Posts within ‘Boots On The Ground: Service Stories’

Wanted: New Hampshire Earth Day Projects

New Hampshire area readers: Timberland is now accepting proposals for Earth Day service projects for our NH-based employees.  We love our local communities, we love the outdoors, and we’re looking for regreening projects that will allow us to bring those two passions together and make them both better.

In simpler terms, a “regreening project” is creating or improving outdoor spaces so more people can enjoy them.  In past years, we’ve worked on public greenways and trail systems, cleaned up community gardens, playgrounds and parks, and expanded outdoor learning spaces for camps and schools.

To learn more about the kinds of projects we’re looking for and to submit your own idea, click here to download the RFP for Timberland’s 2013 Earth Day projects.  The deadline for submissions is February 1.

Celebrating 20 Years of Service Around the World

Twenty years ago, Timberland created our Path of Service™ program—a monumental moment that marked the beginning of a rich tradition of service.

To celebrate the 20th Anniversary, we put our values into action at events around the world, thanks to our team of Global Stewards—passionate employees who volunteer above and beyond their regular job responsibilities to serve as ambassadors of corporate social responsibility. Here are some highlights of their efforts around the world:

  • Italy: Global Steward Francesca Vitale organized a two-day service trip for three teams of employees to Cinque Terre on Palmaria Island. Each team worked on different projects, including cleaning beaches, renovating benches along the paths, and repainting an old military fortress.
  • Japan: Global Steward Shiho Hirasawa’s team spread its celebration across the year, arranging monthly service events from May through November.
  • Taiwan: With the support of Global Steward Marty Shen, Taiwan launched a program that rewards consumers for engaging with Timberland in service—a concept that’s spread to other Timberland locations around the world.
  • USA: Near our Stratham, New Hampshire global headquarters, community engagement manager Brianne Wood coordinated more than 350 volunteers in this year’s Serv-a-Palooza in three locations. The team helped 25 non-profit organizations by constructing outdoor furniture, creating and restoring over three miles of trails, and knitting winter hats and mittens.

Our commitment to service doesn’t end with our employees. Over the years, our service events have grown to include vendors, distributors, supplier factories and consumers and community members.  We’re also fortunate that our new parent company, VF Corporation, supports Timberland’s values-driven brand and mission to equip people to make a difference in the communities where they live and work. We look forward to continuing to partner with VF to grow our commitment to service beyond our own corporate walls.

What is so powerful about our service program is the many ripples it creates. As we send people to service sites, their direct impact ripples out to other organizations and the people they serve. Our belief is that when each employee has a service experience, it helps them become more engaged in their own community and on their own time. We hope this year’s 20th anniversary has re-energized our army of service warriors to continue to grow Timberland’s level of service.

Kicking Off the Holidays with the Mark Wahlberg Youth Foundation

Timberland volunteers with Mark and Jim Wahlberg

A group of Timberland volunteers gave up a Sunday morning during this busy holiday season to share some joy with kids from the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Boston.  Each year, the directors of the various clubs identify the kids with the highest needs, and they receive an invitation to attend a very special holiday party hosted by the Mark Wahlberg Youth Foundation (MWYF).  Timberland has been a part of this event for the past three years, providing our iconic yellow boots to the children that attend.

Timberland boots are just one of many gifts given at the party.  This year, the kids let out a raucous scream of excitement when they learned that they would all be going home with a brand new Play Station Vita.

As Jimmy Wahlberg, director of the MWYF told the Timberland volunteers, the party is held in the spirit of the Wahlberg family’s Christmas and the notion of ‘paying it forward.’  While theirs was a family of limited means, Jimmy says that his parents always made sure that their nine kids had presents under the tree on Christmas morning.

A special treat for the kids and volunteers alike this year was that Mark Wahlberg himself attended the party.  While carrying one of his own children, he reminded the young group of party-goers, “when all you guys grow up and become successful, make sure you give back to the kids that need it, ok?  Don’t forget about the kids in the community.”

The video below showcases some of the highlights from the day.  Our thanks to Anchor Line Web & Screen Works for capturing the experience in video and photos, and to the Mark Wahlberg Youth Foundation for giving us the opportunity to be a part of this memorable holiday tradition.

9 Days, 4,000 Bags, 1 Amazing Experience

Fresh from the bayou, Team Timberland’s Erica Sarcione shares her final thoughts with us about her week-long service sabbatical as part of In Good Company — a partnership of businesses committed to making a difference through hands-on volunteerism for communities in need.  Erica and her fellow service warriors spent their week working on wetlands restoration to help stabilize a fragile barrier island in south Louisiana, where the Mississippi River meets the Gulf of Mexico.

Where the River meets the Gulf. Courtesy of In Good Company.

Well, we did it!!! Lots of time, energy, effort and care was put in over the last 9 days extended to the wetlands restoration project. Many thanks to our partners, Restore the Earth Foundation and the Louisiana Department of Wildlife & Fisheries.

