What do weed whackers and mobile devices have in common?
At Clarus, they’re tools that we use to do our jobs. That might sound strange, but not all our work happens in the office. In the case of our most recent Clarus Cares event, we spent most of the day putting down our phones and laptops and picking up our paint brushes and gardening gloves to do a little spring cleaning and repair at the Salvation Army of Meriden, CT.
Since 1994, the Salvation Army has stayed loyal to the Meriden community by providing individuals and families in need with many services including an emergency food pantry, soup kitchen, financial literacy seminars, and much more.
Rather than focusing on the problems in their community, The Salvation Army focuses on the possibilities and potential. With its rich history and great diversity, Meriden, Connecticut, is a city that is full of that. We share the same vision, so we worked hard to help freshen things up and make the facility more welcoming to the people coming in.
The outdoorsy folks readily volunteered to get outside and do some landscaping detail which consisted of mowing the lawns, pulling weeds, raking, mulching, and planting flowers to make the outside look very inviting.
Regional VP of Sales Chris Cobb spent his shift outside and had this to say about it. “It was an incredible experience to spend some time partnering with the hard-working team at the Salvation Army in Meriden. To play a small part in sprucing up the property for their customers was very rewarding and was a great reminder to appreciate the blessings in your life and to give back to those in the community around you.”
Those that were more inclined to do interior design were assigned to painting. CEO Tom Caporaso, who we later found out was once a professional painter in college, demonstrated true leadership by tackling the tough job of cutting in around the ceiling and moldings. A few other brave (and steady-handed) souls joined him while others used their rollers to tackle the larger areas. The dining hall was eventually transformed into a welcoming space by using a soft yellow color.
Also working inside were some of the more organized individuals among us. They took on the task of sorting out a massive amount of donated food items and then physically moving them into the pantry and organizing them.
“Sorting through 2700 pounds of food was very moving. It made me truly realize the level of need in the community,” said Senior Director, Human Resources Jennifer Bittar. “We had to look at each expiration date while sorting the food by category. We quickly developed a system that allowed us to get through all of it in our 4-hour shift, which I didn’t think would be possible. I felt really honored to be part of the project and honestly feel like we all made a difference!”
The entire experience was a fantastic opportunity for us not only to learn about this community, but also to work with and learn about people in different departments of our own company. For example, we found out that in addition to having painting experience, our CEO loves to rock out to 80’s monster ballads. Most importantly, we all quickly discovered each person’s unique skills and worked as a team to tackle the projects of the day.
We talk a lot about loyalty at Clarus as it takes place between brands and consumers, but we can’t forget what that means in the larger picture. Loyalty is also about allegiance to our community, and that’s why Clarus Cares events will carry on.
If you would like to nominate a local charity or cause for consideration for a future event, please contact us.
Interested in working for a company that cares about the local Connecticut community just as much as you do? Check out our job openings here.