Posts within ‘Boots On The Ground: Service Stories’

150 Gifts, 90 Timberland Elves (and a Partridge in a Pear Tree)

Timberland employees are always quick to lend a hand in community service.  This holiday season, we offered employees the chance to open their hearts (and wallets) by purchasing a gift for someone in need in the local community.  On a holiday tree in our cafeteria area, we hung tags containing wish-list items for individuals supported by several local nonprofit organizations.

We started by hanging about 50 tags.  Within three hours, all were gone.  We needed more!  I reached out to our service partners for more names and more wish lists.  As fast as we could hang more tags, Timberland employees scooped them up.  Our original target of serving 50 individuals soon increased to more than 80.

But we didn’t stop there.  At our in-house wrapping party, 20 employees added bows, tags, and ribbon to 146 packages.  We sent elves (who looked suspiciously like bootmakers…) out to each of our partner organizations to deliver bundles of gifts to some very deserving folks.

Jolly Timberland volunteers wrapping some of the donated gifts!

When all was said and done, we supported five local organizations with 150 gifts delivered to 84 individuals through the efforts of more than 90 volunteers!  And although it’s been said, many times, many ways…we couldn’t help feeling that it truly is better to give than to receive.

Our version of Santa's sleigh, piled high with gifts

Special thanks to our nonprofit partners for allowing us the chance to share our gifts during the holidays: Seacoast Family Promise, Our House for Girls, The Housing Partnership, New Generation, and AIDS Response Seacoast.

And thanks to all our employees who got involved—once again, you’ve helped Timberland make a difference!

I love my job: sharing gifts with one very happy recipient

Spreading Cheer with the Gila River Indian Community

Timberland is a company steeped in tradition, embracing a bond with the outdoors and a commitment to giving back to the community. On December 8th, more than 100 employees had the good fortune to experience a heritage dating back more than 150 years when our community service event brought us to the Gila River Indian Community, which is home to the Pima and Maricopa tribes, to spread some holiday cheer.

We teamed up with the Sheraton Wild Horse Pass Resort & Spa and Tribal Social Services to throw a fun-filled Christmas festival with nearly 300 children, decorating cookies, stockings and snowflakes, enjoying horseback rides and a trip to the Koli Equestrian Center, planting trees and snacking on holiday treats throughout – a natural crowd pleaser!

The gumdrop on top – a visit from Mr. and Mrs. Claus brought each boy and girl a special gift from their very own Christmas lists, while a special group from our team gave the Gila River Indian Community Orphanage a fresh coat of paint, landscaped the yards and assembled bicycles for all of its residents. What a Christmas surprise!

As a newbie to the Timberland team, it was amazing to be a part of such a special event where communities unite to kindle the Christmas spirit, bring smiles to children’s faces and feel the yuletide joy that can only come from Santa, his elves and a few cheery gingerbread men!

Making a Difference with the Mark Wahlberg Youth Foundation

It’s hard not to smile when a young girl tells you she wants to wear her new Timberland yellow boots right away—rather than putting them back in the box, and despite the fact that she’s wearing tights and a party dress.  And it’s really hard not to smile when a boy can’t contain himself and yells out, fists midair, “Timberland!” as a volunteer hands him a pair in just his size.

For the second year in a row, Timberland volunteers had the chance to participate in the Mark Wahlberg Youth Foundation’s Christmas Party event.  Our volunteer crew fit over 200 kids with new yellow boots that will keep their feet warm and dry through the harsh New England winter.

Timberland boots waiting for good homes

During this hectic time of year, it’s easy to forget how much a simple gift can mean to someone, but watching the excitement and gratitude from these kids, the true meaning of the season was fully brought to life.  We were thanked by Foundation members and kids alike throughout the “shoe fit,” but I know I speak for my fellow volunteers when I say that we were the grateful ones.  Being able to give back to the community in such a rewarding way made us all proud to be a part of Timberland.

The Timberland volunteer team

Serv-a-palooza India

On October 4th, Team Timberland in India celebrated our annual global service initiative Serv-a-palooza by creating a clean, healthy outdoor play space for the PIA Child Care Centre in Bangalore.  The PIA Centre is located within the Peenya Industrial Area – one of the largest in Asia and home to more than 3500 companies and industries.  The PIA Centre provides much-needed child care for many parents working within the industrial area.


Together with NGO partner Manav Charities, 35 volunteers spent the day cleaning and clearing the land around the PIA Centre; laying grass and planting trees and shrubs; and installing play equipment for the children.

Preparing the ground for grass

Volunteers laying grass

Planting outside the PIA Centre

New play area

Our thanks to Timberland India for making this outdoor space more useful and enjoyable for the families of the PIA Centre!

Sustainable Impact, Cajun Style

Timberland’s service sabbatical recipients Alan Jones and Heather Jackson shared the following from their week-long environmental restoration project in Louisiana.  Our thanks to Alan and Heather for taking time out from their daily lives and duties to be a part of this powerful team and its inspiring results!

In Good Company 2011, courtesy of Anne Hamersky

Wow. We did it! Nearly 5 acres of dissolving beach transformed into a landscape of Gulf Saver Bags sprouting mangroves and spartina grass!

