Where it all began
In 2018, Impact Partnership officially launched Impacting Lives, a charitable initiative to give back to our community in a meaningful way. One way the Impact team gives back is through an annual food drive benefitting the CAYA (Come As You Are) food pantry in nearby Paulding County. CAYA offers a wide range of services to help those in need, including food assistance, financial assistance and counseling, a summer lunch program for underprivileged children, and more.
Last year, we challenged ourselves to collect and donate 10,000 food items to the food pantry. We split into four teams and achieved nearly doubled our goal: We donated over 19,000 pieces of food, stocking the pantry for nearly a full year and providing Thanksgiving “meal kits” to 100 families.
We wanted to go even further in 2019.
Our goal was to collect 20,000 food items in just four weeks. Some of us thought it daring, too ambitious – but if you know the Impact team, you know we never back down from a challenge, especially when the end result is helping someone in need.
Our company has grown a lot this year, which means we needed five teams, each named after one of the world’s highest peaks to inspire us to greatness: Everest, Kilimanjaro, Vinson, Denali, and Aconcagua.
The competition was fierce as donations poured in from all sides. Strategies and trade secrets were guarded with as much security as the Declaration of Independence, and inquiries into other teams’ progress were regarded with much scrutiny.
Weekly updates amped up the tension: With total donations reaching over 4,000 in the second week, teams would stop at nothing to be number one.
After two more weeks of shopping, collection, and donation, the Impact team delivered over 27,000 pieces of food to the CAYA food pantry, completing 135% of our goal and stocking the pantry for over a year.
Team Everest, led by the VP of Marketing Alex House and Sr. VP of Annuity Sales, Ron Eastman, won by a landslide: Their team donated nearly 8,000 canned vegetables, pastas, meats, and more to help provide for families in need in our community, winning themselves a catered lunch.
The food drive comes with a secondary challenge. Part of CAYA’s Thanksgiving assistance program is distributing Thanksgiving meal kits to families who might not otherwise be able to enjoy a holiday meal with all the fixins. Each meal kit includes mashed potatoes, mac & cheese, vegetables, a dessert, and other Thanksgiving day essentials. In addition to individual food items, all five teams were also asked to collect 25 meal kits (for a total of 125 bags). Together we donated 158 Thanksgiving meal kits.
While the food drive is a competition, it’s one that brings out the best in our team. A representative from the food pantry, Dan, conducted weekly pickups, assisted by our team. On the final pickup day, it took three cars – plus a trailer – to deliver all the food back to CAYA’s home base.
As we loaded up the trucks, Dan shared with us just how much of an impact our donations have on the community. Each year, CAYA provides Thanksgiving meals to qualifying families in Paulding County. This year, they were prepared for 55 families, with an additional 8 on the waiting list. After our food drive, CAYA was able to provide for the 8 remaining families with a full Thanksgiving meal to celebrate the holiday.
Stories like this remind us just how much we have to be thankful for. At Impact, we’re thankful for a winning team full of kind hearts and generous spirits and for the opportunity to serve our community.