At Online Optimism, one of our core values is to better our community. This isn’t something that we throw on a wall (although we do) and call it a day. It’s a major component of our overall philosophy and goes in tandem with part of our overall mission—to grow businesses, benefit communities, inspire employees, and spread Optimism.
Although we hope that the work we provide for our clients helps accomplish this mission, we believe that it’s important to go above and beyond to use the resources that we have to give back to people who might not necessarily have the need for digital marketing services. So in the past year, we’ve put some processes in place to ensure that we’re doing our part for our community. Here are a few of the ways that we’ve given back this year.
This year, the Online Optimism team came together to volunteer for three New Orleans nonprofit organizations that align with our culture and values and, ultimately, make the city a better place. This year, we chose to volunteer at Wednesday at the Square, presented by the Young Leadership Council of New Orleans; LUNA Fête, presented by the Arts Council New Orleans; and SOUL NOLA. Each of these wonderful organizations serves the city in a different way, from benefiting and promoting the arts community, to beautifying the beautiful Lafitte Greenway, to improving the quality of life in the New Orleans downtown and fostering leadership skills in young professionals.
Wednesday at the Square
YLC’s Wednesday at the Square is a free, 10-concert music series in Lafayette Square in the heart of New Orleans’ Central Business District. Not only does this free concert series attract over 6,000 music lovers per week and give locals and tourists a much-needed mid-week reprieve to let loose and enjoy some of the best music New Orleans has to offer, but a portion of the proceeds also supports YLC’s mission of positively impacting New Orleans in many ways, “including youth development, career-readiness for students, college prep, leadership development, recycling, biking infrastructure, and more,” according to Hands On New Orleans.
Every week, over 100 volunteers help put on Wednesday at the Square. Online Optimism assisted with selling food and drink tickets, handling beverage service, and conducting concert satisfaction and demographic surveys, all while enjoying a beautiful New Orleans spring day and participating in one of the best free concert series in the United States.
Sustaining Our Urban Landscape
Our first project of the year happened to fall the weekend of Earth Day, so it only made sense to find a project that would improve the existing green space along the newly renovated Lafitte Greenway. On Saturday, April 21st, the OO team partnered with SOUL NOLA (Sustaining Our Urban Landscape) to reforest the New Orleans area, which, according to SOUL NOLA’s website, has become the most deforested city in the United States. SOUL NOLA’s mission is to strategically reforest the city of New Orleans by planting trees in partner communities until they are substantially reforested, which can positively impact flooding, subsidence, pollution, rising temperatures, and community health, all while making our city a more beautiful place to live. Since its inception in 2016, SOUL NOLA has planted 1,322 large, native trees.
Online Optimism’s job was to get our hands dirty and mulch several of the trees that had been recently planted along the Lafitte Greenway. Over the course of several hours, our team worked with other volunteers to put a protective layer of soil and mulch over 200 trees, along with a car or two.
After the success of Wednesday at the Square, the OO team figured we couldn’t go wrong by volunteering with another festival in Lafayette Square. As anyone in New Orleans will tell you, one of the major draws to the city is its abundance of art, which is ingrained in nearly every facet of the city’s culture. LUNA Fête aims to highlight the local art community and blend New Orleans’ historic architecture with contemporary light and video mapping technology, sound installation, and motion graphics. It also includes a nightly arts market, food vendors, and art displays throughout the CBD.
Online Optimism’s job was simple but important. The team was tasked with creating handheld light orbs to be sold at the festival, with proceeds benefiting the Arts Council of New Orleans.
Second Harvest Food Drive
As the holidays rolled around, Online Optimism decided that we wanted to give back to those in need with a food drive. Over the course of two weeks, our team came together to collect over 50 pounds of canned and non-perishable goods, which we donated to the Second Harvest Food Bank, in partnership with New Orleans & Company, all of which went to “the hard-working people of TSA, the air traffic controllers, and the US Customs and Border Protection personnel who keep Louis Armstrong International Airport open for business, plus the Coast Guard that keeps our port operational,” according to an email that New Orleans & Company released on January 25th, 2019.
For the second straight year, Flynn Zaiger, Online Optimism’s fearless leader, participated in StayLocal‘s office hours, which provide one-on-one consultations with local business experts. This free program provides expertise to small businesses and nonprofits from business experts in different fields, including finance, human resources, technology, legal services, and, in our case, marketing.
We look forward to continuing our philanthropic efforts in 2019 and seeing the city grow and prosper through these efforts and the wonderful nonprofits who coordinate these events. Learn more about the benefit of corporate volunteering today.