Why We Turned Giving Into a Week-Long Event
There’s no denying that we have a lot to be thankful for: great clients, great colleagues, and a culture built on communication, togetherness, and joy. No time is this more apparent than during our annual United Way Week fund drive.
Since 2010, we’ve dedicated one week a year to raising money for the United Way of Greater Milwaukee and Waukesha County with games, events and a healthy amount of competition mixed in for fun. This year’s festivities kicked off November 2.
“Nearly 90 cents of every dollar raised by the United Way is invested in community problem solving, which far exceeds national standards,” says Sharon Schoen, executive assistant and lead United Way Week event organizer. “That statistic speaks volumes. They help a great deal of people, and we want to do whatever we can to assist them — whether it’s $5 or $500, it’s always appreciated.”
So why do we put so much time and effort into this?
At ZG, we have a set of core values that govern our worklife – principles that encourage us to not just work better, but be better. Deliver on promises. Act with integrity. Be selfless. Even if we don’t recite them daily, we each do our darnedest to live them, and United Way Week is an opportunity to show it.
Organized by our Abs Team (“Abs”, because they help put our core principles into practice, get it?), we’ve turned our United Way pledge drive into a weeklong event. It isn’t just a chance to fill out pledge forms and go about our business; it’s an opportunity to grow together, have fun together, and celebrate our fortunes.
“I give because I’ve been fortunate to have others help me out along the way,” says Mike Wisniewski, VP of Social Media. “From my grandpa giving me gas money in college to people giving me professional advice and opportunities later in life, I feel it’s my duty to keep paying it forward.”
Echoing that sentiment, Accounting Supervisor Janice Lorino adds, “It’s important for me to give to United Way because I am blessed! I have a house. I have heat in the winter and cooling in summer. I have food. I have a family. I have good mental and physical health. Sometimes I forget about these blessings; the United Way drive reminds me.”
Other events held this week included perennial crowd favorites like the Costume Vote and the ZG Chili Cook-Off, as well as some new additions like Buzzword Bingo and the Donut Smackdown, wherein four competitors faced off to see how many donuts they could eat in 5 minutes. The Donut Smackdown event itself was live streamed on our Facebook page – in case you missed it, check out this wrap-up:
All told, our efforts raised more than $6,500 – well above our goal of $4,500 – and, to make our collective impact even greater, Anne Zizzo matched our contributions dollar-for-dollar. What can we say? We give a lot because we have a lot to be thankful for.
Check It Out
Joe Zizzo, Mike Wisniewski, Michael Shank, and Bill Ohm face off stuffing their faces.
Movie Day, PJ Day, Bake Sale, and Chili Cook-Off.
Tony Seaman, “Winner” of our Costume Vote. For a small donation, employees could nominate or vote for a colleague to wear a penguin costume for the day. Tony’s just that popular.