Homegrown Posters Prompt Record Backpack Drive

By Trent Freeman, Treehouse Marketing and Communications

The finance department at Vistex wanted to host a backpack donation drive for Treehouse. The connection to helping children in foster care had universal appeal, but few people knew much about the organization and its specific mission.

To educate employees, homegrown posters were created using information from the Treehouse website. The posters highlighted facts such as: “Less than 50 percent of the youth in foster care graduate from high school,” “One in five alumni of foster care will be homeless within a year” and “Treehouse’s goal: For youth in foster care to graduate from high school at the same rate as their peers with a plan for the future.”

“If people don’t know about the organization, they don’t get connected,” said Chris Reightley, a Financial Executive at Vistex, the global leader in Go-to-Market solutions. “We had posters everywhere about Treehouse for days. The posters were in the bathrooms. They were in the elevators.”

By the time employees participated in a scavenger hunt based on the facts in the posters, everyone knew Treehouse’s story and commitment to giving youth in foster care a childhood and a future. That led to record interest in the backpack drive.

“We had almost 100-percent participation. It really touched a lot of people,” Chris said. “We learned that some of the people we work with are foster parents. The biggest thing for me was discovering how much of what Treehouse does goes toward helping kids graduate through the Graduation Success program.”

Participants were segmented into four teams. They donated backpacks or could select a tag from a giving tree for other much-needed items. The dollar values were tabulated, and the team with the most donations won.

Vistex Endeavor, the organization’s corporate social responsibility program, matched the $4,100 donation. They later added a $10,000 grant, which employees voted to award to Treehouse. Endeavor works throughout the world to address poverty in the areas of health, education and basic needs.

Mason Payne, Director for Vistex Endeavor, stressed how important it is for their employees to participate in programs with a direct impact on the community.

“With many organizations, it takes a lot of money to make a dent. You can make a significant impact in a child’s life through Treehouse,” Mason said. “The extent that our employees got involved was a loud and clear message that this is important.”

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About the Author

Trent Freeman is the Associate Director of Marketing & Communications at Treehouse.

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