At The Mars Agency, our mission is to make a positive impact across a “Triple Bottom Line” that seeks growth for our clients, growth for our people, and growth for our community.
To support the many communities in which we operate, we created the Start Small volunteering initiative. Our goal is to gain 100% employee participation in at least one of the program’s four pillars:
- Quarterly events hosted by our local offices;
- Martian Missions, in which employees receive up to 160 hours of time to immerse themselves in a cause of their choice;
- Individual personal volunteer days;
- Global Citizenship Day.
On Sept. 29, our U.S. and Canadian offices turned on their Out of Office notifications for a few hours and set out to do good in their communities through the annual Global Citizenship Day. In addition to periodic volunteer initiatives throughout the year, we always dedicate one specific day to give back together by closing all our offices. With locations around the world, we have the fortunate opportunity to make an impact globally.
This year was no exception. From Seattle to Toronto, our offices were able to work with 22 organizations — as well as 40 additional local groups supported by our many remote employees. Collectively, over 360 Martians helped pack more than 36,000 meals; cleaned four gardens; painted 200 feet of fence, a shipping container, and two murals; and contributed in many other ways.
Our HQ office in Detroit kicked off the day by creating 25 handmade blankets with photos and video messages of support to send to hospitalized kids for the Fleece & Thank You organization. Afterward, volunteers divided into eight groups to assist different organizations throughout the community:
- At Forgotten Harvest, they organized piles of recycling and packed 12,634 pounds of food headed directly to local charities serving metro Detroiters.
- A team at World Medical Relief sorted through approximately 3,500 pounds of medical supplies that will eventually be packed and shipped to countries in need such as Beirut, Ukraine, and South Korea.
- Volunteering with Give 365, the team headed to Beckley Park to pull 14 million roots and plant flowers and other flora.
- The volunteers at New City Kids rolled up their sleeves and cleaned up trash and painted two murals.
- At Maybury Elementary, we cleaned up a community garden and front landscape, and also delivered thank you cards to the teachers.
Over at Earhart Elementary, volunteers cleaned and organized hundreds of books in the school library.
- The Capuchin Soup Kitchen team organized 1,125 pounds of clothing, hung six racks of apparel in their store, and stocked their shelves with 1,500 grocery items.
- Lastly, our volunteers at Focus Hope delivered 54 boxes of food to homebound seniors.
In Minneapolis, 17 Martians convened at Every Meal’s warehouse, where they were tasked with packing bags that help fill the weekend nutrition gaps of kids who face food insecurities.They worked hard, broke a sweat, and packed 1,098 bags of food providing 4,209 meals.
Folks in Seattle volunteered as ambassadors for Lifelong’s annual fundraising event, Dine Out For Life. This day-long dining fundraiser supports the most medically vulnerable residents in the Seattle area who need nutritious meals to survive and thrive. As ambassadors, Martians assisted in raising awareness and collecting donations totaling over $70,000.
Our Chicago office volunteered with their partner organization, UCAN, an area nonprofit dedicated to building strong youth and families through compassionate healing, education, and empowerment. The volunteers flexed their creative muscles by painting a 200-foot fence on UCAN’s campus, as well as a 20-foot shipping container designated to store supplies (at right).
In Dallas, a team helped the North Texas Food Bank, a nonprofit hunger relief organization working to fight food insecurity and create a hunger-free and healthy community. The group was able to pack 1,471 bags of produce, which will make 19,000 meals for the organization to distribute to people in need.
Our Bentonville office was able to partner with two organizations, Northwest Arkansas Food Bank and Ronald McDonald House. The NWA Food Bank volunteers successfully packed 12,938 meals for local families in need. The team at Ronald McDonald House made meals for families residing there while their children are treated at local hospitals.
The Connecticut-area team was also able to divide into two groups, one going to Filling in the Blanks and another to a local Meals on Wheels chapter. Filling in the Blanks fights childhood hunger by providing children in need with weekend meals. There, the team was able to pack up 360 bags of nutritious, shelf-stable food, as well as write cards of encouragement to ensure that the children who receive the bags know they are loved. Meanwhile, the volunteers at Meals on Wheels packed up 90 blizzard bags and delivered 15 meals to elderly citizens in need.
In Cincinnati (above), our volunteers partnered with FreeStore Food Bank, an organization focused on improving lives by eliminating hunger in the local community. Volunteers packed over 1,000 boxes of emergency food for those in need, and an additional 50 boxes of products earmarked for local Veterans Affairs offices.
At our Denver office, volunteers headed to The Rise School of Denver, which provides early childhood education for all children, including those with developmental disabilities. The team of 15 helped with two projects focused on polishing up the school exterior, weeding the front garden and spackling the building.
Our Canadian Martians in Toronto (at left) volunteered at Variety Village, an inclusive and family-friendly fitness, sports and life skills facility empowering children with disabilities. To prepare for the organization’s first “Roll-in Movie Night,” the team helped the Variety volunteer committee with various manual labor tasks such as painting, gardening, and moving furniture.
In New York City, Martians volunteered with Citymeals on Wheels, an organization serving nourishing meals to homebound elderly residents. The volunteers divided up the meal delivery routes and hand-delivered 42 meals, smiles, and a little much-needed companionship to citizens across the city.
We’re honored to have had the opportunity to make an impact in so many ways throughout our local communities. Special thanks goes to local organizers Kylie Wyman, Samantha Maloney, Abby Barin, Jeanette Widen, Wesley Dorr, Marissa Rook, Kelsey Tolleson, Grace Gillig, Kris Abrahamson, Kerry Shaw, Ashley Jones, Rachel Lutz, Alison Allen, Ellen Stiffler, Amanda Murray, Sarah Dewar, and Jen Shaw for making this year’s Global Citizenship Day possible.
About The Mars Agency
The Mars Agency is an award-winning, independently owned, global commerce marketing practice. With talent around the world, we connect people, technology, and intelligence to create demand and drive profitable, sustainable growth.