Formstack Helping Hands 2017: A Recap

Written by Layne Langford on February 3, 2017

Posted in Formstack Updates

Since Formstack is a remote company with a global workforce, it’s a rare occasion when all of our employees get to be in the same room together. This January, we hosted our first-ever Online All Hands event from the comfort of our homes and coworking spaces. Over eighty employees converged over video chat to hear updates on company vision and strategy from the Management team, and participate in some constructive breakout activities with smaller groups.

As part of the Online All Hands week, the company launched a service initiative called “Helping Hands.” From Indianapolis to Indonesia and Portland to Poland, Formstackers living all over the world took a half day off from work to volunteer with a local or virtual organization. It was incredible to see how Formstackers everywhere chose to spend their time making an impact on their communities.

Here are a few ways we got involved:

1) Providing Design Expertise

Two of our Bloomington-based Product Designers put their design skills to work by updating bulletin board content for the Bloomington Boys and Girls Club! Their day involved lots of cutting, laminating, and composition work -- something Boys and Girls Club staff and volunteers rarely have time to do. They stuck around to hang out with the kids after school, and even got to listened to a Bloomington Firefighter give a talk about his work. In Kayce’s words: “It was super interesting, even for this big kid!”

Formstackers: Kayce Reed-Buechlein and Aaron White

Organization: Bloomington Boys and Girls Club

Location: Bloomington, IN

Volunteer Opportunity: Two of our Bloomington-based Product Designers put their design skills to work by updating bulletin board content for the Bloomington Boys and Girls Club. Their day involved lots of cutting, laminating, and composition work — something Boys and Girls Club staff and volunteers rarely have time to do. They stuck around to hang out with the kids after school, and even listened to a Bloomington Firefighter give a talk about his work. In Kayce’s words: “It was super interesting, even for this big kid!”

 

2) Helping Animals in Need

Woodford Humane Society Western PA Humane Society Ark Fostercare

Formstackers: Katie Sutherland and Jessica Haas (left), Cate Galeza (center), and Matt Gard (right)

Organizations: Woodford Humane Society, Western PA Humane Society, and ARK Foster Care

Locations: Versailles, KY; Pittsburgh, PA; and Avon, IN

Volunteer Opportunity: Katie and Jessica spent an afternoon helping out at Woodford Humane Society, a much-loved animal haven in Versailles, Kentucky. They spent their time caring for and prepping the shelter’s adoptable cats for new forever homes. Pictured with Katie and Jessica are two very sweet adoptable cats, DiCaprio & Wilson!

Almost 400 miles away, animal whisperer Cate Galeza also spent the afternoon volunteering with her local Humane Society in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. During her time at the shelter, Cate had a beautiful puppy named Virginia keep her company. Virginia is available for adoption as well, and more information can be found on the WPHS website!

Matt Gard volunteered at a local adoption event with nine adorable dogs. He helped set up and tear down displays, cages, and other materials for the event, assisted the dogs, and answered questions for prospective adopters. Too bad he didn’t let us take one home to Formstack HQ!

 

3) Assisting Local Food Pantries

Food Banks

Formstackers: Max Nierste, Patrick Meehan, Elizabeth Hicks, Miranda Nicholson, and Matt Taylor

Organization: Gleaners Food Bank of Indiana

Location: Indianapolis, IN

Volunteer Opportunity: This group spent the afternoon preparing and serving food at Gleaners Food Bank of Indiana. They served a total of 252 Indianapolis families over the afternoon.

We had a few other employees volunteer at their local food pantries as well:

 

 4) Feeding the Hungry

Five Indy-based Formstackers spent an afternoon at Second Helpings!

These three are keeping their beards in check as they help out at Second Helpings in Indy!

Formstackers: Colin Chapin, Jackie Newnam, Andy Baumgartner, Heather Siller, and Ben Kinney

Organization: Second Helpings

Location: Indianapolis, IN

Volunteer Opportunity: Five Indy-based Formstackers spent an afternoon preparing food at Second Helpings. The three in the second photo are keeping their beards safe from the food! (Or maybe it’s the other way around.)

 

 5) Supporting Children

Boys & Girls Club of Durant

Formstacker: Chris Pierce

Organization: Durant Boys and Girls Club

Location: Durant, OK

Volunteer Opportunity: As President for the Board of Directors at the Durant Boys and Girls Club, Chris Pierce (center) wanted to sport a Formstack t-shirt, but went with a more classic look for an evening spent volunteering at the organization’s gala. The men standing next to him in the picture vowed to give an extra $500 dollars to the club if he wore the tux to church the following Sunday, which he sure did!

 

 6) Visiting the Elderly

Juan Villegas volunteered at Monte Carmelo, a nonprofit nursing home for elders who do not have any relatives to take care of them. His wife, along with some of their friends and family, got together for this special day of volunteering.

Formstacker: Juan Villegas

Organization: Casa Monte Carmelo

Location: Monterrey, Mexico

Volunteer Opportunity: Juan volunteered at Monte Carmelo, a nonprofit nursing home for elders who do not have any relatives to take care of them. His wife, along with some of their friends and family, got together for this special day of volunteering.

 

 7) Investing in Music

Lars volunteered with the River Music Experience, a non-profit devoted to music education and performance. They joined a local troop of Girl Scouts in an educational drum jam, learning the basics of hand drum technique, as well as getting a brief history of roots music in America.

Formstacker: Lars Rehnberg

Organization: The River Music Experience

Location: Davenport, IA

Volunteer Opportunity: Lars volunteered with the River Music Experience, a non-profit devoted to music education and performance. He helped the organization’s administrative team prepare for their 8th Annual Winter Wine Experience, a flagship fundraiser event that helps underwrite all of their musical and educational programming.

 

 8) Restoring Homes

Habitat for Humanity

Formstacker: Josh Brickner

Organization: Habitat for Humanity ReStore

Location: Loveland, CO

Volunteer Opportunity: Josh spent his afternoon volunteering with Habitat for Humanity ReStore. He cleaned, sorted, and organized the patio section in preparation for the spring. As an added bonus (in his words): “Picked up trash and CRUSHED it using their giant trash compactor.”

 

 9) Educating Our Youth

Evan Stenmark spent the afternoon reading to his daughter’s elementary school class in San Angelo, TX! He happens to be an expert when it comes to accents-- we hope he used some of them for the story!

Formstacker: Evan Stenmark

Organization: His daughter’s elementary school

Location: San Angelo, TX

Volunteer Opportunity: Evan spent the afternoon reading to his daughter’s elementary school class in San Angelo, Texas. He happens to be an expert when it comes to accents. We hope he used some of them for the story!

 

Injecting Positivity

We all had a great time giving back to our communities, and we’re proud that our team exemplified two of Formstack’s core values so well: “Help Others Succeed” and “Inject Positivity Into All of Your Actions.” We’re looking forward to more awesome volunteering opportunities in the future!

Next Up: Our Department All Hands in the spring! Follow us on Twitter and Instagram to keep up with our shenanigans.