October 27, 2021 | Newsletters
It’s been a few weeks, but we’re still bursting with energy and enthusiasm after a fantastic weekend at the Best Buddies Challenge in Hyannis Port, MA. We had a blast riding for #TeamMarlowe and giving out Olivia’s fresh organic juices to the riders and spectators.
If you’re not familiar with Best Buddies, check them out at Best Buddies. Best Buddies is a nonprofit dedicated to ending the social, physical and economic isolation of the 200 million people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). Their programs empower the special abilities of people with IDD by helping them form meaningful friendships with their peers, secure successful jobs, live independently, improve public speaking, self-advocacy and communication skills, and feel valued by society.
The Olivia’s Organics Children’s Foundation was proud to both sponsor and participate in the challenge.
To offer a deeper dive into the Best Buddies event and all things focused on giving back at Olivia’s, it’s our pleasure to introduce Mark Pins, Director of Marketing and Customer Service. Take it away, Mark!
Tell us a bit about your role at Olivia’s Organics!
I started at Olivia’s 13 years ago working with growers and sourcing local greens. I built several greenhouses and high-tunnels and managed hundreds of acres of salad production. It was a great way to get to know the business from the ground up, literally. My background is in marketing and sales and I have since moved into the Sales Office at Olivia’s. I find it invaluable to have a complete understanding of our product from seed to plate.
Word on the street is you play an important role in Olivia’s involvement in the community. Why is it so important to you to give back?
Without our community, Olivia’s doesn’t exist. From the production managers to the people on the line, the guys in the warehouse, the shipping team, HR, accounting, we’re all members of the same community. And we never forget that it’s our community that buys our salads and drinks our juice. It feels good to give back to the community that gives so generously to us.
Speaking of community events … we heard the Olivia’s team recently took part in the Best Buddies Challenge. Can you tell us a bit about the fabulous organization and why it’s so near and dear to Olivia’s?
Best Buddies is an organization dedicated to empowering those with intellectual and developmental disabilities through one-to-one friendships, integrated employment, leadership development, and inclusive living. The Best Buddies Challenge is a 100-mile bike ride from Boston to Hyannis MA to help raise funds for the cause.
Every year, our friends Steve and Laura assemble a team. Team Marlowe (named after their beautiful daughter) celebrated its 10th anniversary this fall. A few of us at Olivia’s joined them for the ride. What an awesome experience! I’m not much of a cyclist, just the occasional 1.5 miles back and forth to work on my city bike. I borrowed my sister’s road bike and took off from the 55-mile start. I’m hooked and am in for the 100 next year!
Team Marlowe’s 37 members raised $229,000 and finished #1 in fundraising. 7 of our riders finished in the top 25. From its humble beginnings as a 4-member squad 10 years ago, Team Marlowe has cumulatively raised over $1,000,000. It’s amazing what a difference one family and a few friends can make. We can’t thank them enough for letting us ride along with them.
Switching gears … we know that Olivia’s supports a ton of other incredible organizations benefiting the youth in Boston and beyond. Can you talk about the Olivia’s Organics Children’s Foundation and the impact that it’s made over the years?
Olivia’s Organics is an 83-year-old family business. The DeMichaelis’ are a giving family, are known for their generosity and the Olivia’s Organics Children’s Foundation was born from them. It’s not a marketing gimmick, it’s real. Anyone that’s joined our team at a community garden or for a “random act of freshness” can tell you that. It’s difficult to quantify impact, but I can say that we make a difference. And it goes both ways.
What’s next up for Olivia’s in the community? Do you have any Random Acts of Freshness or other exciting events on the horizon?
Olivia’s team of volunteers are always searching for the next giving opportunity. We’re just finishing up our annual children’s winter coat event. This year, in partnership with the Kids Clothes Club, we distributed 4000 brand new winter coats throughout Massachusetts and beyond. This is our 15th year working with the KCC and tens of thousands of coats have been sorted and packed by our Olivia’s Angels. Next on the agenda we’ll be dishing out salads at the local Veteran’s Food Pantry, and soon we’ll start planning our annual toy drive. And just for fun, we have an energetic group currently training for Spartan Fenway next month!
Thanks so much, Mark!
Looking for similar opportunities in your area? Here are a few ideas to help you get started:
Find a local Best Buddies chapter: Best Buddies has chapters across the country, with many ways to get involved, from friendship and job support to leadership development. Find a location near you and get in touch!
Get active for a good cause: Every community hosts bike races, 5Ks, walkathons and more to raise money for charity. Check your local listings for events that you can participate in virtually or all together to help out a local cause.
Make your holiday gifts count: With lots of gift-giving occasions right around the corner, now is the perfect time to add a charitable donation to your wish list. Talk with your family about doing a shared donation or ask for contributions to causes close to your heart this holiday season.
If you have a charitable idea to share or have a photo of you giving back in your community, we’d love to see it! Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or find us on Instagram – that’s @Olivias_Organics.
Thanks for making Olivia’s part of your fresh, healthy life. Ride on!