Now that was a fun way to help the community!
On August 26, 2011, we spent the afternoon at the Kansas City Culinary Institute and it turned out to be one of the best, if not the best, group gathering that Central Packaging has ever experienced. By combining fun, food, teambuilding, and philanthropy, we were able to enjoy ourselves as well as know that we were doing something that was going to benefit those in need.
Before the event was held, we asked all of the salespeople to please contact some of their more active customers to make them aware that we would not be available to answer their calls last Friday afternoon.
The response from almost all of these customers was enlightening. Not only were our customers not upset by this change in our traditional schedule, but they were enthusiastically supportive of our ultimate mission to provide for the needy. They got it!
Mike’s Helzberg Entrepreneurial Mentoring Program friend, Laura Laiben, has been doing these sorts of events with her business (Kansas City Culinary Institute) for some time. In the beginning, these were simple teambuilding sessions where groups learned to work together and used food preparation as the medium. At the end of the session in those early days, everyone had been bettered though the exercise, but there was so much leftover food that much was discarded to the trash.
Laura then used some of her networking contacts to establish a group of charities who could put the excess food to use feeding their clientele. If a teambuilding group does not have a favorite charity, Laura recommends one from her list. In Central Packaging’s case, we simply chose to work with a group with whom we have had other contact and who was also on Laura’s list at City Union Mission. Central’s relationship with City Union Mission (thanks, Dave Cole!!!) continues to deepen.
Having 100% participation from all of the Central Packaging folks made last Friday into the event that it was. We have a great group of people at Central: great sellers, great customer servicers, great warehousemen, great purchasers, great choppers, great peelers, great mixers, and great walk-around-and-talk-to-the-other-groupers!
Hopefully we will have events in the future that are as much fun and as fulfilling.