We’re big fans of giving back. As we see it, we’ve got a responsibility to make the world a better place. That’s why we started Serv-a-palooza, Timberland’s annual celebration of service where we pull on our boots, head out into communities with our shovels and paintbrushes, and make a difference.
Through the years, we’ve volunteered over a million hours in the communities where we live and work. Starting last year, we decided to do something different. Something to create even more impact. Something to really change lives. Instead of taking on projects throughout various communities like we usually do, we decided to focus our local efforts on a single place that had a greater need. Our focus being: one company, serving one community, and making one big impact in one day. After much discussion and interviewing, the place that stood out above the rest was the city of Lawrence, Massachusetts.
We deployed over 350 volunteers spread throughout the city at seven different event locations, one of which was the Alexander B. Bruce School. Built in 1954, the school serves a diverse student body in grades 3-8 and was in need of a makeover—inside and out. This site hosted the largest population of volunteers, with about 100 Timberland employees working side-by-side. We renovated the playground, repainted the murals, painted new hopscotch and four-square games, cleared away garbage and broken glass, and re-did the teachers’ lounge.
“It was a remarkable transformation,” said school Principal Cheryl Merz. “The difference at the end of the day was amazing. It gave everybody—students and teachers—such a sense of pride.”
To top it off, we fit every student for a new pair of Timberland boots, prompting the kids to chant, “We got boots! We got boots!” Our very supportive vendors matched the gift and donated new backpacks and socks, and new books. We also showed them the process of turning recycled plastic bottles into shoelaces and backpack straps.
“We’re incredibly grateful—and we have a renewed sense of excitement about coming to school every day,” said Merz. “There’s a real change around here.”
Elsewhere in the city, Timberland employees were hard at work making the most of the service day. Dozens of volunteers held workshops on résumé building, interview tips, and job search strategies. After attending two of these workshops, attendees were treated to a professional outfit of their choice, which many wore to the all-day job fair. Hundreds of more volunteers took to the other service sites, which included the restoring a shelter, painting and landscaping a food bank, and painting and woodwork at a senior center. The day was enormously successful and brought smiles, laughter and cheers to countless faces.
To learn more about how we put our values into action, visit http://responsibility.timberland.com