Our accomplishements:

· We packed over 1,000 Gulf Saver Bags with 22,000 pounds of composted humus.

· We moved 4,000 Gulf Saver Bags from barge to boat and from boat to beach.

· We planted a total of 15,000 native plants (Black Mangrove, Smooth Cord Grass, Marshay Grass, Black Needle Rush Grass).

· All in all, we planted approximately 5+ acres!

Our efforts will help to stabilize a fragile ecosystem, add valuable wildlife habitat, and strengthen a much-needed hurricane buffer.

It was an amazing week and I feel privileged to have been chosen for this incredible journey. I am truly a different person because of this experience, and look forward to making more of a difference in this world going forward. I’d also like to send a heartfelt thank you to all the amazing people I met along the way! I will NEVER forget you!

- Erica

In Good Company 2012

We’re proud to support In Good Company and individuals like Erica willing to give their time and energy to projects like this.  To learn more about In Good Company and the good work this year’s team did in Louisiana, visit their Facebook page.

In Good Company Takes to the Air

Part of the joy of putting in hard effort is seeing its impact — and that’s exactly what Timberland service sabbatical participants Erica Sarcione and Kerri Hewatt did.  Erica and Kerri are spending this week in Louisiana working on a wetlands restoration project with In Good Company – a partnership of businesses committed to making a difference through hands-on volunteerism for communities in need.

The In Good Company crew took time out from filling, hauling and planting 4,000 “Gulf Saver” bags (biodegradable bags filled with native plants and grasses that, when planted, help to stabilize areas of rapid erosion) to get a bird’s eye view of the area and their work. Erica captured the experience to share with us:

Up we go!

Nothing but smiles mid-flight

Bird's eye view of our job site

Erica reports, “That was an AWESOME day.  You really can’t 100% grasp the size and beauty of this place until you see it from above.  I hope by the pictures you can appreciate the importance of these wetlands and understand the need to do everything we can to save them.  There’s so much at stake here!”

With their week-long service experience winding down, we wish safe travels to the entire In Good Company team and look forward to posting final thoughts and photos from Erica and Kerri when they return.

8 Days of Gulf Coast Adventure (and Service) — In Good Company

For the past several years, Timberland has been proud to be a part of In Good Company – a partnership of businesses committed to making a difference through hands-on volunteerism for communities in need.  Each year, employee volunteers from each of the participating companies gather for a week-long service sabbatical to create a positive impact.  This year, Timberland’s representatives are Erica Sarcione, associate product manager at Timberland’s headquarters in Stratham, NH and Kerri Hewatt, assistant store manager for our Timberland Factory Outlet in Commerce, Georgia.

Erica and Kerri are spending this week in Louisiana, working side by side with volunteers from 16 other values-driven companies to help protect and restore parts of the Gulf Coast.  Over the course of the week they’ll learn more about the efforts of local nonprofit organizations, meet local activists, and experience plenty of local culture.

Erica and Kerri took a few minutes out of their jam-packed days to update us on what they’re doing and how the experience has been so far:

Everyone’s spirits are high and we’re all eager to get to work — and we have plenty of it ahead of us! We’re planting 4,000 “Gulf Saver” bags in the marsh lands this week (Gulf Savers are biodegradable burlap bags filled with native plants and grasses that are planted to jump start growth and stability in areas of rapid erosion). They lose about a football size piece of land every hour down here – and we’re here to help fix that!

- Erica

Volunteers planting Gulf Saver Bags. Photo courtesy of Restore the Earth Foundation

We are making great progress on our project here in Louisiana. On Sunday, we got a taste of what it’s like to fill the Gulf Saver bags — our team filled 1120 of them!  On Monday, we started loading the Gulf Saver bags off of a barge and onto smaller skiffs, then we offloaded them on the shore. Once all the bags were unloaded, we distributed them in intricate patterns and started planting the new grasses and trees.  Tomorrow we’ll get a chance to fly over the site and see our work from an aerial point of view.

- Kerri

A beautiful day for wetlands restoration. Photo courtesy of In Good Company

For more real-time updates and phenomenal photos of this week’s volunteers in action, follow the In Good Company page on Facebook.  We’ll also be sharing more updates from Kerri and Erica here on the Bootmakers Blog.

In His Boots

Nigel Fisher is a humanitarian and international development expert who has lead relief and recovery efforts with UNICEF for over 20 years in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East.  He’s done most of his work in a pair of Timberland Fastpacker Boots, circa 1997-98.

Mr. Fisher’s boots have witnessed some truly amazing events, including wading through floods and knee-high mud in 2008 post-cyclone Haiti, through the 2004 post-tsunami rubble of Aceh, Indonesia and the 2010 post-earthquake devastation of Port-au-Prince, Haiti.  The boots were with Nigel as he visited a UNICEF-supported shelter for girls in Bunia, Democratic Republic of Congo, and again while he trekked across central Afghanistan in 2002 to visit the first schools for girls in remote communities and newly-opened health centres accessible to women for the first time.

