There are all kinds of reasons I love being a part of the SmallBox team, but one of my favorite things about this group of people is their passion. This group does not sit back and take a passive approach to life - we are a hands-on, fired up, "how can I help?" group of people. It is so inspiring to listen to my team members talk about the various projects and organizations they are a part of - you can't help but share their enthusiasm and resolve to find your own pocket of the world to get involved with and give of your time and talents. A couple of our team members recently started some new volunteer endeavors, so I thought I'd shine a spotlight on their projects and what gets them fired up about giving back.
Lydia and ICAN
Lydia Whitehead is our Design Director here at the 'Box and she was recently invited to join the Board of Directors for Indiana Canine Assitant Network (ICAN). SmallBox had the privilege of working with ICAN during the 24 Hour Web Project this past September. I asked Lydia why the mission of ICAN is important to her, and she shared the following with me:
"This cause is important to me because I love dogs and I believe in respecting all beings. I really fell in love with this cause when I saw that it helps not only people with disabilities to gain support they needed, but also allows criminal offenders to gain critical life management skills that help them better prepare for re-entry into the world."
In addition to her shared passion for their mission, Lydia hopes to contribute her own strengths, adding she'll be bringing her "design skills and talents to the organization to help them better spread the word and get out their message. They've got a great team, so I'm sure I'll learn a ton of other skills from everyone there, I'm really looking forward to that!"
Emily and the Bates-Hendricks Foot Trail
Emily Watkins is our resident SEO expert. She is leading the charge to launch a project that will improve an area of her neighborhood. So why is this so important to her?
"My neighborhood used to be a part of Fountain Square, before the interstate split Fountain Square right down the middle. Both areas have suffered from this, losing businesses, arts & culture, and the attention of the city for a long time. Now that Fountain Square has become a major focus for improvement, it would be such a shame for Bates-Hendricks (my neighborhood) to remain obscured from all of the amazing things happening in Fountain Square. For everyone that lives in Bates-Hendricks, this trail is a foot-traffic short cut straight into Fountain Square.
Making this trail beautiful, well-lit and a pleasant walk will actually go a long way to re-connect these two neighborhoods. Additionally, there are plans to expand the Cultural Trail out from Fountain Square and down towards my neighborhood, so the Bates-Hendricks foot-trail could potentially connect to the new section of the Cultural Trail, which would give Bates-Hendricks a direct connection to downtown, Mass Ave and Broad Ripple!"
In the early stages of getting this project off the ground, Emily hopes that "even one person talking about this idea might spur others to join in and help make this happen."
So how's that for passion?!? Emily and Lydia are a great example to all of us that there are always opportunities to get involved in something that is important to you. There are amazing organizations all throughout the city that would love to have passionate people volunteer their time and energy into furthering their cause. One of my favorite quotes is from Gandhi: "You must BE the change you wish to see in the world." The team at SmallBox is definitely making their mark, so join us and get out there to support an organization you are passionate about!