In many cases, folks think of charity team building activities when planning programs for big groups. But this is an opportunity for learning and growth with smaller groups, too, as the team from TJ Maxx Northeast Region discovered.
Bigger Isn’t Always Better
The clothing and housewares retailer held a meeting for a small group as part of a special project. Only 16 participants were expected. Many of our charity team building programs are held at hotels and conference centers. But because the group was so small, TJ Maxx Northeast Region held their event on-site, at their offices. We were happy to bring all of the necessary supplies so that when our facilitator met with the group, we could start right away.
The group held business meetings during morning sessions and joined our charity project that afternoon. The low number of participants allowed for a deeper level of interpersonal communication than we might otherwise see in a group. There was ample time and opportunity for everyone to share and take part in strategic problem-solving activities.
People explored planning a project and carrying it out, along with the varied demands of different roles and functions within a group. Here, the goal was to create Rescue Buddies™ for kids in need. Having a tangible objective lit a fire in participants.
Building Bears and Relationships
There was a palpable hum of excitement as folks got started. The outline of the Rescue Buddies™ program has built-in opportunities for people to work together and overcome obstacles and challenges. Dozens of bears were completed.
Afterward, our facilitator guided the group through a conversation. People could speak honestly about lessons learned. They also discussed what they could take back to their day-to-day roles and responsibilities, and methods of surmounting challenges.
Marlborough-Area Children Benefit
Borden Wicks, our contact with the Marlborough Police Department, was as excited to receive a donation of 16 Rescue Buddies™ as if we’d completed 160 bears. He shared several stories where Rescue Buddies™ really made an impact in helping comfort a child in a stressful situation.
The TJ Maxx team was happy to produce something that could be handed to a child in an emergency situation. Many of these people were parents themselves. They made a personal investment in doing their best work to help these children they’ll never even meet, with an added bonus of interpersonal skills they’ll take away and be able to use in the workplace.