National Co+op Grocers (NCG) is celebrating the completion of 10,356 acts of kindness in one year, a total that exceeds their pledge for the national #Coops4Kindness campaign, coordinated by Cooperatives for a Better World.
In October 2017 in honor of National Co-op Month, Cooperatives for a Better World challenged co-ops from diverse industries and communities to complete 1 million acts of kindness by October 2018. Participants easily surpassed that goal, reaching 1,418,059 acts. The campaign showcased how cooperatives demonstrate concern for their communities as part of their operating principles.
“We were able to pass our goal of 8,000 acts of kindness thanks in part to the generosity and dedication of our staff, many of whom donated time, money or resources in their communities through a variety of inspiring ways,” said C.E. Pugh, interim chief executive officer of NCG. “We are incredibly proud of how our staff showed up for this challenge.”
NCG staff activities included shoveling snow from a neighbor’s walk; leaving 100 percent tips at restaurants; and donating time and money to an array of nonprofits. One staff member bought out a local bookstore’s selection of his favorite books for young readers, then donated the books to little free libraries in his area.
NCG also tallied its acts of kindness conducted on a national and international scale, including: coordinating a panel discussion on diversity, equity and inclusion in the natural foods industry at 2018 Natural Products Expo West; honoring companies in their supply chain that are showing bold leadership on climate change with the National Co+op Grocers Climate Collaborative Awards; planting thousands of trees to offset their carbon emissions; and empowering fair trade and smallholder farmers in Peru, Argentina, India, Indonesia, East Timor and the Philippines. The co-op also donated $150,000 to help other co-ops rebuild in Puerto Rico.
Food co-ops that are part of NCG also participated in #Coops4Kindess. Pittsburgh’s East End Food Co-op—the only co-op in the city and one of the few in Pennsylvania—earned headlines for achieving 100,000 acts of kindness:
- Giving away 100 stems of flowers from a local farm,
- Offering blank cards, purchased from a nearby nonprofit, for shoppers to write kind notes.
- Matching “Register Round Up” funds and donating the proceeds to the American Red Cross to help with flash-flood relief.
- Donating $5 from each new membership to the local food bank.
- Providing more than 5,000 pounds of fresh food.
- Giving free fruit to children.
“National Co+op Grocers is a fine example of our vision for #Coops4Kindness,” said Howard Brodsky, chairman of Cooperatives for a Better World. “Cooperatives are having an enormous influence on the building of a more equitable, humane and kind society. We are grateful for NCG’s and its members’ participation, and proud of their accomplishments.”
Source: National Co+op Grocers