Sparks Gives Back
From New York to Chicago to Los Angeles, Sparks offices across the country—and abroad—participated in a variety of giving-back initiatives to help nonprofit organizations serve individuals in need throughout the holiday season and beyond. Whether it was organizing a food drive or collecting toys to give to underserved children, Sparks employees joined forces and partnered with a range of charitable organizations to make a difference in their local communities.
The Sparks team in Atlanta, GA got a jump on the holiday season by starting their food and clothing drive for Sweetwater Mission in October! Starting early gave them plenty of time to collect a large amount of nonperishable food items, clothing and pet food, which they delivered the week before Christmas. “I was amazed to see how far back the line went for people needing food,” said Mike Richard, Design Director, who helped organize and deliver the donations. “Everyone in our office supports this charity very enthusiastically—which is a testament to how much they care about other people.”
When the Sparks + 3D Exhibits team in Chicago, IL put the word out about two giving-back initiatives, employees were quick to respond. In two weeks time, the team filled more than a dozen boxes with nonperishable food items and gift cards that they donated to their local community, Schaumburg Township. The Chicago team also collected 188 toys that they donated to Toys for Tots, brightening the holidays for many underserved children and families.
Volunteers in the Culver City/Los Angeles, CA office got together on Giving Tuesday, November 29th, to build hygiene kits for children who are either in transitional housing or experiencing homelessness. Along with an assortment of personal hygiene items, a handwritten note with words of encouragement was tucked into each kit. Donation boxes were also set up in the office and two bins filled with diapers, toys, personal hygiene items, school supplies and blankets were delivered, along with the hygiene kits, to Baby2Baby in time for the holidays.
Sparkies in Detroit, MI participated in an “Adopt-a-Family” program through Starfish Family Services. The nonprofit had identified a single mom with four young boys who had been hit with unforeseen expenses recently and was struggling to make ends meet. The Detroit office collected donations and was able to provide a grocery gift card to the mom and warm clothing, boots, a winter coat and some toys for each of her sons. Additional donations were dropped off at the nonprofit’s early education center, including diapers, baby wipes, hand soap, children’s books, sippy cups and water bottles. Ashley Martin, Operations Coordinator, hopes to continue partnering with Starfish. “I’m very proud that Sparks promotes giving back and supporting the local communities where we live and work,” she said.
Sparkies in Fort Wayne, Indiana hosted a food drive for the Community Harvest Food Bank, which distributes millions of pounds of food each year to people in need. Code 10 reps placed two large barrels near the entrance to the office from mid-November to mid-December to collect nonperishable food items. It wasn’t long before both barrels were overflowing with donations. “Community Harvest knows how to reach people who need help the most, which is why we chose to partner with them,” said Kristy Tomlin, Office Administrator. “We hope we were able to meet the needs and alleviate some of the stress that comes with food insecurity for people in our community.”
The Sparks team in Las Vegas, NV held a food drive in the office for Three Square, a four-star charity that works to eradicate hunger in Southern Nevada where, according to their website, one in four children lives in a food-insecure household and one in seven people doesn’t always know where their next meal will come from. Recognizing that not everyone is fortunate enough to have “three square meals a day,” the team collected 155 lbs. of food to donate to the nonprofit and to help them further their mission of ending hunger in the region.
New York, NY Sparkies decided to host a food and clothing drive in their downtown office to benefit a local shelter. The initiative ended up sparking some interesting conversations about consumerism and over-consumption, reported Isabel Lantigua-Minaya, Office Adminstrator. After talking it through, many employees decided to reorganize their closets at home and donate gently used clothes that they just weren’t wearing. Extending the drive to the end of January, the team collected an assortment of food items as well as new and gently used shoes, button-down shirts, sweaters and much more.
The Sparks office in Paris, along with the entire EU Team, knew that they wanted to do something to help those impacted by the war in the Ukraine. They decided to partner with Samaritan’s Purse for their Operation Christmas Child program. This program delivers showboxes filled with fun toys, school supplies and personal hygiene items to some of the most remote regions of the world. Conflicting schedules made it difficult for the international team, which is spread across Europe, to get together in person, so they made a monetary donation to Operation Christmas Child’s Ukraine Relief Fund, helping to bring a bit of normalcy and holiday cheer to children affected by the war.
Sparkies in Philadelphia, PA participated in several giving-back initiatives during the holiday season to help their local community. The office collected 150 toys to donate to Red Cross House, a nonprofit that offers emergency shelter for kids in crisis. Sparks was their only partner this year and delivered not only toys, but joy and hope to 55 kids sheltered at the house. The Philly team also held an office bake sale and all proceeds were matched by Sparks and donated to Philly House, the longest-running homeless shelter in the state. Additionally, the office made more than 30 holiday cards by hand and sent them to Cards for Hospitalized Kids, an organization that delivers uplifting cards to kids who are hospitalized around the country.
The Ridgefield, CT office partnered with Kids in Crisis, a local organization that provides temporary housing, counseling and education programs for children and families facing crisis. The nonprofit had received a large amount of corporate and individual donations and needed help unpacking, sorting, organizing and displaying toys and clothing items for an upcoming holiday distribution event. Whether it was drawing on a past experience working in retail or channeling their inner “Marie Kondo,” the team had fun organizing clothing by size and gender, and toys by category to create a positive “shopping experience” for families in need.
The San Francisco, CA office participated in a day of volunteerism on January 20th at the San Francisco–Marin Food Bank. Meeting at the nonprofit’s warehouse facility, the team worked together for the day to pack grocery boxes filled with fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins and low-fat dairy items for seniors. A lifeline for many in the area, the food bank tackles hunger through a variety of immediate and long-term strategies, including distributing one million meals a week. “This was a really rewarding experience,” said Daniel Hull, Creative Director. “It feels good to know we’re helping seniors in need in our community.”