My waterlogged feet had gone numb as I struggled to keep running amidst the crowd and the current. I lost track of my 212 Media Studios co-workers, who were competing elsewhere on the hilly terrain. After reaching the shoreline my legs felt like dead weights, but my thirst for adventure compelled me to press on. Little did I know I still had to jump over four hurdles and crawl through a tunnel of tires before crossing the finish line—what a rush!
Chilled but exhilarated, I finished the 5K with more than 200 other runners. Why did we all pay to run up and down steep hills, leap over logs, and cross through a cold river? Because Biomet wanted to partner with the community to give back.
According to Katie Wodetzki, Biomet HR Assistant, who played a major role in planning the event, “We want everyone to pick up the banner saying, ‘This is our community, and we want to help out.’ We want to help Big Brothers Big Sisters reach low-income families, help the Red Cross with disaster relief, be involved with YMCA program, Fellowship Missions, and Heartline—and all the other organizations that United Way helps.”
At United Way, four cents to every dollar goes to administrative costs, while everything else goes to help the community.
Biomet funded the costs of obstacles and high-quality athletic T-shirts, and gathered over $1,700 worth of prizes from local companies. Metzger Outdoors executed the race with the help of Biomet’s team. As a result the Adventure Race raised over $2,070, and $20,000 through Biomet’s pledge drive, in which the company donated 50 cents for every dollar that employees gave.
It’s rather ironic that Biomet would supply obstacles for a race when the company itself is jumping over hurdles just to focus on giving. “We are in the middle of a merger, and we are still giving $20,000 to United Way through our pledge drive,” Wodetzki said. “People have asked, ‘Why are you doing that when you could be doing all this other stuff with your money during this time?’ But it’s because we care. Zimmer is one of the biggest contributors in the area to United Way, but they don’t have an Adventure Run or anything like that, so we think by doing it this year, they can take the ideas and plans and keep the tradition going.”
If you work for or own a business, take note: Giving is a good idea no matter what season your company is in—whether you are small or large, thriving or being bought out.
A business who gives knows the difference between making a living and actually living—because life is most meaningful when used to make a difference in someone else’s. This especially true when giving is sacrificial or inconvenient.
For Biomet, it would have been easy to put attention elsewhere. But because they chose to make focusing on the community a priority, United Way can now meet more local needs.
What can your business do to intentionally give back to the community?