That’s five acres of restored wetlands that have the chance to spread and expand, reducing coastal erosion, mitigating hurricane storm surges, creating wildlife habitat, stabilizing shipping routes, and enhancing the economic and cultural life of Deep Delta Louisiana. Collectively, we have impacted the Gulf Coast in a powerfully positive way.

THANK YOU for your immense effort and thanks to all your respective companies for sponsoring you on this community service experience.   May you all find inspiration in the incredible week we shared and continue to generate ripples of positive change in your communities.

- Anne Hamersky and the In Good Company planning team

Even Gulf Savers Need a Day of Rest

As promised, here is a video of Timberland’s service sabbatical participants Alan Jones and Heather Jackson, along with the rest of their In Good Company comrades, during a well-deserved day off from wetlands restoration.  Alan’s commentary:

Last night was a rare treat as we all hosted a Cajun Zydeco band and danced till it hurt! I will miss these people at week’s end … what a group.

4,000 Bags of Gulf-Saving Goodness

Our Timberland service sabbatical recipients, Alan and Heather, are several days in to their week-long Louisiana bayou immersion.  The two have been hard at work, but took time out to share the following update and incredible photos with us:

It has been a blast living and working with the 27 teammates of the 4th annual In Good Company partnership event.

We are spending much of this week working with the Restore the Earth Foundation, an incredible nonprofit focused on environmental conservation, protection and restoration.  One of Restore the Earth’s initiatives is called Gulf Saver Solutions, and it entails “deploying” Gulf Saver bags — full of native marsh grasses and oil-eating micro-organisms which help to protect and restore natural wetland ecosystems and habitats.  This week, our team has been working on filling, moving, staking and planting 4,000 Gulf Saver bags.  Ours is the largest deployment to date! Read the rest of this entry »

Back in the Bayou

This marks Timberland’s fourth year offering an Earthkeeper service sabbatical through In Good Company – a partnership of businesses joining together to make a difference through hands-on action. This year, we’ve chosen two well-deserving Timberland employees to join the In Good Company team in Venice, Louisiana (one hour south of New Orleans) for a week-long community service experience.

Alan Jones is an account executive for Timberland PRO, based in Texas.  He participated in his first Timberland service event in New Orleans in 2006, following Hurricane Katrina — an experience that, he says, “set in motion my dedication to service and to this company.”

Heather Jackson is an order processing clerk at our distribution center in Danville, KY.  Heather explains how she came to apply for the In Good Company sabbatical:

When I read about this opportunity, I went home that afternoon and talked with my seven-year-old son about why I want to do this and asked him what he thought. He said, “Mom, I want you to go. Go help the ocean.”  I want to share my experience with my son and inspire him to make a difference.

Alan and Heather, along with the rest of their In Good Company companions, will spend this week serving with various nonprofit organizations that are working to clean up and regenerate areas of the bayou impacted by the 2010 oil spill. (Fun fact: two of the three previous In Good Company sabbatical experiences have also taken volunteers to Louisiana; you can read about all of the previous In Good Company sabbaticals here.)

The word for the week is “local” – Heather and Alan will spend their time learning about local activists, experiencing local culture and making local impact. And, they’ll be sharing their experiences with us here on the Bootmakers Blog – stay tuned for their updates.

Timberland Serv-a-palooza 2011

Last month, we kicked off “Serv-a-palooza” — Timberland’s annual, global community service initiative.  Since then, our employees and partners have been hard at work, making a positive and sustainable impact in communities around the world.

Here’s our favorite video blogger Amanda to give us a taste of what Serv-a-palooza was like at one of our projects here in New Hampshire — framing houses to go to families in need with Habitat for Humanity:

From City Streets to Desert Plains, Making our Difference

This week, we’re proud to share two blog stories of Timberland service — distinctly different in their physical locations, but undeniably similar in spirit and impact.  The first comes from the blog of streetwear clothing company Next, a Timberland retail partner.  Next joined us for our annual community service day in New York on September 9.  In the blog post, Next blogger Steve talks about the tradition, and the impact, of the service day:

Every 9/11, I have the privilege of joining the folks from Timberland in a community service event.  The past two years our “service team” focused our efforts on improving the environment of an elementary school in the Bronx. What started out as an abandoned field next to the school has slowly been transformed into a lush and productive garden. The formally cold and barren concrete school hallways have gradually become populated with colorful murals that the team has painted over the years.

View of the school-side garden and tool shed, courtesy of Rule of Next

Half a world (or so) away, travel blog Malaysia Asia highlighted Timberland’s ongoing reforestation efforts in the Horqin Desert in Inner Mongolia.  Blogger Lilian Chua experienced firsthand what a Timberland tree-planting trip to the Horqin entails – from bumpy bus rides to beautiful landscapes.  She shares:

Thanks to Timberland Malaysia, I had the great opportunity to join in their yearly Horqin Reforestation Project in Inner Mongolia. This trip was an unforgettable journey for me, from the tree planting activities to getting to know the myriad of beautiful people, the spectacular scenery which seems to be everywhere and of course the consumption of glorious local food!

Volunteers form a human chain to water newly-planted saplings in the Horqin Desert, courtesy of Malaysia Asia.

Our thanks to the folks at Next and Malaysia Asia for sharing their Timberland service experiences; we’re honored to be able to share our passion for community and environmental impact with such enthusiastic partners and volunteers!  To read these blog posts in their entirety, please visit Rule of Next and Malaysia Asia.