By Hillary Le, Clorox Finance Team
Aside from an unusual number of empty desks, it seemed to be a regular day at the Clorox’s Oakland and Pleasanton offices.
A BART and bus ride away, though, the scene at the East Oakland Youth Development Center (EOYDC) told a different story. It was, in fact, not a regular work day for most for most San Francisco Bay Area Finance employees. The Clorox Finance team was celebrating its First Annual Day of Service at EOYDC, an Oakland nonprofit Clorox helped to establish 37 years ago and which the company and its employees continue to support.
EOYDC’s mission is to empower and develop underprivileged youth and young adults (ages 6-24) for higher education, employment and a richer, more fulfilling adulthood. It has just finished building a new facility that will allow it to serve 1,000 more students a year — a 50 percent increase — and the official ribbon cutting was scheduled for Sept. 29. In the meantime, this was moving day.
“This building represents a fresh start. Everybody deserves a fresh start,” says Savannah, a student at EOYDC. “Since we are in the heart of Oakland, this symbolizes change for everybody.”
The day started in EOYDC’s gym, where nearly 100 finance employees, from the most recent hires to long-tenured vice presidents, met with a team of 40 EOYDC students and directors — and an empty building that needed moving into.
A collective 345 hours of Finance Team labor later, and EOYDC could boast three organized classrooms, one fully functional computer lab, three large-scale installation collages, a sundeck with plotted plants, a litter-free grounds and, of course, spotless carpets and Clorox® disinfecting wipes-scented bleachers.
Fundraising, Forecasts and Budgets
Finance team members also participated in brainstorming sessions with the students and staff for new fundraising ideas, as well as shared budgeting and forecasting methods to provide professional development for the program’s leaders.
These aren’t the typical returns you expect from Finance.
And perhaps Finance folks got a different return than they expected, too. While Sigma, Finance’s chief engagement organization and the planning arm for Day of Service, had envisioned all the ways in which Clorox employees could contribute to EOYDC, from helping hands to property beautification to financial modeling, the team was surprised by another more intangible impact.
“It was so rewarding to see the impact our physical presence had on the youth of EOYDC,” says Vincent Odembo, head of Sigma. “While the help we gave to EOYDC was very important, the opportunity to engage with the young men and women was equally, if not more, important.”
A special thanks to EOYDC President and CEO Regina Jackson for leading the partnership and building up Oakland youth with her passion and leadership for the past 20 years.