It feels good to have goals. It feels even better to far surpass them. Ask our friends at Greyston Bakery, and they’ll tell you they have a lot to celebrate. As a long time supplier of the brownies in Ben & Jerry’s Chocolate Fudge Brownie ice cream, Greyston Bakery provides open-hiring employment and career development to the at-risk and underserved residents of Yonkers, New York. Recently, their employees have been on a mission to pay it forward through a variety of volunteer efforts, and the momentum has been incredible.
By all accounts, 2013 was a great success as employees of Greyston Bakery banded together to rack up 222 “sweet service” hours. With an eye on making an even greater impact, the employee-led task force then set a modest goal of reaching 250 hours by the end of 2014. Needless to say, they went above and beyond by reaching 420 hours for 2014, nearly double their 2013 achievement!
The efforts of the volunteer force are focused on Yonkers and the surrounding communities in Westchester County. Beyond that they are open to any other ways they can help out—whether it benefits the environment or the less fortunate. According to Greyston Bakery’s Sunitha Malieckal “Clean-up days have been truly meaningful for the team. Our bakers are proud of their city, and excited to participate in making Yonkers a more beautiful place. We look forward to doing more of these in the future.”
Greyston Bakery and Ben & Jerry’s employees getting their hands dirty while cleaning up the Saw Mill River.
Another successful event occurred back in June when Greyston Bakery joined forces with 11 other B Corp friends to lend a hand in fighting hunger at the Food Bank for Westchester County. Over 50 volunteers from the bakery packed nearly 3,000 pounds of pasta, providing at least 2,000 meals for hungry neighbors. The Food Bank serves an estimated 200,000 Westchester residents through 265 hunger relief programs, and Greyston looks forward to donating more of their time and efforts to them in the future.
Looking ahead towards 2015, Greyston Bakery will seek to find new ways to recruit more volunteers from outside the bakery’s walls and to build partnerships that bring in the larger community. One specific initiative on their radar is supporting Yonker’s youngest generation. Malieckal thinks “the most critical need as we move ahead is providing activities, mentoring, and support for kids. Our bakers feel extremely connected to the youth in Yonkers, and I hope we can direct more of our volunteer efforts towards that demographic in the future.”
Chances are you don’t live anywhere near Yonkers but that doesn’t mean you can’t take a page from Greyston’s book and volunteer your time to show support. Team Greyston is a clever way they invite you and your family, friends, and co-workers to support Greyston’s efforts in your own community. Holiday toy drives, backpack/school supply drives, Greyston Brownie fundraisers, and fundraiser walks/runs are just a few of the ways you can team up with Greyston and help a community in need.
While we have your attention, why not click over to Greyston’s virtual bakery and order up some of their goodies as holiday gifts? Or support their sweet success by picking up a pint of Chocolate Fudge Brownie ice cream. Your purchase of these products directly benefits Greyston’s efforts to make Yonkers and the surrounding communities a better place.