The client: Inline Group Inc. The intent: Make the world a better place and engage the staff in doing it. The driver: A cross-Canada team of employees with families.
There’s nothing like the feeling of being a cog in the the launch of impact. Inline Group is a Geotechnical Engineering Firm started by two young entrepreneurs. When you ask Adam Temple, CEO what makes them different from their competitors, he’s upfront: “Our team is made up of honest, hardworking people, and our partners in the field know that”. It’s no surprise that when it came to defining community impact, Adam and his business partner Ryan turned to their cross-Canada staff members for direction.
“Our team is made up of honest, hardworking people, and our partners in the field know that”. – Adam Temple, CEO
This is what Inline’s employees had to say:
- We want to make a difference in the realm of children’s health and recreation
- We believe our employer should extend impact into the community
- We want the opportunity to contribute to our employer’s community investment
Finding the partner
When it came to choosing a non-profit to engage with we sought out a partner that was both creative and flexible in their approach. Because the Inline staff were spread out across Canada, engagement would mean an employee giving program; where staff could have a donation taken from their weekly pay checks, matched by Inline Group, and donated to a charity of choice. However Inline wanted to do so much more than cut a cheque. They wanted to equip a charitable partner to further their mission in an extraordinary way. When we sat down with Leah Cavanagh, Programming Director of Free Footie, we knew we had found the right partner. Free Footie is a local non-profit that works to provide soccer programming for underprivileged children in the Edmonton area. Leah shared with us that a gap in services had recently been identified: Children leaving soccer practices and games hungry.
The Problem: Children are going home hungry.
From the perspective of Inline Group’s team, children going home hungry was not acceptable. On May 29th, 2017, the Inline for Kids Snack Pilot was launched. Serving six schools, this pilot project provides 250 children snacks each week to ensure they aren’t going home hungry. As Free Footie programming takes place in some of Edmonton’s most impoverished communities, versatility of the program was an essential consideration. As such, in the event a child is not hungry after Free Footie programming, the snacks are provided in a travel-friendly fashion. This allows the child the option to save the snacks for school the following day; recognizing that food insecurity is larger issue for many children and their families.
While off to a wonderful start, the Inline for Kids Snack Pilot has only just began. It’s easy to get wrapped up in the launch phase. It’s full of media and excitement. But as a pilot project, there’s so much more to do, than just kick-start the program Free Footie will track the progress of the program to ensure it is effective with the intent of scaling from snacks to full meals. Currently, the intent of this program is to ensure 250 children per week do not go home hungry. But as the snacks grow to meals, Inline and Free Footie will also hope to expand that intention to include education around healthy eating.
We have enjoyed every minute of working with Inline Group and Free Footie. But this story of impact has only just begun. By design, this program will ensure that five years down the road, the Inline Group team will be able to look back on where this program began and know their contributions are still making a difference