Research has shown that organizations that support charitable causes and provide opportunities for employees to be involved in those initiatives have happier staff members overall. A company’s support of a charitable cause can boost morale, provide opportunities for team building, and have a positive impact on company culture as a whole.
This definitely rings true at CAPA.
One of CAPA’s two designated charities that employees have truly enjoyed supporting is the MTeam, and it’s clear that this commitment to giving back has been beneficial for all involved.
The MTeam is a cycling and running team that supports Best Buddies International and inclusion for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD).
“It’s a great privilege to be part of the MTeam through CAPA,” said Craig Kench, Vice President of Internships. “As employees at CAPA, we naturally have a passion for education, and through this wonderful charity we can directly enable and empower people across the globe.”
Craig Kench, Vice President of Internships at CAPA, at a Best Buddies Challenge.
This Best Buddies Challenge team was started in 2016 by CAPA’s CEO and President John Christian. It has grown exponentially over the last few years to include both CAPA staff and many members outside of the organization.
The team has its roots in advocating for one of CAPA’s own employee’s children. “M” stands for Meredith, the daughter of a former CAPA employee, Greg Lewis, who worked on CAPA’s custom programs for 10 years. Meredith was born with a rare genetic condition called FOXG1 and is severely and profoundly disabled. Christian saw ability in Meredith and love in her contagious smiles and wanted to do something positive for her and her family.
Best Buddies International receives the fundraising donations from the MTeam to support their work providing integrated employment, leadership development opportunities, friendships, and inclusive housing to people with IDD. Funds have also helped to benefit Meredith and her classmates when the MTeam recently donated a piece of innovative assistive eye gaze technology to her school. The Tobii PCEye Plus has given Meredith, who is nonverbal, a way to communicate using her eyes to select words and images on a screen.
“I am so privileged to be part of an organization that supports such an important cause and provides me with the time and support to volunteer for the MTeam,” said Shawna Parker, CAPA’s Director of Marketing. “Commitment to giving back to its communities is a big part of what makes CAPA such a rewarding place to work.”
CAPA employees can support the MTeam in a number of ways, from making their own donations to the cause (however big or small they can afford), by joining the team which means committing to a fundraising goal, and running or cycling in the annual Best Buddies Challenge (a 5k run or a 20-, 50-, or 100-mile cycle), and by attending or helping to organize fundraising events like the annual spring gala fundraising event with its “Sequins & Fedoras: Casino Night” theme or spin-a-thons.
Meredith as Chief Motivating Officer for the MTeam!
Meredith is now the Chief Motivating Officer for the MTeam, keeping the team members on their toes and she is very involved, attending the main events and participating in the Best Buddies Challenge where her dad and mom Laura push her in her running chair for the 5k race.
Many of the staff members also know and adore Meredith, either through the friendship they’ve created through working with her dad Greg or from meeting her at various MTeam events. They feel personally connected to giving back to their community in a way that benefits her and her family. And this bring a sense of purpose and, of course, happiness.
CAPA staff at the spring fundraising gala.
Happy employees are more productive; they build stronger and more positive relationships with their colleagues and supervisors; and they feel an increased sense of loyalty to the company because they care about their work and feel a greater sense of purpose.
When employees are happy, an organization is more likely to thrive. There are many examples that show that the happiest companies are the fastest growing.
“I love that CAPA, and especially our President John Christian, is passionate about making an impact on the world,” said David Enda, Vice President of Institutional Relations and Marketing. “Being involved in charitable work speaks to the core of what is truly important for the organization. Being a part of the MTeam and supporting Best Buddies is about inclusion, and CAPA making it a priority reminds us to be sure that the work we do considers everyone in our community.”
And so as CAPA continues to support the MTeam and Best Buddies, the organization is able to maintain happier employers to build our study abroad programs, advise our students and help make their experience abroad the most beneficial and unforgettable it can be.
Students are very much invited to become involved with the MTeam too!
If you or someone you know would be interested in joining or donating to the MTeam—please visit their website or donate here to support our runners, walkers, and riders participating in the Hyannis Best Buddies Challenge on June 1, 2019!