We wanted to make a holiday contribution and we wanted to do more than just write a check. So our Gina Songco, who is the glue who holds Bee together every day, looked around for a volunteer opportunity for Team Bee, and we chose Project Open Hand, a San Francisco charity that provides meals and groceries for the elderly and unwell.

Our plan was to don the aprons, cut the carrots, and help our neighbors. A Nice Holiday Gesture. Not at all a bad impulse, but one, it turns out, that’s somewhat at odds with our values. We’re not “one-and-done” people.

When we were shown around Project Open Hand and learned about the work they do, and then got side-by-side and elbow-deep in chopped vegetables in the kitchen, we all began to get the sense that this kind of work is essential to who we are. Since then, we’ve made a commitment to do more volunteer work as a team, most especially not during the holiday season, but when organizations like Project Open Hand need volunteers the most.  

Like Project Open Hand and other community organizations we’re eyeing (Glide, St. Anthony’s), we value:

  • Commitment—We create relationships with Founders, investors, and everyone in our community for the long haul, especially for the times when things aren’t so glam. We’re not tourists and we’re not celebrities.
  • Support—Our commitment to Founders goes way beyond writing a check. Internally, we find ways to support our team members as we all grow.
  • Trust—Our Founders and investors can rely on us to be honest and available. Building trusting relationships matters to us as a moral principle and it’s critical to our success.

As we plan for 2018, Team Bee will choose where we want to commit our volunteer time. We’ll also be asking our Founder teams and other members of our community—maybe you!—to join us in this effort, reaffirming our values and supporting our neighbors.

Photo by Remi Walle from Unsplash