Austin business owners know that to be beloved by the community, you’ve got to do your part in the community. That’s why smart companies find a way to support the causes Austinites care about by supporting nonprofits.
But most companies struggle with how to get started. That’s why GivingCity often shares their stories of how they started: to inspire other businesses to give it a shot, too. Steve Richards, president and CEO of Mood Media Corporation, says he found their start by thinking back on his own childhood. Once he shared that idea with his colleagues, they got to work.
Q. How did you decide on this particular charity vs. others out there?
Richards: Mood Media & Mood Texas chose to donate 100 new bikes to Austin Police Operation Blue Santa because they’re a highly respected, local non-profit, and tightly woven into the Austin community. They also provide support for other local, non-profit organizations throughout the year, and as such they are helping to care for children’s needs across all seasons.
Q. What was the inspiration?
Richards: The reason we specifically chose to give 100 new bikes started from a rather personal story from my past. I was given a bike very early in my childhood. That gift gave me a great sense of freedom and provided transportation independence that I hadn’t experienced before. Bikes bring out fun times and promote active lifestyles, but they also allow young folks an opportunity to secure and maintain jobs, like I did at a very early age.
Q. It looks like your employees were all very excited about it – how did you engage them?
Richards: The truth is … it didn’t require much to get our employees excited about this. I think people want to feel connected to the community and to help give back, in this case by making the lives of kids a little brighter. There is no purer joy than to give, especially during the holidays. I’m tremendously proud that the Mood Team came together with enthusiasm and cheer to support Austin through the Mood Bikes For Tykes Program, with Operation Blue Santa.
Q. Any advice for other companies looking to get involved with giving?
Richards: I think it’s always best to find a cause that you and your staff are truly passionate about. As momentum grew for this program, it was wonderful to hear Mood employees share stories of their first childhood bikes, and how special they were to them.
Q. Is this part of a wider initiative/effort to become more involved with the Austin community?
Richards: At this time of year, we’re all reminded to be thankful for our memories, and we feel fortunate to help promote what will surely become great memories for others through these gifts. I’m hopeful we’ll continue this support across the Austin community for years to come. Being headquartered in Austin, it’s always uniquely special to support and give back to families in our very own backyard.
Tell us your business’s story! Did you launch a new giving program? Partner with a nonprofit? Send your stories to firstname.lastname@example.org.