BLINQ’s employees are a vivacious group. In between hunting down the best deals for consumers like you, we are constantly sharing ideas with each other, proposing new projects and activities in the office, and even bringing our favorite hobbies to work after hours. One thing that we do as a team is something we hold near and dear to our hearts: giving back to the community.
Since joining the BLINQ team in late 2013, our chief of staff Samantha has lead the charge to get BLINQ employees volunteering as a group. Why? She cites her childhood in New Orleans, a very urban setting, as the source of her interest in service. She says:
I was initially made aware of how rewarding service can be through volunteer opportunities I did with my family. When Hurricane Katrina hit in 2005, it was clear to me that community service was a passion of mine. When I started working at BLINQ and talking to my colleagues, I realized how many different things we are all involved in — we are a very diverse group! We all did good together, but I knew if we put our heads together we could do even more to help those in need. To allow folks to expand the reach for the organizations they’re interested in, I put together a calendar of volunteer opportunities that everyone could add to.
When Samantha moved to Washington DC five years ago, she heard about an organization called SOME (an acronym for So Others Might Eat), a place where DC’s homeless residents can not only be served 3 hot meals per day, but can also enjoy such services and facilities as medical offices, career counseling, sleeping quarters, access to new clothing and educational opportunities.
Under Samantha’s leadership, a group of BLINQ employees go to SOME once a month (sometimes more) on a Friday morning to serve breakfast to 300-400 people. Our crew can be assigned to a variety of tasks such as serving food, pouring coffee, or washing dishes.
As a company that got its start here and has benefited from the DC Tech community, we recognize that the DC area has given us much love and support over the years. The least we can do is give a few hours of our time every month to give back. We are a tight-knit group that enjoys getting involved in recreational sports, happy hours and the like, but volunteering together is something special that offers a unique opportunity for us to bond and get to know each other on a different level.
Depending on what you’re passionate about, volunteering can take up a lot of time and energy, or sometimes requires a weekly time commitment that many people cannot give. If you are looking for ways to get involved, but don’t have an abundance of free time, Samantha suggests looking for one-off opportunities in your area that don’t have a sustained time requirement, but make a huge impact. One of her favorite things to participate in is brown bagged lunch-making for DC’s homeless population. Simple, but meaningful.
Live in DC? Check out SOME’s volunteer opportunities.