Have you ever read a story on social media about someone who did an act of kindness for a stranger? I’m talking strangers who pay for the Starbucks drink for the person behind them in the drive-through, or those who leave coupons next to an item at a grocery store for someone to find. Stories like this are good for the soul and always leave me wanting to hear more!

Sendero Cares, our employee-driven committee that supports community engagement by increasing participation and awareness in philanthropic efforts, is continually looking for ways to encourage employees to give back to the community.

As opportunities to volunteer in-person grew smaller in response to social distancing restrictions, we were challenged to think of other opportunities to engage our employees and inspire them to pay it forward. It got me curious to see what my coworkers were doing to spread some kindness around while working from home. And that’s where Sendero’s ‘Giving Back Series’ came to life.

The ‘Giving Back Series’ is a new initiative driven by Sendero Cares that spotlights Senderoans making a positive impact to the community amidst uncertain times.

The ‘Giving Back Series’ is a new initiative driven by Sendero Cares that spotlights Senderoans making a positive impact to the community amidst uncertain times. The following stories are a few of the many heart-warming ways my coworkers are giving back.

Gifted a Meal

Having a newborn is stressful, but becoming new parents during a pandemic brings along a whole other level of worries! With that in mind, fellow employees collected donations from fellow coworkers, personally picked up meals from local Houston restaurants, and dropped off those meals at the homes of two new Sendero parents.

The back of a car full of paper bag sack lunches

Want to send a meal to someone you care about? Consider supporting a local restaurant. For a no-contact, delivery option, use apps like Postmates, DoorDash, or UberEats. Here’s a list of some of our employee’s favorite Dallas and Houston restaurants:



Provided Professional Services/Advice

In the past couple of months, we have all heard stories of massive layoffs across multiple industries, or maybe even personally know of friends, family, or recent college graduates who are struggling to find a job. Fellow employees used their free time to provide resume help, career advice, and strategic networking. Some found opportunities to make the right introductions and endorsed friends on LinkedIn. Others reached out to schools and tutoring centers in South Dallas to offer families professional advice, and helped friends and acquaintances with resume review and interview skills.

If you feel like you are in the position to offer professional guidance, here are tips to consider:

Make a list of people who have reached out to you along with the type of job role they are looking for. If you come across a job posting that matches what the person is looking for, send them a link to that job posting.Jay Jayasuriya, Principal

Take an empathetic approach and understand that everyone’s circumstances are different. If you don’t know someone specifically in need of help, reach out to community organizations to match you with someone in need.Ashley Heerding, Associate

Think about your unique talents, skills, knowledge and go from there! The world needs that unique thing that you bring to the table. Once you’ve identified that, use your network to spread the word.Hannah Wimberly, Associate

Fostered Animals

Ever wanted the company of a pet, but didn’t want to fully commit? Fostering a furry friend might be for you! We’ve had a handful of Senderoans who fostered cats and dogs to help animal shelters open up more space to rescue more animals. The animal foster parents took care of their foster animals until the furry friends were ready to be adopted to their forever homes.

Several puppies standing on a bench outside

Here are some helpful tips that they had:

One of the best ways to help ensure your foster animal gets adopted is by taking good photos of him/her for the Rescue to publish. As a foster, take the animal to a nice spot for a more flattering photo that will highlight the animal’s personality.Mollie Merino, Associate

Be patient while the pet is coming out of its shell. It’ll take time for the pet to show their personality.Isabel Ching, Associate

Saying goodbye is much harder than you’d think, so prepare yourself for adoption day.Talia Kramer, Associate

Whether it be to a family member, friend, furry friend, or stranger, there are endless ways to give back during these times. Along with the ideas above, here are some additional ideas if you don’t know where to start:

  • Send a greeting card to friends, neighbors, or leave one by your door for your mail carrier/delivery person
  • Write a recommendation to a coworker or connection on LinkedIn
  • Send a care package for someone going through a difficult time

As we are settling into our new routines, use that extra time you may have to put some thought in making someone’s day brighter. You never know who is watching and will want to pay it forward too!

As we are settling into our new routines, use that extra time you may have to put some thought in making someone’s day brighter.

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