Three Things We've Learned From Giving Back
Smartwool offers many benefits, like late starts on powder days, mandatory company ski days, and endless amounts of fizzy water – but one of our favorite benefits is that Smartwool offers 40 hours of paid community service time annually for employees. The hours can be achieved on your own, or as a group of Smartwooligans out to do good.
This year alone, Smartwool employees have logged 1,954 volunteer hours in partnership with 26 non-profits. Over the past 10 years, we've counted over 15,000 volunteer hours. Now that’s a lot of giving back!
Twice a year, we take time to participate in company-wide service days. Our offices stretch from Steamboat Springs and Boulder, Colorado, all the way to Chattanooga, Tennessee. In June, the Steamboat Springs crew took a day off to give back to our community and playgrounds with the National Forest Service, while the Boulder team worked with Rocky Mountain Anglers and helped clean up Boulder Creek (read more about it here!) This September, we wrapped up our final company-wide service day with non-profit Yampatika in Steamboat.
In honor of Giving Tuesday, we wanted to reflect on what we’ve learned from our community service efforts.
Community is at our core: Our company culture is what makes Smartwool more than just an office. It’s a place where we’re proud to work and embrace values inspired by community. Our love for the outdoors runs deep, and that’s why we want to support our community and other communities to encourage protection of the environment and generate opportunities of future generations to get outside. Volunteering helps us reconnect to our core values.
Small changes have big impact: It is easy to get caught up in believing our efforts have little to no impact especially when the end result isn’t immediately visible, but believe it or not, our efforts do have impacts no matter their size. And all those efforts, big or small, once they are added up are indeed impactful.
Volunteering is contagious: Whether volunteering together or as individuals, there’s no doubt we aren’t inspiring others to do the same. When you see someone else giving back, its sparks something inside you to want to do the same. Over the years we’ve come close to reaching 100% participation in our community service program.
As if we needed any other reason to give back, enjoying a cold beverage with co-workers at the end of the day is pretty rewarding in itself.