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Geometric Pattern

A case for community service days

August 16, 2022

You know what makes you great at advertising? Understanding humans. Wanna know what helps you understand humans? Being around them, helping them, and taking a minute to realize the world is bigger than just you, so you can give back to it. 

SRW offers its employees (nicknamed “hooligans,” or hoolies for short) one holiday each month, which means that in the summer months that don’t have a federal holiday, our agency creates a company holiday to ensure we have at least one three-day weekend to recharge. In the month of August, this day off is a day off-ish, because instead of spending it apart, we spent it together serving our Chicago and Boulder communities. 

For the agency’s inaugural Hoolies Help the Community Day, SRW Chicago and SRW West organized projects dedicated to caring for our public lands and open spaces – inspired by our clients at the National Parks Conservation Association. (Peep the cool videos we’ve made for them here, here and here.) Precious spaces like the Ron Stewart Preserve at Rabbit Mountain in Colorado and the Pullman National Monument on Chicago’s south side rely on volunteers to help protect wildlife and their critical habitats, care for the green spaces that inspire & recharge us, and preserve our nation’s history. So for one day, SRW turned its fifty team members into those volunteers.

“Pullman is one of our great urban national parks, and one where volunteers are extra important,” said Lynn McClure, Midwest Director of the National Parks Conservation Association. “If it hadn’t been for the Hoolies Help the Community Day in Pullman, we never would have seen the abandoned historic row houses and the overgrown vacant lots near the old firehouse. Because of the the SRW group that did trash pick-up, we are now working with neighbors to reinvigorate historic renovation at the row houses and call on lot owners to either improve conditions or empower residents to gain access and do so themselves.”

Why? Well, because we’re nice people, sure. But also because it’s really hard to be creative right now. And getting outside of our own brains to instead be outdoors and help other people find solutions to their problems can be immensely inspiring. And as a purpose-driven agency, this has everything to do with who we are. SRW’s core principle is doing good work with and for good people. That includes doing a kick-ass job at media, creative, strategy, PR & influencer, and it also includes making the world around us a better place. Those things are actually pretty well linked, it turns out. 

“I had such a great time unplugging and spending time outdoors with my fellow Hoolies,” said Julie Baker, SRW Vice President of Human Resources. “It’s so special to work at a place that deeply cares about its social and environmental impact and provides opportunities to give back to our community.”

The next time you feel burnt out, take a minute to shift your mindset, your surroundings, and even your purpose. Our small but mighty team may not transform the world all at once, but starting with one day of dedicated service can make a positive impact on our communities, and on our people at the same time. And if it inspires our crew to commit to more service in the future – even better.