Bandit Tour for Good
For the seventh year in a row, Traction on Demand’s Bandit Tour for Good made its way from Vancouver to San Francisco en route to Dreamforce. Over six days, ToD Bandits provided pro-bono Salesforce services and Bandit Acts of Kindness — from cooking and serving to teaching and cleaning — to 18 inspiring nonprofits.
With this year’s mission centering on youth and food security, the Bandits worked with some incredible grassroots organizations who are making a big impact in their communities. While the purpose of the tour is to do good and have fun, the greatest impact was on the Bandits themselves. They left San Francisco with their hearts full of gratitude for having the opportunity to meet so many incredible and selfless individuals (or should we say heroes) who are working tirelessly to better the world.
This post is a thank you to everyone they met on the road.
It was a really powerful opportunity for us to feel what it is to give; to give what we’re good at and to simply give our time and focus to things the world needs more of.
The Bandits couldn’t make it to San Francisco without our trusty steeds. In a convoy led by the Bandit (a ‘78 Trans Am), 19 Tractionites and three friends from Vidyard met with nonprofits in Vancouver, Seattle, Portland, Coos Bay, Eureka and San Francisco.
What we learned on the Bandit Tour
For the first time, the Bandits gave both their time and talent to the same organization. Working with Teen Feed and With Love, we learned the value of giving both what we’re good at (Salesforce consulting) and the importance of pure human-power.
Getting hands-on preparing food with Teen Feed helped us connect with the people behind the mission. We quickly learned the solution is more than tangible outputs (meals for homeless youth); it’s one initiative, of many, used to support the community.
When Braden Ford, UX Manager at Traction on Demand, got into the kitchen, he learned about the challenges Teen Feed faces to gain the trust of Seattle’s youth. The consistent hot meals, along with their other services, help build positive relationships with teens as they transition to a future off the streets.
In this case, a meal is more than food, it creates connections and builds community; this theme was also prevalent in Vancouver where the Bandits worked with A Better Life Foundation.
When the Bandits pulled up to With Love’s headquarters in Oregon, they were greeted with open arms and contagious excitement. Allie Roth (President and Founder of With Love) explained why she started the organization and the reality facing one per cent of children under six in Oregon: foster care. With Love’s goal is to provide dignity, hope and support for foster families during an otherwise trying time.
While the rest of the Bandits were busy building care packages for foster kids, Madi Wood and the consulting team got to work. They helped the nonprofit get up and running on Volunteers for Salesforce so volunteers can seamlessly track and receive credit for their warehouse hours. This new system frees up valuable time for the With Love team enabling them to support even more children and foster families in Oregon.
Beyond Teen Feed and With Love, the Bandits were able to help 11 other organizations with their Salesforce expertise and experience. Matt Landels, a developer with Traction Rec, called the experience humbling. “Hearing Down Syndrome Resource Foundation describe new things they wanted to try out with the knowledge we shared really made me feel like we’ve set them up for success,” explained Matt.
As Tractionites, it’s not often that we get to see the immediate impact of the work we do. The Bandit Tour allows us to see how the little things we do every day, like building reports or automating processes, open up capacity for the people behind the organization. This new-found time can be used to better focus on programming, fundraising and the hundreds of other tasks critical to their continued community impact.
From pro-bono consulting to Bandit Acts of Kindness, Traction on Demand's Bandit Tour for Good kept busy supporting 18 inspiring nonprofits along the West Coast.