When the women of Instrumental gathered at the beginning of the year to decide our goals and priorities, one theme kept popping up: we wanted to serve our community. So we quickly found a cause we cared about and got to work!
We’re excited to share that within a week, we raised over $2,000, create 30 STEM boxes for kids in foster care, and had participation from team members in every company department.
How did we do it? Let’s first take a step back and talk about the problem we wanted to solve.
Today, there are over 4,000 kids in foster care in the Bay Area, and more than 420,000 in the United States. They often enter the system with just the clothes on their backs — no toys, no books, nothing they can claim as their own.
Plus, there’s an extra complication. Depending on when a child enters foster care, they might not get to participate in summer camps or extracurricular activities. The camps are full, registration closed, or there’s no room on the waitlist. As a result, they fall between the cracks and miss out on the opportunities typically provided to their peers. That’s what Together We Rise aims to solve.
Together We Rise is a nonprofit organization that helps kids in foster care navigate the hardest parts of their lives. One of TWR’s initiatives is to nurture an interest in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) through a box of activities made especially for kids in foster care. It’s a small act of kindness that can help the kids feel noticed and encouraged when they might otherwise feel invisible and left out.
Supporting a child’s interest in STEM (unsurprisingly) resonated with our team. We’re made up of nearly 80 engineers, product designers, and business people who want to improve the manufacturing industry — so we’re invested in nurturing interest in STEM fields.
We launched our fundraiser through Together We Rise with a goal of raising $1,300 for 20 boxes in two weeks. But in less than two weeks, we blew right past that — we raised over $2,000 for 30 boxes!
Then, after we decorated and assembled the boxes, we delivered them to a foster care agency, Rebekah’s Children’s Services in Campbell, California, whose social workers were thrilled to have so many boxes for their kids. From there, the social workers shared them with the school-aged children and youth in their care, and our volunteering project was officially marked “complete.”
Our entire team enjoyed fundraising, decorating and assembling the boxes together, but also recognized the hardships experienced by the kids receiving them. A STEM Box of their own can never undo the trauma they’ve experienced, but it can help nurture their self-esteem and sense of identity as they work on the projects.
We’re always looking out for new team members who want to join us in meaningful professional work along with sincere service to our community. Interested? Check out our open roles, and reach out if you think you’re a fit.