Philanthropy is important at Sustainable Investment Group. Each quarter, the SIG team spends a day in service. Every project has been enjoyable and rewarding—no matter the work involved. Sometimes it’s tucked away inside a warehouse sorting an abundance of materials that are waste in our country, and organizing them for re-use in other parts of the world. Other days we are under the sun directly serving the Earth. We always seek out impactful projects and actively work to close the gap on materials streams, restore ecosystem services, and empower social services.
At SIG, we acknowledge the triple bottom line (People, Planet, and Profit) as driving our decision making. Most of our time is spent talking about and implementing projects to increase stewardship of the planet without losing robustness of profit. To bring the people piece to the forefront, we plan regular outings to help people and social enrichment programs in our community. It’s also an enriching moment for our team to bond and alleviate the stress of a busy work week. Learn more about the organizations we support below, and consider planning an event for your team.
Since we could not do our usual in-person philanthropy events in 2020, we made donations to these non-profits in states which we have offices in.
Here are some of the organizations we have volunteered with:
SIG team members put on their carpenter hats and let the creativity fly as they volunteered with the Furniture Bank of Metro Atlanta. Our company was inspired to help out after learning that nearly 5,000 people who had previously been sleeping on the floor were given mattresses through the Furniture Bank of Greater Atlanta. What we discovered is that a kitchen table is so much more than a kitchen table when you’re in the process of building your life and creating a safe place for your family to call home. Our volunteering efforts provided our team members with a very fun way to help out a very worthy organization that provides individuals and families with the furniture needed to create safe, secure and comfortable environments inside their homes. Many of the people who seek help from the Furniture Bank of Greater Atlanta are coming out of a period of homelessness or fleeing domestic violence.
SIG team members were divided into groups when they showed up to help out. Some built tables, others painted tables and a few even helped to unload trucks. The environment was extremely organized and efficient. It was truly amazing to see all the good that this organization does on a local level. The best part is that SIG team members will be returning soon to help the Furniture Bank with future projects.
The Pajama Program Reading Center in Atlanta has a simple mission that goes a long way for kids. The organization works to make sure every kid can enjoy a peaceful bedtime that leads to a restful night of sleep. It achieves this by running a reading center that offers resources for kids from preschool through high school. The organization is best known for hosting reading parties where kids are paired with volunteers. Kids who participate in these parties are given a healthy snack and presented with a new pair of pajamas. SIG team members recently participated in an event that was organized by the Pajama Program Reading Center in Atlanta by reading stories to children. Our team members also participated by helping to present each child with a pair of pajamas at the end of the event. Each of the kids who attended was able to select a book to keep. SIG is proud to partner with the Pajama Program because we understand that a productive day begins with a good night of rest. This organization helps kids to feel safe and celebrated.
Open Hand Atlanta is an organization that provides nourishment while helping to forge strong community bonds. The organization believes that all people deserve access to proper nutrition and information regarding healthy eating. It works to ensure that people of all ages can enjoy healthy meals by collaborating with individuals and organizations in the community. What sets Open Hand Atlanta apart from other organizations that provide nutritional support for members of the community is that this organization seeks to empower clients to manage their health and wellness. It does this through providing tools for health management and working with healthcare providers to detect nutritional sensitivities and illnesses early on. Open Hand Atlanta doesn’t just provide meals for people. It sets them up for dietary success that can last a lifetime. Members of the SIG team recently helped out at Open Hand Atlanta by packing healthy meals. SIG helpers were tasked with creating healthy portions along an assembly line. Our staff members had a very rewarding and satisfying day creating meal packs that would go to some very deserving people. Our volunteers couldn’t help but to notice the way time flew by as meal after meal was prepared.
Lifecycle Building Center is a non-profit organization that is focused on truly building up the community. This organization has a huge warehouse building that is used to store buildings parts, appliances, cabinets and much more. It has managed to divert 3.2 million pounds of usable building materials from landfills since opening in 2011. The organization has also managed to donate free building materials to more than 115 non-profit organizations. The end result is a savings of $1.7 million for the community through the use of discounted and free materials.
SIG team members recently supported Lifecycle Building Center by splitting into teams and preparing wood for resale. Our tasks included stripping nails and staples from wood and disassembling a wooden fence.
Lifecycle Building Center’s store in Atlanta offers wood flooring, doors, windows, cabinets, plumbing, used office furniture and many more unexpected treasures that make it worth visiting. It is open to the public Tuesday through Saturday.
The Whole Kids Foundation Educational Farm provides opportunities for hands-on, experiential education regarding how food is grown. This year-round farm offers a beautiful outdoor experience that benefits schools, neighborhood residents and people throughout the community in Roswell. Students are given the opportunity to learn about soil, planting, composting, water reclamation and other key parts of the growing cycle. Of course, fostering an appreciation for organic, fresh produce is at the heart of what this farm does.
