When Workwell began to look for ways to give back in 2016, the company’s team knew it wanted to help military veterans who served in Afghanistan and Iraq. “It was important to us,” explained Scott Lesizza, co-founder and principal at Workwell Partners. “Many of us had friends and family who were affected by these wars, so we wanted to give back to that community.”
Finding a charity that aligned with Workwell’s values and gave back as much as possible became a priority. After some research, it found Hope for the Warriors. “Hope for the Warriors gives back 90 cents for every dollar while other organizations give much less,” Lesizza noted.
Giving to Hope for the Warriors started out small with the 2016 Big Apple Run for Warriors. A team from Workwell participated, allowing them to get to know the charitable organization. Additionally, the company hosted in-house cocktail hours where the cost for an alcoholic beverage was a dollar donation. From that, a fruitful partnership emerged.
In 2016, the Workwell for the Warriors event launched. Hosted in a rented bar space, attendees learned about Hope for the Warriors directly from the participating veterans. “We heard from the warriors themselves, which was impactful,” Lesizza added.
In 2017, the second Workwell for the Warriors event took place at Public House in Midtown Manhattan. The team spread the word throughout the neighborhood, offering an open bar, food, raffle, auction, and photo booth, in addition to information about the Hope for the Warriors organization. Ultimately, $10,000 was raised at that event.
“One person we spoke to [in the area] told us he had just enlisted in the military, but had never heard of Hope for the Warriors, so he said he would check it out,” said Kate Kacani, marketing coordinator at Workwell Partners.
As for the future of the collaboration, Workwell is only getting started, looking at new ways in which it can increase participation in the Workwell for the Warriors event, as well as other means of giving back to the community. To attend the 2018 event, keep an eye out next fall for the date and location.