Living the Mission “Give Generously to Others”
After an impromptu Bake Day at the Great Harvest headquarters training bakery in Dillon, MT raised over $5000 for 9-11 victims’ families, Mike Ferretti, COO, was asked by Field Rep, Kayla Conner, whether one Bake Day was really enough. Mike agreed she was absolutely right! The decision was made to live the last line of our Mission Statement, “Give Generously to Others” in a concrete way by incorporating regular Bake Days into our training week for new owners. These Bake Days help support non-profits in the community, with all proceeds going directly to the organizations; to date well over $200,000 has been raised. Not only has it been a way for us to live our Mission Statement, the Bake Days provide a wonderful experience for new owners in baking, customer service, and generosity. Eager customers line up out the door to get their free slices of bread, and buy their favorite breads and cookies. Customers appreciate both the products and the opportunity to help out their neighbors. It’s a win-win for all.
Mike recently raised the bar again with a commitment to help the local Hospital Foundation and YMCA, both personally and through the company. Employees are encouraged to participate. Great Harvest has supported the “Y” since its inception. The company helps pay for employee’s membership fees, and provides support for YMCA projects as well.
Generosity is Part of the Culture
Looking deeper, I realized how many people in our office give back. It truly is part of our culture.
- Dyle Stoddard, one of our graphic artists, and his wife Taz, created a company, “8 legged gecko”. They design t-shirts and other clothing to help local causes and organizations. All profits go directly to the organizations. Dyle says it’s a way they found to use their talents to give back to those in need in the community.
- Amanda Flamm, a field person, is heavily involved in the local Youth Connections Mentoring Program (similar organization to Big Brothers/Big Sisters).
- Kaylee Trost, a graphic artist, has given time and resources to CASA, an organization that trains people to be advocates for children going through difficult court cases.
- Alyse Johnson, our marketing coordinator, and a cancer survivor herself, is a committee member and team captain for Relay for Life.
- Kayla Conner, the field person who asked the question, “Is it enough?” has worked diligently organizing a campaign for the entire Great Harvest system to support the Leukemia Lymphoma Society (LLS) to help fight the cancer that took one of our own beloved bakery owners, Mauri Booten.
- Tim Peterson and Paul Tikalsky, other fielders from the office, have been right hand helpers in the LLS efforts. Along with several other people from the office and a number of bakery owners, they’re part of the Team in Training that will join in a race this summer in San Diego to support LLS.
- I, Bonnie Harry, have the good fortune of serving on the local United Way board that helps support a myriad of non-profit organizations in Dillon. Lauren Ellingson, a tracker trainer, just joined the UW board as well. Lauren is also involved with the Dillon Jaycee Auxiliary and Kid’s Day on the Big Hole River.
- TJ Nelson, field person and location hunter, was on the YMCA board for years and an integral part of getting the “Y” up and running in Dillon. TJ and a number of others in the office have been involved in kid activities for years, including coaching Little Guy Wrestlers, Flag Football, and Little League.
- Misti Maisch, another field person, started a backpack program from scratch, for kids who don’t have enough food for meals during off-school hours. Our local newspaper highlighted her efforts and she immediately got calls from others in the community who wanted to help.
These are just a few examples…I know I’ve inadvertently left some people out and I apologize for that. In thinking through this, I realized how fortunate we all are to work for a company that has a Mission Statement that ends with “Give Generously to Others”, and how great it is that it’s not just words. The people here live it, from the top down. Thanks to all of my cohorts for your inspiration, and for the quiet, but grand, work you do.
How are you "give generously to others?"