Our friends at Scheels of Sioux Falls this year knew they needed to make big changes even without the impact of the pandemic. However, some of their changes turned out to be better for them long term because of the pandemic. Due to long-term employees and United Way supporters retiring in recent years, Scheels noticed a continual decline in giving. As their campaign leaders worked with the store leadership, they received approval to make adjustments starting with the location of their rally. This was needing to be in a space to allow for social distancing, however it also worked in their favor to make it feel more like a rally and less like a corporate meeting. Their second change was adding in 5-days of in-kind giving. They wanted to make everyone feel like they could give back and impact United Way even if they couldn’t give a monetary donation.
“We know a monetary donation is more helpful to our direct campaign, however, we were hoping our younger team members would be able to find other ways to pay it forward and hopefully we would see a change in our campaign for the future. What I didn’t expect though was how many of our team members would come forward to share they were giving for the first time because of the change to their campaign and the first hand impact of the donations for the funded agencies.” Shared Jenna Schlapkohl, Event Coordinator for Scheels of Sioux Falls.
Jenna worked with United Way staff and agency directors to figure out what in-kind donations would work best for their team members to donate and who those donations would go too. “We wanted our employees to learn about as many agencies as they could through our campaign and that is how we decided on a different place for each day.” Team members could contribute to any of the five throughout the whole week. “It was so fun to see them come to work each morning with their hands full of donations and not spill their coffee! I truly didn’t expect to see so many of them participate.” shared Jenna Schlapkohl.
Scheels of Sioux Falls collected coats for St. Francis House, food for Feeding South Dakota, general supplies for Volunteers of America, Dakotas, hand-written cards for the neighbors of Lutheran Social Services' Better Together program, and board games, art supplies, and toys for Boys and Girls Clubs. “Watching all the items come in each day and seeing the excitement of our entire team get behind our Sioux Empire United Way campaign was great, but truly my favorite part was delivering the items to the agencies directly.” exclaimed Jenna Schlapkohl. Our delivery crew was able to learn more about the impact of the donations, take a tour, and personally thank the agencies for all they do for the Sioux Empire.
“As a company we are fortunate to be a part of the Sioux Falls and Sioux Empire community. Our customers are unbelievably loyal and we love finding ways to give back.” Josiah Christoffer, Assistant Store Leader of Scheels of Sioux Falls.