It was an honor to get to work alongside this group of 180 people. The work that the folks at the Gift of Hope Organ and Tissue Donor Network do is life-saving, of course. But this project – a Bike-A-Thon™ that helped two dozen children through the DCFS Children and Family Services – was a different kind of life-saving.
The Hard Work Done By the Gift of Hope Organ & Tissue Donor Network
The work Gift of Hope does is so good, but is also so challenging. Everyone, there is working with families dealing with death and those hoping for life. The group we worked with on the Bike-A-Thon™ deals directly with those families who are involved in intense surgeries, people handing, and transportation of precious life-saving organs, as well as administrative and logistical experts.
They gathered on this cool fall day from around the region specifically to enjoy a happy and giving activity to help them grow together as friends. Most of these folks did not work in the same office. This was a chance for employees of a company where many employees worked remotely to come together. In addition to attending meetings, participants did this charity team building event to improve collaboration and interpersonal relationships. The kind of work that employees of Gift of Hope is stressful. Stronger people skills can help provide relief of some of that pressure.
A Bike-A-Thon to Help DCFS Children and Family Services’s Kids
It was fun to watch as those who knew each other well have a great time together. Meanwhile, those meeting for the first time easily connected in the context of a charity team building activity. Because of the size of the group, the Gift of Hope coordinator pre-arranged teams. The teams that were competing for the parts necessary for assembling bicycles were enthusiastic and supportive of each other. All of the games and challenges we set before the groups elicited and strengthened key teamwork and communication skills. It may have felt like fun and games but it was also a key opportunity for learning through doing.
Making a Real Difference, At Work and For Kids
When DCFS Children & Family Service Advocacy Office’s Ann Gold arrived to accept the donated bicycles, she was amazed. Ms. Gold shared a few stories about the kids and families helped by the agency; she also talked about how bicycles let kids be kids and just play.
As we wrapped up the Bike-A-Thon™, we heard a lot of positive feedback about the day’s events. People were so grateful to participate in an activity that complemented and built on the work they did as employees of Gift of Hope. They returned to work rejuvenated and re-engaged with their mission and goals.