As a company, we are extremely grateful for the amount of support that we have received from all parts of New Mexico. Our community supports, sustains, and is directly responsible for much of the success that we have had as a company. As individuals, that kind of support only fuels our desire to give back to the state that has given so much to us.
Searching Within to Give Back
When we were first searching our hearts for ways to support our community, we weren’t sure how to proceed. We knew we wanted to help, but there were so many groups that needed our support that we had a hard time deciding where to focus our efforts. After much careful thought, we decided that the United Way was a perfect place to start. Their work in New Mexico continues to help people from all walks of life that need it desperately.
After we presented the idea to help the Roadrunner Food Bank with their Backpack Program through the United Way, which helps feed APS students during weekends and times they are not in school, our employees’ response was powerful. At the start of our partnership with the United Way, over 70% of our employees contributed to the fund. Now, we are extremely proud to announce that over 90% contribute. Presently, that’s enough to fund two schools in the program.
What we didn’t realize at the start of this program was how little it takes to feed someone for a meal. One meal in the Backpack Program costs about $1.50. To better understand how little that is, we decided to implement a “Food Friday” plan to demonstrate it to ourselves and our employees. Once a month, we would budget $1.50 per person and assign one of our locations to cook lunch for our employees on that amount.
What We Learned During the Process
What we learned is how important each dollar is. For less than the cost of a Starbucks run, we could help to feed a child in our community that was going hungry. For us, any amount of contribution from our employees was welcome. To show us how grateful she was our CEO, Janice Lucero, matches every dollar that we give.
We hope that our story of gratitude might help others give back to the community in their own way. We consider New Mexico our home and are committed to keeping it a great place to live.