2014 Get It, Grow It, Give It Challenge

Change in an OtterBoxFrom March 26 through April 28, OtterBox and Blue Ocean employees will participate in the “Get It, Grow It, Give It Challenge.” The G3 Challenge is a biennial employee fundraising event that was created in 2010 to empower all employees to participate in the work of OtterCares and to support our mission & vision: “Championing innovative education for youth to inspire a movement of young entrepreneurs and philanthropists.” During this project, employees of OtterBox and Blue Ocean each GET a grant credit to allocate to one of the selected nonprofit projects. Once they choose which project to support, they are challenged to GROW that donation through personal fundraising efforts. Then at the end we have a celebration to GIVE the donations raised throughout the campaign.

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OtterCares invites you to join our efforts to inspire a movement of young entrepreneurs and philanthropists by making a contribution to one or more of our G3 Challenge projects. CLICK HERE to view this year’s projects and learn about how each organization supports the OtterCares mission.

RESULTS UPDATE: Through online and offline employee fundraising, the 2014 OtterCares G3 Challenge donated a total of $182,607.94 to eleven different nonprofit projects in Northern Colorado, San Diego and Boston. We look forward to sharing stories of how these donations are inspiring future entrepreneurs and philanthropists in our communities.

This is how you crash a meeting!

IMG_5364In December, a group of Otters broke in to a meeting at Laurene Edmondson Elementary and intentionally started spreading Christmas cheer by delivering unexpected, but much needed, gifts.  Executive Director Gary Rogers and Community Advocate Tricia Lemmer of OtterCares were meeting with Principal Trish Malik, superintendent Dr. Stan Scheer, and other Thompson School District employees when a band of Otters interrupted with great news for the school.

Ms. Malik was in the middle of describing the schools conversion to a Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) focus and the challenges that come with converting the entire school.  One challenge cited by Ms. Malik was not having enough iPads and how the teachers and staff were currently sharing iPads recently purchased by the school’s Parent Teacher Association.  Just as she was describing plans to raise more money to purchase additional devices for student learning, a team of Otters (employees from OtterBox and Blue Ocean) crashed the meeting carrying beautifully wrapped presents for the school.  Inside the wrapped boxes were 25 iPads protected by OtterBox Defender cases.

OtterCares Ornament 2013

The iPads were made possible by a collaborative fundraising effort known as the Not-So-Ordinary Ornament Campaign.  The campaign, initiated two years ago by OtterCares, raises funds to support innovative education by offering limited edition Christmas ornaments to OtterBox and Blue Ocean employees. The proceeds from these ornaments are utilized to provide iPads to an unsuspecting elementary school in Northern Colorado.  In 2012 the school was Centennial Elementary in Greeley and in 2013 it was Edmondson Elementary in Loveland.  We can’t wait to see what school it will be in 2014!

The Heart of OtterCares- Our Employee Volunteers

IMG_7984Engaging OtterBox and One Team Company employees in our mission is a significant part of the work we do at the OtterCares Foundation. In fact, in 2013, more than 460 employees contributed over 5,800 volunteer hours to the community through our Volunteer Time Off program. This benefit allows employees to take up to 24 hours of paid time off per year to volunteer in their community. Employees take part in a variety of activities including volunteering at local schools, teaching Junior Achievement classes, outdoor clean-up and trail work projects, helping at the food bank, and more! Our largest single-day employee volunteer event each year is our Pack2School backpack and school supply event in the fall, which utilized over 150 employee volunteers in 2013.

The success of this employee volunteer program is driven by a dedicated and hardworking group of employee volunteers aptly named the OtterCares Ambassadors. These employees represent all departments and locations within the company and are official volunteers for OtterCares. They help champion and guide OtterCares efforts within their departments and rally participation and support from their peers. In a single word… they are incredible.

Otterbox-Xmas-2013-0121Each year at the company Christmas party, the OtterCares Foundation recognizes one outstanding OtterCares Ambassador with the Silver Heart Award. For 2013, it was awarded to Peggy Elkins, an executive administrator for the Blue Ocean company. Peggy was chosen for her passion, enthusiasm and ongoing support of OtterCares, not only in her own department but also throughout OtterBox. She rallied her department to raise more than $100,000 during the 2013 Dare to Care employee fundraising challenge and her encouragement of volunteerism drove her coworkers to contribute more than 680 volunteer hours last year.  Volunteers like Peggy (and last year’s Silver Heart Award winner Randy Duffy) are absolutely essential to the success of OtterCares and the advancement of our mission. They are the true heart of OtterCares and we could not be more grateful for the wonderful work they do in the community and to support the foundation.