Exactly a month ago, we filed into the conference room for our routine weekly strategy meeting. Typically to begin these meetings, we do a “presencing exercise” – sometimes we go around and share something fun we did over the weekend, watch an Internet video, or even jump around in circles. The point of the exercise, as implied by the title, is to make sure everyone is in the moment for our meeting.
Well, on November 5th, we were inspired by this video about a middle school football team who conspired to stop short of a goal so that one of their special needs players could make a touchdown. It got us talking about simple things we can do to make someone’s day.
It got Jeremy thinking about an experience he had right before, when he was at the mall food court. While he was in line for Taste of Red Iguana, a man introduced himself to Jeremy and told him that he was a refugee from West Africa. He asked Jeremy’s advice on where to get a calling card to let his nephew know he is okay. It was a relatively brief encounter, but the man described some of the experiences that lead him to seek asylum, and said that Catholic Community Services helped him come to the United States and was providing housing and job training.
After hearing this story, Michael decided that the whole team would go to Catholic Community Services that afternoon to see if we could find him and help him get acclimated in our city. At 3pm, we all showed up and were lucky that the Director of Immigration & Refugee Resettlement was able to take the time to talk to us about the refugee experience—everything from the countries they come from to the coalition of organizations that help Utah’s refugees. We learned that nearly 5% of Salt Lake City’s population is refugees— as of January 2013, 46,154 refugees have resettled in Utah since 1988.*
Due to confidentiality and other reasons, Catholic Community Services wasn’t able to connect us with the man that Jeremy met in the food court. However, we were thankful that the experience he had that day brought us all together to learn more about the need in our community.
We were advised that one of the greatest needs of the refugee community is coats. Many of the people who arrive in Utah come from much warmer places and have never experienced a winter like we have here. (Today, the high is 18oF.) Many of the families come with little or no luggage, so besides the obvious warm winter clothes and blankets, they also need almost everything else.
There are many exciting ways to volunteer as well—you can welcome an incoming group at the airport, mentor a family so they always have someone to answer their questions, or even get involved in the New Roots Community Garden. One of Catholic Community Services’ volunteer coordinators is coming to our office to explain to us the available options so we can choose a meaningful way to get involved on a long-term, consistent, and sustainable basis. I feel so lucky to work at a place that not only encourages community involvement, but where each member of the team is meaningfully involved in causes that are important to them. I know that once we get rolling, our team volunteering will be amazing!
Posted By: Kayla Whidden
December 5, 2013, 10:30 am
As a way of expressing gratitude for all our many blessings, we are donating a portion of our commission from every transaction completed to a charity organization.
We would like to invite our clients to join in on the giving. For any deal we complete with you, we will match up to $500 to be given to one of the charities below, or a charity of your choice.
Helping Kids with Cancer
Nazarene Orphan Centre (NOC)
Fourth Street Clinic
Utahns Against Hunger
Best Friends Animal Society
November 27, 2013, 2:23 pm
Jeremy invited me to join his church group for a service project at the Road Home last night. The Road Home is a non-profit organization that provides emergency housing, and aide to homeless families in Utah.
I have never been to a Road Home facility before so I wasn't quite sure what to expect. The one we went to is located in a warehouse next to train tracks in a bit of a run down industrial area in old Midvale. Inside the open warehouse are rows and rows and rows of beds. There were probably about 75+ families currently staying there. While it is better conditions than living on the street, it was very eye opening and humbling to see how little these people truly have.
For the service project, we ended up playing games with the kids, doing a craft project, and decorating cookies. The kids were so excited to have something fun to do. While a lot of it was mass chaos with fifty kids running around, it was still an enjoyable time for them. I think most of them just liked being interacted with, and being able to be kids.
It was such an easy thing to do on our part, and surely seemed to brighten their day. I will definitely be thinking about doing more volunteering in the future. No matter the circumstance of why the families are there, everyone needs help in their lives. I will often get so caught up in materialistic things, and my own problems when there are really so many people that I could put that energy towards in a positive way.
Thank you for inviting me along, Jeremy. It was definitely an eye opening experience. I hope that with the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday, we can all keep what we are thankful for on our minds, and create space in our lives to help eachother out.
Information about the road home here: http://www.theroadhome.org/
They are always in need of volunteers and donations.
November 22, 2013, 11:27 am
Some of you know that I have a background as a professional disc jockey in a past work life. (20+ years ago) Well, I still like to play at parties and the occasional dance event, so I am always looking for music to play. This week I found a remix of the classic Buffalo Springfield song “For What It’s Worth” by a dj called Builder. Listen here: https://soundcloud.com/builderbeats/buffalo-springfield-for-what
What struck me about the song is not that I love it, or even like it that much, but how DJ Builder used technology to change this classic track. The day I heard this track was the same day Blockbuster announced the closure of their remaining 300 stores, and Office Max and Office Depot announced their merger. Bottom line; Change is imminent, and technology has made new things possible that could not have been fathomed even 20 years ago!
At IPG we do our best to stay on top of technology and changing trends for owners and occupiers of industrial property. To hear our opinion on the industrial real estate market, give us a call, and maybe we’ll share a few song downloads too!
Posted By: Michael Jeppesen
November 13, 2013, 9:54 am
It may seem like we have a fascination with Amazon and more specifically their distribution model as it relates to industrial real estate nationwide… This is our third post this year about the massive online retailer. The fact is, Amazon is impacting commercial real estate in a big way right now.
I ended my August 28th blog post with “And who knows, maybe the US Postal Service would make an interesting acquisition for the logistics giant.” Well Amazon hasn’t acquired the US Post office, but they have cut a deal! Just when you thought you would be seeing less of the US Post Office at your door on the weekends, Amazon cut a deal to have them visit your home on Sundays.
Read the article for yourself here: http://money.cnn.com/2013/11/11/news/companies/amazon-seven-day-delivery/index.html?iid=HP_LN
Posted By: Jeremy Jensen
November 11, 2013, 11:50 am