2016 Not-So-Ordinary Ornament Celebrates Student Innovation and Giving
By Jessica Dieken
Our fifth annual Not-So-Ordinary Ornament campaign was a huge success! For the past five years, we have encouraged our employees to participate in this holiday campaign where Otter Products and Blue Ocean Enterprises (BOE) employees exchange donations for unique and collectible ornaments. For the past three years, we’ve had the distinct privilege of working with the Innovation Center at St. Vrain Valley Schools, where students create our ornaments. Not only are students responsible for staying on target to hit their production deadline, they also have to calculate the cost of goods sold and they have to account for the cost of labor too. Through our partnership with the Innovation Center, students are learning real-life skills they will need to start and manage their very own businesses, creating the next generation of entrepreneurs.
Thanks to the generosity of Otter Products and BOE employees in 2016, we were able to surprise a local school and a nonprofit with grants to help them continue to inspire students of all ages. The first surprise recipient was BASE Camp, a before and after school enrighment program. BASE Camp has been an awesome partner with inspiring kids to change the world through use of our philanthropy curriculum, Project Heart, as well our mobile innovation station where they help students learn how to make their ideas come to life while understanding the importance of giving back. Many of our Otter Products employees enjoying volunteering at BASE Camp and we’re lucky to be partners with such an important organization that is doing amazing things for students of all ages.
Our last surprise was for Fort Collins High School. We have had a great relationship with the school for several years and have been fortunate enough to participate in programs that align with our mission to inspire students to become entrepreneurs and philanthropists. One program that we support is Fort Collins High School’s annual Shark Tank-inspired entrepreneurial pitch competition, which has provided several students with seed money to help their businesses go from a pitch to reality.
Giving the gift of education to these schools was only possible because of the generosity and enthusiasm of Otter Products and BOE employees! Working together to raise funds to make these gifts possible, Otters are doing their part to help create lasting change in our communities.