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Gears Gives Back: The Budsies Pals Program

Today we’re changing it up a bit on the blog to talk about a cause near and dear to our hearts, The Budsies Pals Program. Each year, Budsies Pals works with children’s hospitals to bring the magic of comforting stuffed animals to kids who are in need of comfort and happiness.  This is a terrific organization that we’ve been partnering with for a few years now.  How did we get involved with Budsies Pals, you ask? That requires me to back up and provide a little backstory.

The OG Geary circa 2015

Many companies have mascots, both official and unofficial. We’ve talked about mascots before, and in the early days of Gears and Salesforce, SaaSy was the epitome of an awesome mascot. Here at Gears, an unofficial mascot of our own, Geary, was born through the magic of Microsoft Paint and a few beverages. (We’ve never been very creative when naming things…) Being a virtual company where everyone works from home full time, we work hard to get everyone together each year for our Annual Company Meeting. This is a time for training, finding areas for improvement, and celebrating our successes.

The original Geary award

While planning for one of our earliest meetings, we were organizing our first-ever award ceremony to recognize our employees for their efforts. One particular employee had worked very hard over the year to create a set of tools to help our teams and our customers, and we thought, “Wouldn’t it be fun to reward this employee with their very own Geary?” So, off to Etsy we went.

A few short weeks later, we received our very own, real-life mascot. Geary became a hot commodity and a tradition was born. Each year, The Geary was bestowed to the employee who had contributed greatly to the success of the company, and who epitomized all the values of a great employee.

The following year, instead of going back to Etsy for another mascot, one of our employees had heard of this company that will take your child’s drawing and turn it into a stuffed animal. Perfect! Only, we didn’t have a child’s drawing. We had an adult drawing.  No problem.

A quick trip to the store to procure Crayola’s finest art supplies, and we had our drawing ready to go. We sent this off to Budsies, and a few weeks later we had the latest and greatest Geary 2.0.

The actual photo we sent to Budsies, and the Geary 2.0 we received.

Budsies Pals provides stuffed animals for the brave kiddos undergoing treatment at hospitals

That’s the actual photo we sent to Budsies, and they did an amazing job translating it to what is now a fun piece of our corporate history. As soon as we learned about the Budsies Pals program, we immediately signed up as a sponsor and we’ve been partnering with Budsies Pals ever since! Budsies Pals works with healthcare providers and hospitals to bring comfort in the form of customized, huggable stuffed animals for the children undergoing treatment. These children can be facing a long stay at the hospital and often these treatments are tough ordeals, so when Budsie’s explained how they create personalized stuffed animals for each of the children participating and make a great event out of it, we had to be involved. These children are incredibly brave going through something that most adults would struggle with – so anything that can brighten their day is worth it. Sponsors often get to see a picture of the final product, and it’s always so fun to see the kids’ drawings come to life.

This year, we are sponsoring 50 children at three different hospitals! Next week we’re doing a Facebook Live with Budsies Pals to talk about the program in detail.  If you’d like to learn more about contributing to this amazing cause, we’d love for you to join us next Thursday, October 15th at 1pm Eastern at the Budsies Facebook page. Hope to see you there!

 

Jaclyn Sergeant

Jaclyn is the Senior Director of Marketing and Customer Experience at Gears and has been with the company since 2011. She has a background in marketing operations, horrible taste in music, a love of cooking and a passion for enjoying a good pinot with friends.

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