We don’t need to tell you that 2020 was a rough year. In the midst of a global pandemic, we witnessed the murders of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd. That year served as either a painful reminder or a painful wake-up call about how much work we still need to do as a country. It was (and is) easy to feel helpless. But, the anecdote to helplessness is … helping. So, as a company, we decided to do what we could to help.
The first thing we did was form a committee, open to all employees, and called it “TVGLAction.”
We knew we wanted to give back to social justice causes, but we also needed to help our team maintain mental health during incredibly turbulent times. One important way to do that was to support our people by providing two new holidays: Election Day and Juneteenth.
But, the anecdote to helplessness is … helping.
We also put together a “Feel-Good Resources” spreadsheet that employees could contribute to, with categories ranging from books to cool nature spots to workouts to hilarious videos and more. Knowing how important political issues were to so many of our team, we also provided resources to help them research candidates and measures on the 2020 ballot.
The committee continues to meet bi-weekly, giving employees a space to relieve some stress and talk about issues that are important to them, as well as share info on opportunities for action.
We also decided right away to put our money where our hearts were and earmark company funds to contribute to organizations working to create meaningful change. At every other meeting, we introduce, discuss and vote on charitable organizations to which we’d like to donate.
When choosing an organization, we ask these questions:
- Does it promote social justice?
- Does it fit our values as a company and as a committee?
- Is it local? And if not, is there a good reason to donate anyway (e.g., a pressing humanitarian crisis)?
- Will our donation make a difference?
- Is there a special reason this month to donate? (e.g., donation matching, Mental Health Awareness month, etc.)
As a committee, we decide on which charity to donate to each month.
In 2020, TVGla contributed $25,000 to the following organizations focused on building political and economic power for the disenfranchised:
In 2021, we donated $2,021 each month to the following 12 organizations:
|January||Black Mamas Matter Alliance|
|March||Stop AAPI Hate|
|April||Justice in Motion|
|June||Los Angeles LGBT Center|
|July||Equal Justice Initiative|
|August||Save the Children|
|September||Water Drop Los Angeles|
|October||Native Womens Wilderness|
|November||Children Youth and Family Collaborative|
In 2022, we gave $2,022 to each of the following 12 organizations:
|January||People Assisting the Homeless (PATH)|
|May||Moms Demand Action|
|June||NARAL Pro Choice America|
|July||NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness)|
|August||United Friends of the Children|
|September||Water Drop Los Angeles|
|October||Fair Fight Action|
|November||Los Angeles Regional Food Bank|
|December||Toys for Tots|
In 2023, we continue the tradition by donating $2,023 each month and plan to do so indefinitely. We’ve also contributed some extra amounts each year to a few of these organizations that we’ve built relationships with.
In addition, since the world has opened back up, we’ve added some in-person action as well. At a recent company outing, we shopped for groceries and filled community fridges across the east side of L.A. We also have a standing $100-per-employee community-fridge fund so that employees can fill a fridge near them wherever they are in the U.S.
Finally, a yearly education fund is available to employees to build job skills as well as knowledge around social justice issues.
While TVGla has always been about its people, it’s our diversity and inclusion that make us stronger. As an agency, we have committed to fighting for social justice and equity for all. No one person (or company) can fix all the world’s problems, but doing what we can feels like a good start.