At Access Communications we like to work hard, have a good time and give back. In staff meetings and lunch room conversations we often hear about impressive volunteer work and fundraising events many of our colleagues support during their spare time. Sensing the desire of Access employees for opportunities to do good alongside their Access teammates, we created Access Cares. This volunteer group within Access organizes companywide opportunities for colleagues to give back to local organizations in San Francisco and New York.

We’re used to “the speed of PR” around here so once Access Cares was announced we immediately got the ball rolling (literally) with two San Francisco events. Just a few short weeks after announcing the program we’re happy to have partnered with two great organizations – the San Francisco YMCA and the San Francisco Food Bank.

As proud as we were of our outfits, Access Cares was more proud to be able to participate as a corporate sponsor for the San Francisco Embarcadero YMCA Dodgeball Corporate Challenge. For more than 100 years, the YMCA has been a place where diverse communities come to support their personal, physical, and social needs. We were privileged to sponsor this great organization by raising money for local YMCA programs while throwing regulation size dodgeballs at co-workers and managers – what could be better than that? There was some tough competition; with heavy hitting dodgeball teams showing up to the elimination style bracket from companies ranging from Gap to TNT. Although we didn’t win first place in the dodgeball competition, we did win the best team costume award, which we all know to be a greater honor anyway.

Earlier this Spring, before we took to the YMCA court, we had the opportunity to volunteer at the San Francisco Food Back, an amazing organization that is a critical link between food and underserved communities. The food bank relies on volunteers to sort, repack and shelve almost 400 tons of food at their warehouse every week. This volunteer support enables them to distribute roughly 43.5 million pounds of food a year – enough for 93,000 meals every day.

As you can see from the video, we had an absolute blast stepping away from our computers and laptops and getting our hands dirty. Actually, our hands weren’t dirty – we washed them before handling the food. We took massive bags of rice and measured them down into easy to distribute 1lb bags, packed them into boxes and shipped them off.  We listened to music and caught up with our coworkers. We laughed at the jokes rattled off by Vladimir, our amazing project lead (if you get a chance to get over there make sure to ask him about his Girl Scout story).

By the end of our shift we were able to package 2,300 pounds of rice– enough to feed between 4,000 and 5,000 people! We were happy to have helped such a great organization, and are looking forward to the many more projects we have coming up. To learn more about volunteering at the San Francisco Food Bank click here, and to volunteer with the YMCA of San Francisco click here. If you work with any great causes that you’d like to see Access Cares support please share details with us in the comments – we can’t wait to plan our next event.

–Access Cares