When we set out to impact our community in a positive way, we started with our five core values: SMART, REAL, DRIVEN, FUN, AND CARING. We polled our internal community for places to begin and, as expected, the charities, causes, and original ideas were as diverse as our team -- and some of those ideas were just too good to pass up. So we created our own internal committee to manage them all: y4good.
The concept was simple: In the spirit of community, we wanted to seek out partnerships with established organizations that do the work aligned with our statement of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR):
At ymarketing we believe in leaving a positive, lasting impact in our community. We support local businesses, charitable organizations, and environmental improvement efforts. Our agency utilizes many sustainable resources across every facet of our business to cultivate our Be Orange initiative. And we empower our team, as residents of our community, to help us continually discover exciting stewardship opportunities. While our ethical investments are diverse in execution, they are singular in focus: to make our community a place for all to thrive.
With all of the wealth in this country it is hard to believe there are still children who don't get enough to eat in our own neighborhoods. Once we identified this need, in January we developed the PaStars program, a partnership with Caterina's Club and several Boys and Girls Clubs, in order to feed children a delicious hot dinner. Every Wednesday 7-10 lucky ymarketing employees leave work early to cook and serve pasta to energetic and thankful kids. Since its inception we have prepared over 800 pounds of pasta and served over 6,500 hot meals to kids.
In February ymarketing launched the mentorship program FOCUS, a natural extension of ymarketing's internal learning curriculum, yUniversity. FOCUS partners us with the Federal P21 Initiative and the Anaheim School District. High school students are invited to the office to complete a set of five interactive workshops - a basic, 101-level training on all aspects of digital marketing. Our team members make themselves available to answer questions and share their personal journeys and stories with the students to illustrate career paths and future opportunities for them.
Our relationship with the FOCUS students became the impetus for establishing our first ever scholarship fund. As these students came closer to graduation the decisions of where and how to attend college became pressing. We held an employee raffle that netted a $2,500 to kick-start our fund. We plan to hold additional fundraisers for the fund and at the end of the school year, award scholarships to deserving FOCUS participants.
Many of our employees have young children, so our relationship with Children's Hospital OC was a natural one. Last August, we invited a hospital representative to speak at our annual employee retreat and presented him with a donation of over $4,000. His presence at our retreat strengthened the bond between our ymarketing family and CHOC; we wanted to be more involved and Family Dinner Night was born. Once a quarter we cater a completely un-hospital-like meal along with a fun component, such as cookie decorating, for the patients at CHOC and their families.
Our business partnership with OneOC allows our team members to take advantage of hundreds of volunteer opportunities plus various training opportunities. This includes a Board Connection Program which teaches emerging leaders how to effectively serve on a nonprofit board and connects them to nonprofits that need skilled leaders to serve on their board of directors, allowing interested employees to be better informed and equipped to support and serve their charities of choice outside the walls of ymarketing.
While we were out fostering strong community ties through charitable partnerships, our y4good committee continued to work quietly behind the scenes to ensure our business practices remained true to our Be Orange initiative of living and working sustainably. This hard work netted ymarketing the only Green Office award in our business tower. Beyond the walls of the building employees are also encouraged to adopt a zero waste philosophy in their personal lives. We're pretty fond of the planet.
The fiscal results above speak for themselves, but what the numbers don't show are the many lives that have been touched and changed forever. Sure, the kids we've fed, the high school students we've mentored, and the families at the CHOC have all benefited. But internally, taking the opportunity to engage in and contribute to the community that has been supporting all of us for so long has forever changed our lives. As our relationships with charities grow and blossom into true friendships, our ymarketing family continues to bond in ways that aren't possible across the conference room table or even an after-work happy hour. As a team of volunteers we are sharing the experience of positively impacting the life of someone we don't even know.
Our work alongside our charitable partners continues to expand. We are eager to serve more pasta, host more teenagers at the office, and extend our reach even further... ymarketing looks forward to discovering and nurturing even more initiatives that are important to our employees which benefit our community. We are united in our desire to "do good," which leads us back to our singular focus: to make our community a place for all to thrive.