T.A. Cook is celebrating its 25th anniversary this December. To commemorate the 25 years, T.A. Cook employees (aka Cookies) have honoured each year of service with one good deed in their local community. These 25 good deeds have covered a broad range of efforts from physical labour in nature to fundraising for worthy causes.
Text: Jennifer Adams
Volunteering and charitable giving are important values at T.A. Cook, which is why this practice of celebration through community service was first established in 2014 for the 20th anniversary. “When we celebrated our 20th anniversary we decided to start giving something back to society and to pass on some of the great blessings we have received over so many years,” said co-founder Thomas Cook.
The coordination and completion of these good deeds are carried out entirely by the Cookies themselves. This not only reaffirms T.A. Cook’s commitment to social responsibility but also encourages creativity and altruism among the Cookies resulting in strengthened corporate identity. “In my opinion, companies have an obligation to be socially committed. T.A. Cook implements this 100% and supports every employee getting involved, I really appreciate that,” said office manager, Stefanie Himpel.
The Good Deeds projects look beyond just charitable giving in the form of donations, and encourage hands on participation and personal commitment of the Cookies. “The most important thing are the recipients, followed immediately by the employees.” said Cook. “Our hope is that these activities make a lasting impression, and may even influence attitudes and values. In this respect, employee satisfaction through corporate volunteering is also a benefit for the company.”
The U.S. based Cookies have packed lunches at Kids’ Meals for Houston’s hungry pre-school aged children, stuffed teddy bears for Ronald McDonald House Charity, and packed re-purposed fruits and veggies at The Montgomery County Food Bank. “We all feel quite lucky to have spent our day contributing to solutions instead of problems” said Marketing Coordinator, Jennifer Adams after a full day of packing food.
In Berlin, the Cookies cleaned littered trash from their city streets, donated blood at the German Red Cross, fundraised by running half-marathons, chaperoned children’s field trips to nature parks with the Fire Brigade, and assisted in food donations with Berliner Tafel. “To see how much food is thrown away every week, although it is still good, shocked me,” said Trainee Manager, Leonie Wolf. “Through this volunteer experience, I think more about my consumption behaviour and don't throw away my food on the expiration date.”
Cookies based in Birmingham got their hands dirty with some gardening for the Wildlife Trusts of Birmingham and The Black County, and planted trees for the Birmingham Museums Trust. “Providing employees with the opportunity and time to give back to their local communities is a brilliant way to boost morale and team spirit. I feel a great sense of pride working for a company which encourages this sort of environment,” said Senior Event Production Manager, Jessica Duffy. “Opportunities such as these really help to reinforce that although we are a business, T.A. Cook recognizes the importance of volunteer work and its benefits not only for wider society but also for the health and wellbeing of its employees.”