In the height of the pandemic, David Albright went looking for a way to keep his team connected.
The co-chair of a division of Better Communities, Legrand’s philanthropy and volunteerism arm, David wanted to find “new ways to engage with our staff, who were largely working from home, and to keep them connected with our programs.”
The other co-chair, April Mic, had used Charity Miles personally, so the team decided to give it a try. For their first initiative in 2020, they raised an amazing $10,000 for Feeding America aligned food banks.
“We try to keep our giving local,” says David, which is why they supported food banks in the communities where the team members live. “The nice thing with Charity Miles is we can choose to use it as a tracking tool, and then give offline to those local partners. It’s a flexible tool we can use as we like to support our giving.”
In 2021, David’s division did even better, raising $15,000 for the American Red Cross.
Their choice of charities was largely based on timing.
“Going into the fourth quarter of 2020, there was a lot of need in our immediate communities for supporting local food banks,” says David. “Then in the summer of 2021, there were a number of recent disasters that were top of mind.”
Better Communities focuses on three pillars, David explains. Better schools, where they target organizations that focus on sustainability education. Better homes, which is largely focused on organizations like Habitat for Humanity and Homes for Heroes. And better recoveries, which focuses on disaster relief through the American Red Cross and food scarcity through Feeding America.
David and his team plan to continue rotating through different charities across the breadth of Better Community’s focus. David hopes that changing charities will “pull in additional people that may be more inclined to support one organization over another.”
“The launch of the program has been very timely,” David adds. “Legrand is still largely working from home, so it’s been great not only to get staff involved, but to get them out into their neighborhoods and communities, and to encourage everyone to stay active. We’ve all needed a little push to do that during these times!”
The program has been positively received, and David is happy with how high the engagement is. It can be challenging to get people involved in in-person volunteering, David explains. “It’s hard to drive across town to go support a home build, for example. But this is easy. You just get up and walk outside your house, and you can be involved and engaged and feel like you’re helping to give back.”
“It’s a really good fit and something we’ll continue to grow with,” he adds. In 2021, David shared Charity Miles with other Legrand divisions, which have started doing their own initiatives. And in 2022, they plan to train some internal champions to ramp up their use of the app.
David personally has appreciated seeing photos of teammates enjoying walks with their families and other activities.
“We’ve been so disconnected from each other, not being in our offices,” he says. “It’s been a nice way to stay connected.”