BFO is founded on three pillars—three main company values that drive what we do every day. We strive to Be Good to Each Other, Make a Difference, and Speak Up. Central to each of these values is our commitment to supporting the communities we live in. Every year, we dedicate ourselves to one or more causes that are important to us, in the spirit of giving back and doing right by our community.

Before the holidays, we held a vote to determine which causes were most important to our employees. The top contenders were:

  1. Protecting the environment
  2. Helping the veterans
  3. Education
  4. Job training for inner-city adults and teens

So, our vision for 2017 includes incorporating initiatives in each of these areas into our community plans for the year! More specifically, our aim for 2017 is to:

  1. Organize at least one group activity per quarter. The activities will range from group outings to internal competitions and mini games, and will include a range of causes including those we voted on.
  2. Create an event calendar displaying volunteer opportunities from around the Chicago area. The events listed will correspond with the causes we chose to focus on this year. The goal of this is to have enough opportunities to choose from that at least two people per month will use their VTO (volunteer time off) days to help the community through volunteer work.
  3. Encourage everyone in the company to use their 3 VTO days.

To kick off the year, our first quarter group activity will be what we’re calling The Pound of Beefer Challenge. This is a weight loss challenge benefiting the Chicagoland Food Depository—for every pound our BFO team loses or percentage of body fat decreased, BFO will make a donation to the Depository. This event will continue through March 31st.

Then, to keep the ball rolling on our 2017 initiatives, Operation Green Planet is in the works! To help reduce our impact on the environment, BFO will be launching a new and improved recycling program in the office. Our new program will feature clearly labeled bins for paper, cans, and plastic recyclables throughout the office. We’ll also be switching to eco-friendly cleaning supplies and we plan to properly discard printer ink cartridges and electronics to reduce our carbon footprint. We also encourage remote employees to set up their own recycling initiatives at home. It’s always a good time to save the planet!

Next, in October, many of us will be participating in the Hennepin Hundred, a 100-mile relay race with teams of 5 runners. The race will benefit Trails for Illinois, a non-profit dedicated to preserving the Illinois trails we love. More details to come!

These plans are hopefully just the tip of the iceberg—stay tuned to see our initiatives in action as the year progresses!   


Also published on Medium.