Seven years. That’s how long it had been since the last time I volunteered with a local organization, despite my passion for community service. It was always something I thought about doing, but would push off and tell myself to revisit at a later time. Though it took a few years, seven to be exact, this time last year was in a meaningful way, I’m thrilled to have taken on an exciting role at KWT Global that allows me to lead our agency’s new purpose initiative and reinvigorate my passion for community service.
Last year, I joined a small group of leaders from each KWT Global office, along with our CEO and Chairman, Aaron Kwittken, to jumpstart our agency’s purpose program, which emphasizes and celebrates contributions to causes and communities from our clients and employees around the globe. The program had been a passion project for Aaron for quite some time and I was thrilled to help bring it to life by creating a framework to celebrate contributions to causes and communities important to our clients and employees around the globe.
Purpose is a driving force at KWT Global. When we introduce ourselves as agency, we stress the importance of us being ‘selves-ish.’ Being ‘selves-ish’ means in order to help our clients articulate and demonstrate their best ‘selves’, we understand that means together we need to put our best selves forward and purpose into action. For participating clients, this means we offer up to 10% of clients’ retained fees towards a social cause of their choice. Each member of our staff is also encouraged to take two ‘Purpose Days’ to donate their time to a social cause of their choosing and participate in an agency-wide activity.
2018 was a test year for us, but we hit the ground running and shared in the excitement with our participating clients who discovered the power of purpose. We helped military veterans find peace with IRONMAN, connected disadvantaged students with Sprint 1 Million Project Foundation and helped those affected by ALS recapture their voice with the ALS Foundation. KWT Global found our selves-ish path in September when our team volunteered at the New York Common Pantry, joining the organization’s efforts to reduce hunger and food insecurity for local families. Meanwhile our London team volunteered with Stanmore Common Local Nature Reserve, a legally protected piece of the woodlands in Harrow, London, to help regenerate the land to support different types of plants and wildlife.
Together, KWT Global employees have served over 100 charities across our global offices and donated $500K of time on our clients’ behalf. And we’ve only scratched the surface. Our Toronto team plans to work with The Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup collecting litter to help protect the land and wildlife, and employees across our network are actively seeking new opportunities to give back. This year, we are working with several new organizations and revisiting other communities we’ve served in the past past to continue finding and living our purpose.
While I regret it took me seven years to get back into volunteering, I’ve realized how fulfilling it can be to give back to the community. I’m fully dedicated to making this not a one-time project, but something I exemplify everyday.
Donna Cypher is a Senior Account Supervisor with KWT Global and one of the best bakers you’ve never met.