Zebras Chime In: How We Capture Our Sense of Purpose in Our Communities

Serving a Warm Meal to Others Warmed the Hearts of these Zebras in Canada During the #50HourChallenge

Zebra employees take a group photo with Brother John of the St. Francis Table soup kitchen in Mississauga after volunteering for the day. From left, Leah Li, Sharon Owen, Ozlem Seri, Brother John from St. Francis Table, Persis Daver, Gurjit Matharoo, Dave Lawson, Lawrence Lam, Dharmajit Solanki, Ali Saifuddin & Kushal Sakhia.
by Your Edge Blog Team
July 16, 2019

Zebra, as a company, has always strived to make an impact on the communities in which we operate. Individually, our employees are eager to make a difference in this world on both a local and global scale. Together, we want to give back to those who have welcomed us into their communities and helped shape our lives personally and professionally over the last 50 years.

That is why Zebra offers employees paid time off to volunteer with organizations that have meaning to them, and this is a core component of our Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) program.

This summer, Zebra wanted to elevate its community service commitment even more. So, we encouraged employees across all regions of the world to team up and volunteer at least 50 hours during the month of June. We called it the #50HourChallenge – 50 hours of service in celebration of Zebra’s 50th anniversary.

The level of participation was awe inspiring, and we could share stories about all of the good that came about from this challenge for days on end. But, for now, we’re going to let a few of our employees share their #50HourChallenge experiences so that you can get a sense for how we “capture our sense of purpose” in our communities.

First up is a submission we received from Persis Daver, a document control specialist in the engineering department at our Mississauga facility in Canada:

I always wanted to volunteer and give back to my fellow human beings, but being a working mom with only so much time in the day, it seemed like an almost impossible task.

Zebra’s volunteering time off schemes and awesome initiatives like the 50 Hour Challenge both encourage philanthropic activities throughout the company and promote team building. Serving the needy and less fortunate and getting to know more about your teammates – those  colleagues who you only see in a work atmosphere – also provides a great level of satisfaction as both an individual and Zebra employee.

I was honored to participate in the Mississauga St. Francis Table soup kitchen with nine of my colleagues from the Engineering Shared Services (ESS) department in June 2019 to help serve the homeless.  St. Francis Table differs slightly from regular soup kitchens; they operate a full-service restaurant that feeds those who cannot otherwise afford a good meal. It is a non-profit organization run solely with donations and volunteers; it is not funded by the city or government as you will see on the St. Francis Table website.

We went there having already organized a food drive to gather food for this worthy cause. We served lunch to more than 55 needy/homeless people currently supported by the St. Francis team.

To prepare and serve lunch, our tasks for the day included kitchen prep, peeling 20 lbs of potatoes, setting up cutlery, prepping/buttering buns, setting up the tea/coffee station, scrambling together 72+ eggs, baking Italian sausages, making coleslaw and french fries from scratch, setting up the dining area, and more!

The Zebra team peeling potatoes at St. Francis Table as part of the #50HourChallenge

At the lunch bell, our team of volunteers was divided into smaller teams to help take orders and wait on customers, plate food, serve tea/coffee, scrape food off plates/cutlery, bus and wash dishes and so forth.

Once meal service was done, we all sat with the remaining customers and had lunch ourselves with the St. Francis team. At the end of it all, we cleaned up the kitchen and dining area –bagging up the trash and ensuring everything was wiped clean and disinfected, ready for the next group of volunteers serving meals.

Zebras getting ready to serve meals at St. Francis Table. From left: Persis Daver, Sharon Owen, Ozlem Seri and Lawrence Lam

It was no doubt a tiring day! However, we returned to Zebra with a higher sense of purpose, a feeling of gratification that only community service can give. We all bonded, laughed, joked, took too many selfies and became like a family with those we served and the and St. Francis staff. I speak for all of us when I say that we had a general feeling of happiness and well-being. We worked so well as a harmonious team, supporting each other without any barriers to create an enjoyable experience for all.

That day, we fed the hungry at St. Francis and we fed our souls."

Thank you, Persis, for giving us an insight into one of the many ways Zebras are helping others every day!

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Your Edge Blog Team
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