In December, the Washington Post asked its readers to sum up calendar year 2020 in one word or phrase. They received over 2,000 responses with exhausting, lost, and chaotic rounding out the top three. And though it was all three of these words and more, 2020 was also a year when many of us took time to reexamine what is most important, where we want to spend our time, and how much we can accomplish when we all come together and give back.
In 2019, GTN adopted our social cause around education, and while stay at home orders cancelled most in-person volunteer activities and events, we were still able to find a number of ways to support education and our communities in 2020.
Throughout the year, we continued our educational social mission through the donation of one year of school for a girl for every new corporate client. These donations were 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 2020, we were able to offer a year of school for 103 girls in recognition of new corporate clients as well as some of their significant life events such as promotions, retirements, and new additions to the family.
In March 2020, we held our annual Beards and Braids for Busy Season contest, raising over $5,100 for AdoptAClassroom.org, an organization dedicated to keeping education available for students, parents, and teachers. Our 2020 donation specifically helped provide COVID-19 relief for educators and their students.
When not under stay at home orders last year, our employees found ways to safely give back to their communities through our GTN Gives Back program. This program offers employees up to 8 hours annually to volunteer at a nonprofit or educational institution of their choice during normal working hours. At the end of the year, we were incredibly proud of our team who donated a significant amount of their time to communities and organizations in need throughout 2020, despite the lockdowns.
In an effort to share our ongoing philanthropic activities and events, we recently updated our Philanthropy and Community Involvement page on the GTN website. In the future, we plan to add employee personal stories of giving back as well as sustainability updates and tips. This page will be constantly evolving—if you are also passionate about giving back and supporting communities, we ask for your support. Rally around our efforts, provide support where and when you can, and help us spread the word about our initiatives.
So, as we look back on the exhausting, lost, and chaotic year that was 2020, we take pride in knowing that we, as a firm, continued to move forward with our social cause, continued to donate our resources and time to worthy charities, and look to 2021 to do even more.