Yesterday a group of ISTS staff met at Nashville Diaper Connection to spend time supporting their mission. Until we started volunteering there, I had no idea that 1 in 3 families in Nashville, TN struggle to afford diapers or that you can buy candy with food stamps but that diapers are classified with cigarettes and alcohol and, thus, are disallowed purchases.
We lined up and listened to instructions on how to prepare batches of twenty-five diapers, wrapping and boxing them for a future delivery.
We’ve been mostly remote for a year and spending time together always feels like a special treat. Combining serving the community with time together adds to the feeling of gratitude that giving back yields. For a couple of hours, we listened to dance music and created an assembly line of good before returning to our at-home desks.
In the book Measure What Matters, John Doerr shares stories from many companies, but especially Intel, that embrace the concept – that now seems second nature – of identifying Objectives and Key Results and then measuring them with a disciplined cadence. Wow, do things get done when you measure the related outcomes with a consistent frequency!
The great people at Nashville Diaper Connection get the measuring concept, too. We were reminded of the other organizations who volunteer, their logos hanging on the walls around the assembly room. Statistics like these were also easily visible:
• We provide diapers to 4,500 babies in need every month.
• Babies who participate in early childhood education are 2.5 times more likely to go on to higher education.
• To date Nashville Diaper has helped diaper more than 160,000 babies and given away over 8 MILLION diapers.
We laughed and caught up with each other as we completed our task and, as we left, felt the positive impact of taking time to volunteer. I, for one, felt more light-hearted and appreciative for the rest of the day and am looking forward to next month’s volunteer outing.
– Becky Sharpe, President & CEO