Giving back has always been a part of Crystal D’s philosophy. This past year, the company spent just short of 909 1/2 hours volunteering with over 40 organizations, including Salvation Army, Special Olympics, YMCA, United Way, and the Ronald McDonald House.
Volunteering is “a natural extension of who we are and how we present ourselves,” states Jen Jezierski, marketing coordinator at Crystal D.
Before Chuck Dahlgren, the president of Crystal D, started challenging his employees to reach a goal, he knew that volunteering would help drive engagement at work. “Being able to get to know your coworkers in another department at an event you’re both volunteering at keeps us connected to each other and our work at Crystal D,” Jezierski elaborates.
In 2016, Dahlgren issued the first 1,000-hour challenge. The team may have fell a little short that year, at around 770 hours, but they made up for that in 2017, when the hours totaled 1072 1/4. When asked about the importance of community outreach, Dahlgren states, “It’s a beautiful thing to see our employees fully embracing every facet of themselves all the time. If we can encourage just one person to give back, the imprint we leave on our community is that much larger.”
Over the years, Crystal D has always been involved in community outreach. Over a decade ago, one of its employees, Cathy Klein, suggested the company start volunteering with the Salvation Army. Since then, employees have packed meals for children every year at Feed My Starving Children. The vast majority of employees donate part of their paychecks to a local food bank. And every year, Crystal D sponsors a blood drive and adopts at least four families on Christmas to provide them with some Christmas gifts — any money that’s left over is donated to charity.
Some of Crystal D’s employees’ favorite moments and achievements from volunteering this year include a Walk to End Alzheimer’s, events to fight against, and more. “I’ve been taking part in the Walk to End Alzheimer’s with my family for years, and this year, I decided to create a Crystal D team… I chose this walk because it hits home for me. My grandma passed away from this awful disease. This year, I’m proud to say that the Crystal D family and all our friends raised over $1000 for the walk!” shares Jake Calleja, customer service manager.
Bonnie Lopez of the finance department also shares some of her favorite moments: “I work with the Special Olympics, and going to the different events and seeing the same athletes recognize you is a wonderful feeling. I was out shopping the other day, and one of the athletes recognized me… Volunteering puts warmth in your heart and puts warmth in the recipient’s heart.
What it boils down to for Crystal D is that volunteering impacts company morale. The employees “come back feeling great about themselves, but more importantly, they all feel great that they were able to help in some way; we hear from so many of the local organizations that they’re grateful that we show up to help their events and their clients,” Jezierski concludes.