By Zach Hyder, Chief Marketing Officer
“We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.” – Winston Churchill
We’re approaching the end of another successful year at EnviroMedia. 2011 marked a number of achievements for our agency – including our selection as a finalist for PR Week 2012 Agency of the Year and launching an international pro bono campaign for the Pay It Forward Foundation on the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.
As we celebrate our successes and look ahead to new growth opportunities, it doesn’t go unnoticed that these are challenging times for many organizations addressing the very social challenges we have been working on since 1997.
With each year EnviroMedia is given opportunities comes an obligation to give back. More important, it’s a reminder that true social change can’t be left up to any one institution – private or public. Our annual charitable giving isn’t just about generosity. It’s about strengthening the critical partnership between business, nonprofits and government required to address global challenges – from climate change to chronic disease to civic engagement.
This month, EnviroMedia contributed more than $26,000 to nonprofit organizations as our way of giving back – and helping build the resources needed to enact meaningful social change.
The Symbolism of Bikes
Kevin Tuerff and Valerie Davis first pledged their support to buy 50 bikes for Central Texas children in 2009. In addition to knowing that children will wake up to find a new bicycle under the Christmas tree, bikes remain a symbol of our work on environmental and public health issues. Fitness for kids discourages childhood obesity, and riding bikes reduces air pollution from car trips.
Supporting Issues Our Staff Care About Most
We’ve pledged $5,000 to both Marathon Kids and Well Aware – health organizations that are true passion projects for our staff. After stinking it up for one week by our staff for Shower Strike 2011, everyone wanted to help Well Aware grow in 2012 to build more water wells in East Africa.
More than 1 million kids have completed the running of 26.2 miles with Marathon Kids. With our help, the group will expand nutrition and fitness programs to new cities. These donations add to staff volunteer efforts and funds donated by staff in our Austin and Portland offices.
Homelessness & Self-Sufficiency
The National Alliance to End Homelessness reports that more than 650,000 Americans are currently homeless – a number that has been increasing at an alarming rate during this economic downturn. We are proud to support OutsideIn in Portland, helping Oregon’s homeless youth move toward improved health, and Austin’s Caritas to provide services and resources that help individuals achieve self-sufficiency.
Health Care Is a Right, Right?
In the wake of the political infighting over health-care reform, Americans continue to struggle with access to care. Many face challenges with chronic disease prevention and treatment. The Seton Fund, which helps the economic poor gain access to health-care services, will receive a donation to help deliver needed care to Texans without health-care coverage. If you’ve read about our Portland staff’s work on HIV/AIDS education, you’ll know why we continue to support our friends at the Cascade AIDS Project to help Oregonians infected and affected by HIV.
Protecting Our Environment
This is an issue we care a bit about. Environmental protection is about more than our work on complex global issues related to climate change. It’s about protecting the natural spaces that provide us with quality of life and create a sense of community. This year, we’re sponsoring the Austin Parks Foundation’s It’s My Park Day, an annual community service day focused on cleaning, trail building and playground installation in Austin’s parks. We are also supporting organizations working to protect the health and vitality of the Puget Sound national estuary, including People for Puget Sound and the Washington Environmental Council.
As election season kicks off in January, we are committed to keeping critical issues out front for community leaders, candidates and elected officials. EnviroMedia is sponsoring the Oregon League of Conservation Voters to help make the environment in Oregon a legislative priority. As the national debate over education reform and investments continues, we’re helping Austin’s Girlstart empower girls in science, technology, engineering and math.
Each of these contributions are just part of the solution. None will be enough to fully address the challenges we will all face in 2012 and beyond. We hope you’ll consider how you can help support these groups – and join us in working toward meaningful, sustainable change at home and around the world.
Happy Holidays from everyone at EnviroMedia Social Marketing, and Happy New Year!