During the past couple days, while email and phone calls have slowed down in the office, my coworkers and I started to reminisce about the past year at GMCR. It is a wonderful experience working at a growing company, but it was nice to slow down a bit this week and look back at some of the highpoints for us working in the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) department.
For me, it’s all about the growth. As our business has grown, so has our 5% fund. We’ve expanded our reach exponentially since I started with the company 5 years ago. There are more resources to grant to deserving non-profits in coffee-growing communities and in new supply chains. We’ve started employee community grant programs at our Employee Sites throughout the U.S. Our department has also grown – welcoming 3 new members to the CSR this year. It is truly amazing to see the ongoing development of our CSR programs.
Working on the domestic team in our CSR department, I know a lot about our work in coffee growing communities but had never had the chance to see the projects we support in person. In December I had the opportunity to visit Nicaragua as part of this year’s employee source trip. In a little town called San Ramon, we met children attending Coffee Camp. Coffee Camps were started by a small, Vermont-based non-profit called Planting Hope. Parents who work in the fields to harvest coffee frequently leave their young children at home alone. Coffee Camps offer a safe place for kids to go during their school vacation. Instead of being left home alone in remote areas, they go to camp where snacks and a meal are provided and a school-like curriculum is presented, with a little fun thrown in, too. Meeting these kids was incredible. Many live in remote areas in meager conditions with few possessions. We had the opportunity to play with them and see how happy they are, despite the many challenges facing them. I’m very proud to work for a company that supports projects like Planting Hope’s Coffee Camps.
One of my 2011 highlights was participating in GMCR’s River Clean-Up week! It is a great opportunity for employees to get out and give back to our local communities. I had a blast digging tires out of the river, paddling down the Winooski, and meeting folks from other departments in the company.
Mary Beth Jenssen, Supply-Chain Outreach
When thinking back on my first year as a GMCR employee, the part that sticks out in my mind above the rest is the people. Stated many times, but all too often unproven, is the importance of great coworkers. GMCR has a culture that values collaboration, open dialogue and growth that is proven through its employees. I have never met a coworker that I didn’t like and have been fortunate enough to have made many friends over the last 11 months and that is a rare thing to find at work. Having wonderful coworkers can be a reason you come in to work each day, a reason you stay with the company rather than looking to move out, a reason you are able to accomplish a seemingly impossible project. 2011 at GMCR has been filled with wonderful coworkers that showed me what it means to work at a great place.
Thank you for following our work throughout the year.
And Happy New Year!