The Culture Of Employee Giving At OSI
October 10, 2019
The giving season is a special time at OSI. We pride ourselves on being a company that works hard to instill a culture of giving as a central part of who we are. In fact, giving is one of the most important and fun things we do. From working with local food banks in the United States to partnering with the Clown Doctors in Australia, the culture of giving at OSI extends across our entire network. While OSI does focus on three priority areas relating to its giving, food research and education, health and nutrition and children and families, we also empower our employees to help drive many of our charitable causes.
OSI’s owners have long been philanthropic supporters. Some of their key causes include agricultural development in East Africa, agricultural education and children’s and families charities. The same spirit of giving back extends to the rest of the business and, in 2011, the OSI Group Foundation was established to support the charitable activities of our key stakeholders.
Over the years, OSI has been able to partner with children’s charities, area food banks and hunger relief programs as a way to give back to the community and reduce food insecurity. Our employees have been instrumental in identifying opportunities and leading the way in community engagement. We recognize the importance of their personal commitment and position as ambassadors within our community and pledge to continue supporting a culture of volunteerism and community outreach throughout all of our operations.
OSI’s Australia company Turosi established Turosi Giving in 2011 on the idea that giving back to the community was not only the moral, responsible thing to do, but it was also good for the business. This is because Turosi knows that employees would grow as individuals, become more connected to the communities in which they work and feel inspired knowing that the company they worked for put caring for the community at the forefront of its mission.
“When we give ten thousand dollars, it is not like giving it to a major hospital where it is just part of a big donation,” said Turosi CEO Chris Turner. “It goes directly to the grassroots of where we can make a difference.”
THE EXCITEMENT OF GIVING BACK AT OSI
Some of the clearest insights into employee giving at OSI comes from the employees themselves. We asked people from around our global network to weigh in on what it means to them to be a part of a company that makes such a big effort to give back to the community and encourages employees to do the same through initiatives such as donation matching and giving volunteer time off (VTO) so they can dedicate that time to charitable causes. Here is what they said:
Cheryl Goff, Division Manager, OSI Oakland
“When I started at OSI Oakland in 2004, there was a disconnect between the residents of the town of Oakland, Iowa and the plant. There were a lot of reasons for these feelings from the past, but none were relevant anymore. We worked hard and became involved with members of the community to improve our reputation. Because I had moved to Oakland, it was important to me to have OSI Oakland seen in a positive light.
Over the years, we have worked with the firemen on their many breakfasts, by not only supplying sausage and bacon, but by attending their activities and representing the plant. We also have many of our maintenance men on this fire department.
Our women’s leadership group has adopted families from the area with the help of the school guidance counselor. We started with one family and went to two several years ago. We purchase gifts for the children from a wish list and also provide a few things for the parents as well as groceries for the holidays.
Additionally, we have donated time and products to the school sports concession stands, and donated time and gift items to the local nursing home. Oakland has a food pantry, as well as some of the other small towns surrounding us, and we have continued to support these great works. We have worked closely with the Atlantic police department on their family projects also, and they don’t hesitate to call us when they are working on a community event and need support. Our outreach also goes into the Council Bluffs/Omaha area, and we concentrate on events or projects that work with families, since so many of our employees come from the metro area.
We have been working with the Ronald McDonald House in Omaha for eight years by supplying meals to the families and donating money to the house. When you visit with these families and see their daily struggles, it definitely reminds you to count your blessings. I always leave wishing there was more we could do.
To me, compassion and caring for others who are in difficult conditions help us stay grounded and rooted to our values. Giving back to the community makes us feel a sense of pride and satisfaction. It is also a great teambuilding tool!”
Nihreer Matani, Supply Chain Supervisor, OSI Corporate, Aurora, Illinois
“OSI has connected me to many projects (such as Northern Illinois Food Bank and Ronald McDonald House Charities) and surrounds me with passionate individuals who are trying to give back to the community.
That passion for giving back is infectious and really creates a culture of compassion and love for our ‘Hungry Neighbors’.”
Christine Eldaief, HR/Production Assistant, Turosi - Broadmeadows, Australia
“I can’t explain the joy that came with giving the money we raised to my charity overseas. I was able to actually go there to deliver the check, and have input on where the money could be used. That was a really joyful time in my life. I have never really done anything like that, or handled those big checks before.”