In 2019, GTN had a goal to define its social mission—something we could all identify with, that would positively impact a lot of people, and that would inspire us to do great things. After a bit of brainstorming and discussion, we were excited to announce that the theme for GTN’s social cause was education.
But what does that mean?
Education got all of us to where we are today. Providing education and the related resources has the potential to raise up an entire community and it provides individuals with the skills required to face real-life challenges. Education is key to continued learning throughout our lives and can take many forms, such as external classes, podcasts, reading, or seminars—tools intended to provide us with new ways to incorporate learning into our lives. We all know that we need the right tools in order to continue our education throughout our life. Books, technology, supplies, and nutrition are just some of the items necessary to optimize learning.
Education is also about sharing knowledge and advancing an initiative for the greater good. With this in mind, we recently created a Green Initiative within GTN that encompasses ways to make our offices environmentally friendly, and also provides information and resources to our employees that they may incorporate in their personal lives.
Throughout last year, GTN found a number of ways to support education in a variety of forms.
We started our social mission off with a donation of one year of school for a girl for every new corporate client. The donations are made through the organization International Rescue Committee, and each donation helps pay for the books and other supplies necessary for a girl to attend school for an entire year. In 2019, we were able to offer a year of school for 85 girls in recognition of new corporate clients, or other events such as promotions, retirements, and new additions to the family. This initiative was so well-received that we will be continuing it—and expanding it—in 2020.
In addition to the one year of school for a girl, GTN’s focus on education came to life through other charitable activities.
- For our 2019 annual Beards and Braids for Busy Season contest, we raised over $5,500 for No Kid Hungry to assist in their efforts in eradicating hunger, by providing school lunches to children in need.
- During our firmwide conference in August:
- GTN teams volunteered at three different schools in St. Paul, MN, cleaning up the schools’ exteriors to help them get ready for the new school year.
- The same teams competed at a fun evening event to earn money for schools in their region. In total, GTN donated $10,000 to schools in need in CA, IL, PA, and TX through AdoptAClassroom.org.
- We then volunteered at the annual Greater Twin Cities United Way Action Day 2019, helping to pack backpacks for children in need. At the end of this event, 4,000 volunteers—including GTN—packed a total of 40,000 school backpacks to be distributed to students.
March 8 is International Women’s Day, and is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. This year’s theme is #EachforEqual, with a call to action to accelerate women's equality. One way to increase equality for women around the world is through education. We are very proud to support this call to action through our gifts of one year of school for a girl—as education impacts us all and can take on many different forms.
As Nelson Mandela said, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” We could not agree more and are excited to see what lies ahead as we begin a new year with our social focus on education.