winning picture of me along with our awesome finance manager here in San Francisco, Tim Graham.

It is very exciting to win (trust me I know—I once won a free picnic backpack in a raffle), but it was a thousand times more rewarding to win this contest, one where the value is so much more than the dollar value alone. Our team was able to get out and volunteer within the community and directly help those who need it most. Also, with $250, the SF Marin Food Bank can contribute the equivalent of $1,250 worth of food to those in need. They can reach into the communities and help in ways that we alone cannot. I hope to start volunteering at the food bank more often—and that’s the real win-win.

Katie Michel is a Vice President for Ketchum’s Purpose practice. An energetic and detail-oriented project leader, she has deep institutional sustainability and corporate social responsibility knowledge, having spent the last 10+ years managing and executing high-profile sustainability communications strategies. Follow Katie on Twitter, @krmichel.