helping hands

THIS WEEK WE LEARNED:  Outcroppers Make a Difference

‘Shop Local.’

This time of year we hear it a lot.  That we should spend our consumer dollars in our own communities to support local businesses.  We need local businesses, after all, and buying all of our holiday gifts online doesn’t help the local economy.

Shopping local has an even broader impact than that though.  Buying goods and services from the North results in more than shops staying open.  It keeps highly skilled and community-driven folks in our communities.  These people are the ones volunteering and serving their neighbours outside of their work.  We thought it would be fun to ask our team of problem-solvers about their time outside of Outcrop, to see what we are giving back to the community in a volunteer capacity. 

In 2018, our team committed more than 2,500 volunteer hours in the Yukon, NWT and Nunavut combined.  This is outside of the pro-bono and charity work that we do as an organization. These are the people volunteering on Boards, planning Santa Claus parades, delivering two of the best music festivals in the country, producing theatre, helping the environment, creating art, raising funds, and serving in soup kitchens. They volunteer with youth and the homeless, they join prayer groups, they perform in fundraising events, and they work with national organizations like the Canadian Hard of Hearing Association, and the Canadian Institute for Theatre Technology. They teach first aid and train health and safety.  They coach. They mentor. They connect.

When we hire Outcroppers, we look for some things beyond their hard skills – we look for folks engaged in our communities.  Community connection is one of our core values, and the thing that gives us the ability to be creative problem solvers in the north. 

Translated into “billable hours” Outcroppers contribute nearly half a million dollars in volunteer time to the northern territories each year.  How is this possible as a small business?  Because people buy their marketing and communications services from us.  They don’t send this work south.  They keep the money here so that we can keep the people here.

Its easy to think of shop local from only a consumer product perspective. But next time you are thinking of hiring a southern agency to deliver your next website, marketing project, logo or social media plan, take a moment to think about the impact of supporting those in your community. Our impact goes well beyond the northern economy.  We are real people, who live here, doing some of the heavy-lifting to make Northern life and our communities better places to be.

Angela Drainville is the General Manager of Outcrop Yukon, and is grateful to work for a company that encourages her to give back to her community.