A few years ago, we decided to join Salesforce on the Pledge 1% initiative and dedicate 1% of our product, time, and resources to philanthropic needs. The Pledge 1% was founded by Salesforce, Atlassian, and Rally to encourage companies to leverage a portion of their success to support nonprofits in the community. It’s based on the idea that a small commitment today can have a huge impact tomorrow. Our goal with this initiative is to take more action on our core principles and give back to our Miami community who welcomed us with open arms and became the new home for many of our immigrant team members here at SkyPlanner. For us, it’s not just about helping our customers succeed but about helping our entire community succeed. Like our motto goes, “somos la suma de todos” or “we are the sum of all”.
That’s why we recently teamed up with the Opa-locka Community Development Corporation (OLCDC) to help them improve the community by increasing access to fresh food through their Urban Garden. Passionate about providing opportunities to everyone regardless of background, we chose to join forces with OLCDC as their core values of teamwork, integrity, and constant improvement align with ours. The OLCDC is focused on transforming under-resourced communities into vibrant and engaged neighborhoods by improving access to health, education, employment, art, safety, economic development and affordable housing. They help members of the community purchase their first homes as well as provide technical assistance and alternative financing opportunities for start-ups and small businesses located in low-to-moderate income communities in North Miami-Dade County.
One of the main issues that affects the Opa-Locka community is their lack of access to fresh food. Deemed a “food desert,” fresh fruit and veggies are hard to come by. With limited health stores in the area and people living miles away from grocery stores, the community is hard-pressed to find healthy food options on a regular basis, making it easier to consume junk food which leads to a myriad of health problems including diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, hyperlipidemia, obesity, and mental health issues including major depression. To combat this epidemic, the OLCDC has created the Urban Garden, where they plant more than 10 variations of fruits and veggies such as strawberries, tomatoes, eggplant and sweet potatoes. Through this garden, OLCDC has made it possible for community members to purchase organically grown fresh produce right in their backyard. Also great for the environment, the Urban Garden means less transport and refrigeration costs and emissions. Plus, through the Garden, OLCDC can sell produce to local farmers’ markets and raise money for the organization. It’s a win-win for all!
With the creation of the Urban Garden comes a lot of hard maintenance that needs to take place in order to function right. That’s why we came in to do some maintenance and optimization of this Urban Garden. We got down and dirty and got rid of all the weeds lounging around the garden, filling up the entire dumpster with weeds. We also planted lots of sweet potatoes in the garden just in time to harvest this fall. It was an incredible team-bonding experience, and it was so fulfilling to see how quickly we transformed the garden with everyone’s hands involved.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank Karla and the rest of the team at OLCDC for allowing us to join in on the fun. We appreciate your hospitality and hope to continue working with you in the future.
Through efforts like these, we hope to continue leveraging our technology, people, and resources to empower others and improve communities around the world.
Know of a local nonprofit who’d love the help? Drop us a comment below and suggest our next location!