Since 2013, MailChimp’s Corporate Citizenship team has been working to make our hometown of Atlanta better, weirder, and more human. Today, I’d like to talk about the “better” part. For us, that means supporting organizations working to stop cycles of poverty. All year long, we partner with organizations like Literacy Action and the Gateway Center to help make their hard work possible.
But “better” becomes a special focus during our annual Martin Luther King Jr. Service Week.
For Dr. King, achieving economic justice was crucial to the work of achieving racial justice. These are complicated, layered issues—nothing you could easily solve in one week, let alone in one lifetime. But it’s important for us to do our part. So this year, our Corporate Citizenship team partnered with The Mothership, MailChimp’s diversity and inclusion employee resource group, for a week of events to help local nonprofits working on hunger relief and housing. Together, we planned a week of opportunities for MailChimp employees to use their volunteer hours and support these organizations providing vital services to our community.
We started the week at the Women’s Community Kitchen, which is run by Action Ministries in Atlanta’s Old Fourth Ward neighborhood, just a few blocks from our offices in Ponce City Market. The Women’s Community Kitchen provides fresh cooked meals for low-income and homeless women and children, offering them space to feel safe, valued, and part of a respectful community. MailChimp volunteers cooked and served a meal, then sat down to eat with the guests.
Another organization we partnered with again this year is Habitat for Humanity. This is always our most popular employee volunteer event. At MailChimp, we’re all about giving people the tools they need to succeed, and we also happen to love building things in general, so Habitat is a perfect fit for us. Working with the organization gives us the opportunity to build something alongside our neighbors that can encourage their future success. Over the last 5 years MailChimp employees have helped build 10 houses for local families. This year, we worked on 2 houses for 2 families, laying floors, putting up walls, constructing porches, and more.
To round out the week, we got a lot done without even leaving the office. We had tons of ready-to-make food brought in, and more than 100 MailChimp employees spent a few hours turning that food into SuperPacks with Action Ministries. Many kids at our local elementary schools receive free lunch and breakfast during the week, and these packs ensure they have plenty to eat over the weekend. All told, we put together more than 6,000 SuperPacks for kids at our neighborhood schools.
This year’s MLK Service Week is over, but the work continues. (And not just because one of our events, preparing and serving Ma’s Street Meals with Kashi Atlanta, got snowed out and rescheduled!) MailChimp volunteers made connections during Service Week that continue to reverberate. Our Women’s Empowerment Group recently wrapped a Valentine’s Day fundraiser benefiting the Women’s Community Kitchen, and groups are signed up to cook and serve there in the coming months. And we’ve already got peeps planning to volunteer on their own with Habitat for Humanity this year. Every MailChimp employee gets 16 volunteer hours to use every year, and I’m excited to see what else we can do by showing up, building trust, and being the best neighbors we can be. Here’s to a better Atlanta.