With Thanksgiving coming up, we wanted to take a moment to give thanks to a few teams who go above and beyond for their coworkers and community. These teams make Kaspien a better place to work and Spokane a better place to live.
For the last several years, Kaspien’s warehouse team has been quietly making donations to local organizations in need. In just 2019, Kaspien donated over $200,000 worth of items!
These donations are fueled by unfulfillables – products that cannot be sold on Amazon for a number of reasons, including damage, defective, or missing parts. At face value, it’s easy to think that one wouldn’t want these products, even as donations. However, our warehouse team manually reviews each unfulfillable and identifies items that are still fully functional. Some products are returned completely unopened and other items are returned as “defective” because of user error.
Surmise it to say that the percent of unfulfillables that are still perfectly usable is higher than you’d think, and it is these types of products that our warehouse team donates.
The warehouse team has worked consistently and quietly, without asking for recognition for their charitable work. As co-workers, community members, and in many cases, friends, we’re grateful to our warehouse team for their diligence and compassion. Their efforts make Kaspien and our Spokane community better.
This year, Kaspien created the Charitable Contribution & Giving Committee, or CCGC for short. We have always valued giving back to our community, and we wanted to put some structure behind it, giving rise to the CCGC.
Earlier this year, the CCGC met with Keith O’Brien, the Development Director at Vanessa Behan, a Spokane organization that provides free childcare, crisis counseling, and parent education for parents and children in need. Due to COVID-19, Vanessa Behan hasn’t been able to hold their annual diaper drive. After learning of this, the CCGC sprang into action and launched a Kaspien diaper drive to support Vanessa Behan.
The Kaspien events committee is tasked with creating fun and engaging events for our employees. With COVID-19, this task became markedly more difficult. However, they put their heads together and created a virtual scavenger hunt!
The scavenger hunt included both indoor and outdoor activities, like taking a photo in one of Spokane’s gorgeous sunflower fields or sharing a photo of an art project made during quarantine. The scavenger hunt gave employees a chance to not only reconnect with one another, but also get outside (safely) to let their creativity flow!
For years, we’ve held monthly lunch and learns – events where internal and external speakers join us to talk about important topics or teach new skills. When we shifted to working remotely, we knew we couldn’t lose these popular events. More than that, we knew lunch and learns would be a great opportunity to stay connected.
Since quarantine began, Kaspien has welcomed external speakers like James Krejci, a thought leader in Spokane, as well as focused internally, with our own CFO hosting a “Business Finance 101” lunch and learn!
About a year ago, Kaspien created a Women in Leadership group that aims to support our female employees through small group conversations and external speakers. We’ve had the pleasure of hosting Mary McDermid, volunteering together at Habitat for Humanity, and providing general support for one another. These events are a wonderful way to connect, ask questions, and have honest discourse about the impacts of gender in the workplace.
To our warehouse, CCGC, events committee, HR, and many other teams and individuals not mentioned above, thank you for all the work you do! This time of year leads us to reflect on all we have to be grateful for, but you work year-round to make our workplace and community a better place.