One Dollar at a Time – Soda and Water Bottle Sales Add Up to Big Bucks

Shawn and Jason with the soda fridge

January 09, 2020 - Our Communities Maine

TD's Maine Contact Center has raised over $21,000 in 4 years for charity

The fundraising committee at TD's Contact Center in Auburn, Maine was keen on adding some pop to their efforts to raise money. So, they enlisted a spare fridge in the office along with some cans of soda and water bottles to sell to colleagues for a dollar each.

That was four years ago. Although they expected to raise funds for local charities, no one anticipated that number would soar to over $21,000 since its inception, especially since it is done by selling a can or water bottle, one dollar at a time, year-round.

"Our first event was a success, so we wondered what if we kept it going," said Shawn Walker, TD's Business Process Manager, who initially ran the program in its first 1 ½ years. "We were able to turn it into a monthly thing. Folks kept contributing, which is how we were able to raise so much."

Local is the focus

Besides quenching a thirst, the real key to the success of the soda and water bottle program was the emphasis that the funds be used to support local charities. It also has pulled together the entire Auburn office in a special way since colleagues are able to choose which organizations receive donations through a vote.

"TD is known for its support of big events and organizations, such as the United Way and Special Olympics, but what struck a chord with me was being able to give a $400 or $500 donation to a local organization, which is just as impactful to our community," said Jason Eggleston, TD's Sales Support Specialist, who currently leads the donation effort at the Auburn Contact Center. "Even smaller amounts mean a ton to them."

Among the local organizations that have received funds are:

  • The Dempsey Center, located in Lewiston and South Portland, Maine, provides free specialized services that help individuals and families manage the impact of cancer and cancer treatment. "With those donations, we can continue to provide support services at no cost to our clients that come through the door," said Patricia Caldwell, Fundraising and Fitness for Life Coordinator for the Dempsey Center. "We have a wonderful relationship with TD Bank."
  • The Greater Androscoggin Humane Society, Lewiston, Maine, is a safe space and no-kill shelter for animals in need and a resource for community members and their animal companions. Puppies from the shelter were brought to the TD office in Auburn several times to visit colleagues in the lunchroom.

"If I said I was at all surprised by the grassroots origin or the positive, sustained response of this – I'd be lying," said Scott McCown, Senior Contact Center Manager in Auburn. "It's just one of many examples of the compassionate, dedicated and all-around extraordinary team here in Auburn. Everyone cares so deeply about our customers, their fellow colleagues and our local community. I am both proud and honored to work with such amazing people each day."

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What seems so simple is a lot of work

Shawn and Jason would certainly encourage other TD offices to consider running similar types of fundraising programs, given all the benefits to the local communities. But they would also add that it does require constant commitment and work to ensure everything runs smoothly.

Jason uses his experience as a business owner to make sure profits are maximized with the cost of goods. He also credits his colleagues in the office for helping to keep it running, particularly Deidre Hines, TD's Phone Loan Representative, Direct to Consumer Lending, " who does a fantastic job of making sure that the fridge is well stocked" when Jason is not in the office.

But no matter the amount of work, the rewards are well worth it.

"The most important lesson I learned is that when you do something good, there are others watching," Shawn said. "You don't even realize it has a compounding effect to inspire."


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