Timberland Finds New Ways to Engage Employees During the Pandemic with its 23rd Annual Serv-a-palooza
This fall, global outdoor lifestyle brand Timberland hosted its 23rd annual Serv-a-Palooza, a company-wide community service event at which employee volunteers dedicate their time to address critical needs in their communities. While the tradition continues, this year’s Serv-a-palooza was considerably different from last year’s as the brand adapted the event to maximize safety for over 150 employee volunteers during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“While so many important traditions have been placed on hold this year, we were excited to continue Serv-a-palooza with modifications to fit the times,” said Jason Blades, National Community Engagement Manager for Timberland. “Many community organizations need assistance, now more than ever, and our employees were eager to serve and help. As event planners, we needed to ensure Timberland volunteers could pull on their boots to make a difference in ways that would be both impactful and safe for our team and the community.”
For the in-person Serv-a-palooza projects, headquarters employee volunteers painted, landscaped, sorted and photographed clothing donations, cleaned program spaces and prepared a growing garden for winter. They supported several local organizations including: Girls at Work, Groundwork Lawrence, Uncommon Threads, New Generation, Seacoast Family Promise and Timberland’s own Victory Garden which grows and donates produce to benefit Gather, which distributes nourishing and fresh food to local families in need.
Instead of hosting teams of 50-100 volunteers at multiple service sites, as Timberland has done at its global brand headquarters in Stratham, NH in the past, this year’s projects occurred over multiple days in small groups of ten volunteers or fewer. Volunteers served outdoors or in well-ventilated and spaced settings, in full-day or half-day shifts, and adhered to safety protocols that included social distancing, wearing masks, assigned vs. shared tools and recommendations for frequent hand washing.
New for this year’s Serv-a-palooza, Timberland offered employees the opportunity to serve virtually. The company prepared an online resource with ideas and links for how employees might choose to serve on their own or from their homes for this year’s event. Employees who chose to serve virtually made cards for seniors at local care facilities, picked up trash on local hiking trails, recorded their voices to provide new synthetic voices to individuals unable to speak, and more.
Meanwhile, other locations in Timberland’s global network plan to host or have already hosted Serv-a-palooza events as their local COVID-19 guidelines allow. Most recently, small teams of employee volunteers in Vietnam and in China refurbished local schools in their communities.
As part of Timberland’s decades-long commitment to stronger communities, the brand’s signature Path of Service™ program, now 28-years strong, provides full time employees with up to 40 paid hours each year to serve their communities. Serv-a-palooza is one of two dedicated global service days Timberland hosts each year. The other is Earth Day, which focuses on urban greening and environmental projects. In addition to the organized days of service, employees are encouraged to volunteer independently or in smaller teams in ways that speak to their own passions.
To learn more about Timberland’s commitment to better product, stronger communities and a greener future, visit the brand’s responsibility site.