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DaVita Teammates Give Back
One of DaVita’s time-honored traditions is giving back to the community. When my team was planning a meeting, our vice president, Katie Swanzy asked us to include a community service event. My teammate Jerusha Eames and I went through the process of reaching out to a number of organizations, but found it difficult to find a space and organization that could accommodate 60-80 of our teammates. Then we found Metro Caring. Metro Caring was not only able to accommodate us, but also provided an indoor venue in case there was inclement weather.
DaVita and Metro Caring have come together to help support the health and wellness of the Denver community since 2017. Through volunteerism, financial support and expertise, DaVita has collaborated to support Metro Caring’s mission of ending hunger at its root. DaVita teammates have contributed over 400 volunteer hours and helped Metro Caring staff sort food donations, coordinate its inventory process and facilitate Kidney Smart® classes. Since 2017, DaVita has also been the host venue of Metro Caring’s signature fundraiser, Cornucopia.
“It was so much fun and fulfilling to volunteer at Metro Caring,” shared Katie Swanzy. “It is a great organization that provides healthy food to members of our community and felt like a great way to give back locally.”
To prepare for the event, Jerusha and I attended a volunteer introduction event at Metro Caring and discussed with their volunteer coordinator the logistics of the day. Metro Caring was great to work with on planning and executing this event.
The group completed various projects – one was the warehouse and market inventory and others were gardening projects. Metro Caring is required to complete a full inventory of all of their food twice a year for auditing purposes. This inventory project takes quite a bit of physical and mental effort, and our team inventoried 87,202.45 lbs. of food.
The other projects teammates worked on were the gardening projects, such as planting enough garlic to feed all our community gardeners in the spring AND provide seed garlic for everyone involved. We closed out our largest community garden, helping over 50 individuals to be ready for spring planting and collected over 500 lbs. of compostable debris from the garden. Teammates also prepped the kitchen beds, which will supply over five programs with fresh herbs and veggies in the spring and summer. We planted basil and lettuce seeds which, once sprouted, will be sent to feed approximately 500 families in our community.
“Our afternoon at Metro Caring was such a great team-building event. We got to spend time outside working with our hands and interacting with each other in a different environment that allowed us to get to know each other better,” reminisced Jerusha Eames. “Metro Caring’s mission of addressing the root cause of hunger is one that’s close to my heart, and it was lovely to be able to contribute while learning a lot in the process. I now know how to grow veggie seedlings and garlic!”
This event was about living the DaVita Way and fulfilling our charge to spread ripples throughout the community. Being together as a team in a setting that was not work related allowed teammates to build on the relationships they already have and create new ones with teammates they may not have known. Giving back to a local organization, like Metro Caring, that has such an impact on the local Denver area was a wonderful way to spend the afternoon together. Working for an organization like DaVita that supports community involvement is one of those benefits that, while not related to money, can have a big impact on teammates.
“I had a blast getting out of the office and working with my hands at Metro Caring.” shared Mat Guest. “I saw everyone having fun learning how to plant garlic and the DaVita teammates made a meaningful impact for this volunteer organization. It’s great to work for a company that enables us to give back to community in this fun and fulfilling way!”