Members of the SIG team got their hands in the soil and partnered with the Whole Kids Foundation Educational Farm in Roswell to pull out two fields of onions that were ready to be harvested. Some members of our team trimmed the leaves of the harvested crops to fit them into boxes that could be donated. In addition, we did our best to leave things just a little bit brighter on the farm by planting flowers near the entrance.
The Whole Kids Foundation Educational Farm has classes available for learners of all ages. It partners with local schools, childcare centers and youth organizations to offer outdoor education and fun throughout the week. In addition, tours of the farm are open to the public.
The Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) is one of the largest commercial real estate industries in the state of Georgia. Members include all walks of life such as building engineers, building owners, facility managers and property managers. BOMA Georgia’s mission is to lead the commercial real estate community by enhancing value and professionalism with our members through advocacy, education, membership participation, community involvement and the open exchange of ideas.
The SIG team partnered with BOMA Georgia along with other volunteers and took part in the Community Service Construction Day at Solomon’s Temple. The Temple is a home for women and children in Atlanta, Georgia. Most the SIG team painted and one team member helped organize and clean the area for the children’s after school program. Other projects included plumbing repairs, dry wall repairs, carpentry, tree removal, landscaping, window washing and pressure washing.
Habitat for Humanity in Atlanta was launched in 1983. The organization in Atlanta has more than 5,500 family members and has renovated over 1,400 homes. Most of the members are in South Fulton County and the City of Atlanta. The SIG team is proud to play a part in their program and has helped build two homes in south Atlanta.
Pulling weeds last summer for Trees Atlanta was a rewarding experience. It is good to know that our efforts help support a worthy cause. Trees Atlanta is a well-known non-profit organization. Their mission is to protect and improve Atlanta’s urban forest by conserving, planting, and educating the community. Founded in 1985, the dynamic team members at Trees Atlanta work diligently to address Atlanta’s many challenges such as the loss of trees, creating green space and protecting the forest. In fact, in 2014 Trees Atlanta celebrated planting 100,000 trees in the Atlantic area. In addition, Trees Atlanta has won numerous awards such as the “Excellence in Partnership Award” by the Arbor Day Foundation (2016) as well as many other recognized achievements.
At Easter Seals North Georgia they empower children to follow their dreams. In fact, their vision is a world where children can achieve their dreams. What is more, Easter Seals North Georgia supports children and families at the most important times in a child’s development. One of the greatest opportunities is their volunteer program. In truth, volunteers are vital for the success of Easter Seals.
There are numerous ways to volunteer at Easter Seals such as craft workshops, classroom help, supply or toy drives, assisting in the kitchen or clerical work. SIG team members have volunteered at the Easter Seals North Georgia location twice. At our last event we taught children about recycling. In addition, we donated recycling bins to facilitate a new recycling program at the center.
Must Ministries has been caring for those in need in the Marietta, Smyrna, Canton and Cherokee county communities for over 40 years. Initially, Reverend Wayne Williams offered different programs that included tutoring the youth, groceries delivered to seniors and outreach ministries to “indifferent” young people. Today, Must Ministries is comprised of more than 6,000 volunteers who consistently help Must Ministries reach their goal of being Georgia’s most valued servant-leader. When SIG volunteered at Must Ministries, we had two separate teams. One SIG team assisted with sorting clothing and miscellaneous donations in their warehouse. The second SIG team brought in beverages and food and prepared and served lunch for the residents in the program as well as workers and residents in the area who need a meal.
Our favorite place to get our hands in the dirt-literally-is Piedmont Park. With 185 acres of public space, there is always a corner needing the care and compassion of volunteers. SIG has removed invasive plants to make space for a demonstration fruit orchard, and helped maintain the dog parks by spreading fresh mulch to prevent erosion of topsoil. Contact your local park and ask about opportunities near you. When working outdoors, remember to bring your own reusable water bottles and sun protection. Learn more about volunteer opportunities through the Piedmont Park Conservancy, here.
The mission is simple: We promote and provide access to soap and hygiene education to create measurable and sustainable global health outcomes. How does it work? Hotels donate their partially used bars of soap and volunteers help inspect and sort before sanitizing, melting and remolding into new bars. Opportunities are available in Atlanta, Georgia; Orlando, Florida; and Las Vegas, Nevada. Our team likes this project because it reduces waste and provides those resources to people who need them. To make your day of service more sustainable, carpool or take public transportation. Learn more about the Global Soap Project, here.
One person’s trash really is another’s treasure. Since 1988 Books for Africa has sent over 30 million books to over 40 countries. Their mission is to end the book famine in Africa. From our work in sustainability, we know that a little education goes a long way in building healthy habits. When we volunteer with Books for Africa, we sort pallets of mixed books into age appropriate groups by subject matter. This is a great project for large groups of any age. Sorting facilities are located in Atlanta, Georgia and St. Paul, Minnesota. Learn more about Books for Africa, here.
To see more photos of our corporate philanthropy efforts visit our facebook page, here.