These boots have personally encountered tens of thousands of children. If you bear in mind the negotiations undertaken, plans made, operations overseen, assistance delivered, schools built, while they were worn, and the fact that I often negotiated on behalf of UNICEF and many organizations for nationwide emergency or vaccination programs while wearing them, then they have influenced millions of children’s lives.

- Nigel Fisher

Last week, I was honored to be on hand for the induction of Nigel’s boots at the Bata Shoe Museum in Toronto, where they will become part of a permanent collection.  I was also delighted to present Nigel with a brand new pair of Timberland hikers, so that he can continue on his humanitarian journey. Nigel’s wife was on-hand to accept as he joined us via satellite from Haiti, where he continues his work in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.

You can learn more about Nigel’s inspiring work and the Bata Shoe Museum exhibition in his honor here, and in the UNICEF Canada video below.

20 Years of Service and One Great Day

Across the globe, Timberland employees are celebrating the 20th anniversary of our Path of Service program, which offers them paid time off to volunteer in their communities.  And what better way to celebrate 20 years of service than with more service?

Here at our Stratham NH headquarters, more than 350 employees pulled on their boots a few weeks ago and set out to assist a variety of local nonprofit organizations as part of “Serv-a-palooza” — Timberland’s annual global service event.  We were lucky enough to get blue skies, ample sunshine and just enough power tools to go around … and although there were a few blisters and sore backs at the end of the day, they were overshadowed by wide smiles (pride? relief?) and a collective sense of accomplishment.

Here’s how we spent our day:

Fresh trim paint for the Seacoast Science Center in Rye, NH

Measure TWICE cut once! Some of us learned the hard way

Invasive plant species? No match for our president Patrik Frisk

We had plenty of volunteers eager (perhaps TOO eager) to run the saw

Some of us worked really hard ...

... and some of us were better at resting

But we all had fun!

Huge thanks to the Timberland CSR team for organizing yet another successful, impactful day of service, and to the partners who donated their time, materials and invaluable knowledge — we couldn’t do so much good in so little time without you.

20 Years Long, 20 Years Strong

Twenty years ago, the idea of Timberland’s Path of Service program – a program that offers our employees paid time off to volunteer in their communities – was considered unconventional. Today, we’ve served over 845,000 hours in more than 20 countries through the Path of Service™ program.

In honor of our 20th anniversary and the work we’ve done to create positive impact in our communities, we’re gearing up for special celebrations around the globe.  Together, Team Timberland will spend tens of thousands of hours planting trees, building trails, creating community gardens and transforming playgrounds … the stuff we love to do, with the people we love to do it with.

From Taiwan to Tampa, we’re celebrating the twentieth anniversary of our Path of Service™ program.  We’re volunteering and also inviting vendors, distributors, supplier factories, consumers, community members, and friends and family to join our activities.

Atlanta McIlwraith, Timberland’s senior manager of community engagement

Central to our Path of Service celebration is Serv-a-palooza — Timberland’s annual global community service event which will take place over the next few weeks.  Here at Timberland headquarters in New Hampshire, several hundred employees will be out in our local communities next week building gardens and playgrounds, maintaining nature trails, and providing much needed maintenance and enhancements for nonprofit organizations near and dear to us.

Words don’t really do Serv-a-palooza justice, so here’s a video from our archives (Serv-a-palooza 2009) to give you a taste for how much work we do – and how much fun we have:

We’re pulling on our boots and getting ready to make our difference with the same energy and enthusiasm we had 20 years ago.  Stay tuned for photos and stories from 2012 Serv-a-palooza!

Points of Light Honors Timberland with Corporate Engagement Award of Excellence

2012 marks the 20th anniversary of Timberland’s Path of Service™ program, which provides paid time off to our employees to volunteer in their communities for the organizations and causes that are most meaningful to them.

As we celebrate 20 years of the Path of Service internally, we’re grateful to also be recognized for it externally.  Today, Timberland is one of three companies being honored by Points of Light with the 2012 Corporate Engagement Award of Excellence – a prestigious award that recognizes innovative volunteer programs designed to create positive change in communities.

Points of Light is the leading global volunteer organization, whose mission is to inspire, equip, and mobilize people to take action that changes the world.  Timberland has been a long-time fan of the good work Points of Light supports, and it’s both an honor and a privilege to receive their vote of confidence for Timberland’s efforts as well.

What the Corporate Engagement Award of Excellence really recognizes, of course, is the passion, energy and dedication of Timberland employees worldwide to make a difference in their communities.  We’re so proud to have a team that cares as deeply about the world around them and works so hard to make it better … and hope you’ll have a chance to join us in service one day.  In the meantime, we extend our deep appreciation to our employees, our communities, and Points of Light for their support of the Path of Service™ program.  Here’s to another 20 years of service!