When it comes to charity Ally Financial employees believe in getting into the trenches.
To celebrate its fifth anniversary of “Giving Back Month,” the company not only hosted 120 volunteer events nationwide, its Detroit team members packed a record-breaking 41 tons of food to help feed thousands of local residents.
Observed in November, “Giving Back Month” serves as Ally’s call for employees to increase their year-round volunteer efforts, and encourages its customers to support local community causes. The company is in the final hours of a campaign to generate $50,000 in public donations, which Ally will match if the goal is reached by the end of Nov. 30. In observance of “Giving Back Month’s” fifth year Ally customers can donate $5 to Feeding America or Junior Achievement through ally.com, and the company will also donate $5 for each use of the hash tag #dogivingright on Facebook and Twitter.
Seven of Detroit’s 18 volunteer events this month were held at Gleaners Food Bank of Southeastern Michigan, where 85 Ally employees tackled the task of preparing large pallets of corn, green beans and other large-volume goods for distribution through local non-profits. The team packed enough to provide for about 35,000 people, setting a Gleaners record.
“It was a little bit of a competition, so that made it fun,” says Jacqueline Howard, Ally Bank’s director of Corporate Citizenship. “We were trying to move pretty fast without making a lot of mistakes.”
While employees enjoy hands-on interaction with charities they support, the company also makes financial contributions to agencies that perform the everyday heavy-lifting of serving Detroiters in need, Howard says. Earlier in the month Ally wrote a $5,000 check to Capuchin Soup Kitchen, the east-side facility that recently experienced a well-publicized theft. Ally employees have volunteered about 600 hours at Capuchin this year.
“Once we learned of the break-in at Capuchin it was just the right thing to replace the items that were stolen. Then there’s the cost of repairing damage,” adds Howard. “They do a lot of good work there.”
Other community support efforts by Ally have included the “313 Pledge” to donate $3.13 for every Detroit Water Ice product sold in April when Ally moved its headquarters downtown. Various contributions and initiatives, during “Giving Back Month” and year-round, help connect Ally with the city, Howard says.
“Especially here in Detroit, it’s a chance to get out into the city and see what areas need help the most.”
“I will say the great thing about Ally is that it comes from the top down,” Howard says. “Our CEO Jeffrey Brown, you’ll see him volunteering in the community. I think when you see your leaders working, it’s easy to follow their example.”