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Turning Pop Cans Into Charity

Grand Rapids Metrology is, in our eyes, a special company in more ways than one. We consider ourselves fortunate and with that fortune we feel an obligation to give back to our customers, employees and community.

At GRM, we have a program that allows employees to submit “great ideas” they believe will improve our company to management. Each idea is carefully considered for implementation and many are fully embraced including a recent idea regarding pop cans.

We have a very successful recycling operation in place and as of recently that is where all pop bottles and cans would be thrown. However, we know that in the great state of Michigan each returned pop bottle and can is worth $0.10! That’s when an idea was born.

Two massive recycling bins were placed at opposite ends of our garage – right outside the doors of our office space and technician room. They were labelled “POP CANS” and an email was sent to all employees informing them of this addition to our recycling program. Employees were now able to put any empty cans and bottles in these bins, even if it was a slightly farther walk from the original recycling bin.

When the bins are full, employees volunteer to run to the nearest grocery store to return the empties and bring back the money earned. All profits are given to our Accounting Department and saved for the end of the quarter. But what happens then?

After a business quarter, we host a company-wide GRM Cares meeting. This is a completely voluntary program where employees are encouraged to bring $20 to serve as a donation to a unknown charity. During the meeting, employees can present charities they feel passionate about to the rest of the group. Typically two to four team members bring their ideas and a compelling argument for their charity of choice. At the end of the meeting, an anonymous vote is held.

The charity with the most votes receives the donations from the GRM employees in attendance and ALL the money earned from our pop cans.

Turning pop cans into charity is relatively new for us, so the first GRM Cares meeting that will use these donations will be in September at the end of Quarter 3. We have been returning cans for two months now and our donation is growing quickly! We can’t wait to see how much we’ll have saved and ready to contribute come late September.

Giving can come in many unlikely forms even the drinking of your favorite beverage. This was our small business charity idea, what’s yours? Here are some other ideas we found. Give one a try and see how good giving can feel!

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