by Sarah Walker
iVision has a set of eight Client Engagement Values (CEVs). These are the core principles behind how we operate and how we service our clients. This blog series will highlight stories from our employees on how they interpret and embody these CEVs, whether in their career at iVision or in their personal lives.
I am empowered to the extra mile for my coworkers, clients & community.
I am the kind of person that makes New Year’s Resolutions. I like the time to reflect on what happened in the year and then lay out a game plan for the coming year. At the start of every year, iVision hosts a company kickoff for all employees to review and collaborate on the objectives for the year. At the 2018 Company Kickoff, iVision announced our involvement in the 1% Pledge; as a company, we committed to donating 1% of profits and 1% of our time back to the community.
This resonated with me as, every year, I lay out a series of goals – one category being community involvement. It’s easy to write a check, but it is a far more meaningful experience to give your time. It changes you, makes you grateful and puts things in perspective of what is important. In Habitat for Humanity builds, you are building alongside the new homeowner. The process for raising the walls is incredible; all the volunteers on the build site gather, shoulder to shoulder, to lift and raise the wall into position. When the final wall is raised – the one where the doorway to the home is – the homeowner stands in that threshold to be the first one to walk through. To experience that with the homeowner is emotional and powerful.
As part of the 1% pledge program, iVision partnered with the Atlanta Community Food Bank and coordinated a full company volunteer event. Over 2 days, over 80 iVision employees spent their time sorting food and learning about the services the Atlanta Community Food Bank provides. In those 2 days, we managed to package over 31,000 pounds of food and provided 22,000 meals for families in need. To put this in perspective, 1 in 4 children in Georgia live in a “food insecure” household. We are so grateful that our volunteer hours could help in any way. (To see our impact, check out this short video!)
This event is just one example of how the culture at iVision is radically different; I haven’t ever experienced anything like it in my professional career. Our Client Engagement Values (CEV) are part of our every day and are integral to how we work and conduct ourselves. Our leadership team believes in empowering employees with the ability to accomplish the work and deliver for our clients. There is complete autonomy in our culture and creativity is embraced and celebrated. The 1% program is the same way. There are no “rules,” but rather an openness for each of us to engage in a way that works best for each of us. We are encouraged to raise our hands and say “can I help with that?”
Because I feel empowered to help, I offered to reach out to a group that was close to my heart. Foster Cares Support Foundation (FCSF) provides support, clothing, books and the basics of what kids need when they first enter the Foster Care program. When children enter Foster Care, they usually have only the clothes on their back, and foster families are often grandparents and aunts and uncles, not necessarily equipped financially or with the resources to take in a child or children. There is not much state funding for foster families and what is there is not enough to truly support a child. When I reached out to FCSF, they were excited for iVision to volunteer. We started with a group of us on going to the warehouse on Saturday to help sort and arrange clothes in preparation for summer. It’s incredible to see the volume of clothes and household items that come in and go right back out to children and families in need. FCSF does not receive any government funding and is truly supported by volunteers.
Lisa Sullivan, iVision HR Director, then reached back out to FCSF to set up a more large-scale, company-sponsored event. Every Friday in August, iVision employees have given their time to sort clothes, do quality control on Lego sets and other toys, and help in the warehouse any other way we can. In August, we had 48 iVision employees volunteer and accumulated 240 hours of volunteer time.
The experience of volunteering is an emotional one, especially when I think about the people who appreciate and leverage the FCSF resources. I felt even more moved when I thought about the potential impact iVision can have by participating in the 1% program. Not only does it make an indelible impact on our community, but it also brings us closer together as an organization and helps me look at the people I work with as more than just colleagues.