Getting Our Hands Dirty

You might think that working in the digital space means staying inside all the time, chained to our keyboards and cranking out code.  Read on, and think again.

Last week, over 70 Cobaltians got out of the office, into the fresh air and got their hands dirty…sometimes literally. Over the course of four days and at five different locations, we collectively spent about 388 volunteer hours packing carrots, planting trees, pushing wheelbarrows, and more. But don’t take our word for it! Here’s a few thoughts from the folks who got out there and did it.

Tending the Giving Garden for Solid Ground

Tending the Giving Garden for Solid Ground

Solid GroundApril 10

For Solid Ground, our volunteers  helped with Lettuce Link’s Giving Garden at Marra Farm, learning about food security, organic farming and food justice through hands-on work.

Lidija Kamansky remembered something said by Solid Ground’s on-site staff. “Sue spoke about the importance of supporting local farmers and what the Marra Farm does for the community.  It really brought home what we were doing there yesterday and also things we could do in our day-to-day lives.  Then grabbing a pitchfork and getting started!  Also, just looking around and seeing everyone from Cobalt hard at work throughout the day.”

Amy Nelson also enjoyed all of it. “We got the sustainability lesson and I spent the day planting, so there wasn’t anything not to like. There were a variety of activities for different interests.” Lidija didn’t want to go home at the end of the day, “leaving one of the beds that we had been working on unfinished.  So much more to do!“

Packaging meals in the Chicken Soup Brigade kitchen

Packaging meals in the Chicken Soup Brigade kitchen

Lifelong AIDS AllianceApril 11

Lifelong’s volunteers helped with tasks such as packaging meals and grocery bags in the Chicken Soup Brigade kitchen and warehouse, and processing clothing donations in the Thrift Store.

Jessika Skipsnes said that “it felt great to be helpful – they are doing so much good there for people!”, while Nichole Murray loved “working in the kitchen and reading their board about how many meals they distribute a week. Over 3,000!”

Jessika also recalled a few of her favorite parts of the day. “We watched a video with the background on Lifelong, had someone that led everyone to the volunteer areas.  At each area (kitchen, warehouse, thrift shop) they had separate people in charge, leading the volunteers with each little project.  Most of the tasks in the kitchen and the warehouse were very repetitive easy things, so it was nice to get into an efficient groove.”

Packing food for those in need at Northwest Harvest

Packing food for those in need at Northwest Harvest

Northwest HarvestApril 12

Volunteers joined John Holt to help sort and repack food that to be distributed to neighbors in need throughout the state. By the end of the day, volunteers had moved over 8700 pounds of food!

Erik Allen found a lot to like in the day. “Got my workout, got to help others, and got to work next to John Holt!” Hieu Pham also pointed out that it was hard work: “Most of the day was enjoyable – only thing is I’m very sore today from all the frozen carrots!”

Working in Treehouse's Wearhouse

Working in Treehouse's Wearhouse

TreehouseApril 12

Treehouse had our volunteers working in the Wearhouse, a unique store where foster children shop for free for new and gently used clothing and other essentials.

Karen Sherwin has volunteered for Treehouse previously. “What a GREAT organization…the store was open and it was so fun meeting the clients and talking with them.”

Josh Dand (no stranger to giving where it counts) was also a returning volunteer, and also really enjoyed “being able to be on the floor while the store was open and seeing the families who benefit from the services we volunteered.”  His only regret was when the day was over. “Each time I’ve been there, the natural inclination is to want to do more, go longer and come back soon.”

Keeping things moving at Camp Long

Keeping things moving at Camp Long

Nature ConservancyApril 13

More than 25 Cobaltians met on this sunny day at Camp Long to remove invasive plants, resurface trails and plant new native plants.

It was a rewarding day for Stacey Overturf. “I really liked the history of Camp Long, information about the Nature Conservancy, and the tour of the park. Really, it was the completion of our project though that was my favorite part of the day!”

John Stark agreed – the accomplishments made all the hard work worth it. “To be able to look around and see the impact we made at Camp Long was a really good thing.”

Volunteering for the community

That’s a lot of work, and most of the volunteers wanted to do more. As Erik Allen said, “Keep having these events, this is such an amazing part of this company.  I really love being able to help others and I love that I can be supported by the company that I work for in doing so.  Thank you Thank you Thank you.” Thank you for being a part of it!

To see more photos from last week’s community outreach, head on over to our Days of Giving Facebook photo album.

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