Making an IMPACT at GKO: Family House

By Megan Soldati, Recruiting Events and Programs Specialist

For four years, DocuSign IMPACT has selected a nonprofit to feature at our annual Global Kick-off (GKO). This year, we chose to highlight Family House: an organization that provides a home away from home for children and families battling cancer and other life-threatening illnesses. Through Family House, families will never need to worry about living expenses, all while staying close to the hospital where their child receives treatment.

By placing the nonprofit front-and-center at GKO, DocuSign IMPACT raised greater awareness of Family House’s cause, collected donations, and immersed DocuSign employees in hands-on activities that directly benefited the children and families of Family House.

Tsentol’s Birthday Party

The day before GKO began, we kicked off our activities with a very special party: We celebrated the fourth birthday of Tsentol, a refugee from Tibet whose family traveled to San Francisco for Tsentol’s medical treatment at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital.

Sixteen DocuSign volunteers from seven different cities in five different countries flew into San Francisco to attend. Many of the children and parents staying with Family House came by as well, while Tsentol’s mother cooked food in the balloon-filled room. Tsentol was all smiles, and played with the hair barrettes and other presents she received. Monday was to be the first of two birthday parties for Tsentol — the second would take place onstage Wednesday at GKO.

You can learn more about Tsentol’s story in the video below:

Toy Drive + Matching Gifts

Tuesday was the official beginning of GKO, and DocuSign IMPACT hit the ground running: All attendees were encouraged to bring a toy to donate to Fozzy’s Toy Room — a room atFamily House where children could select any toy to keep when they arrived. Over 200 toys have been donated by DocuSign employees so far, and the gifts are still coming in.

We also felt there was no better time to double our donations via our Matching Gifts program. All throughout GKO, any and all donations made to Family House, Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, and Ronald McDonald House were automatically double-matched by DocuSign. As of today, we have been able to raise $5,000 for Family House during GKO alone.

Breakout Session

GKO is known for being packed with sales-oriented breakout sessions. Luckily, we were given the opportunity to feature IMPACT and Family House in their own breakout session: a powerful way to get the word out about their mission on a larger scale.

However, the IMPACT breakout session was not your typical breakout. There were no slides, no lectures. Rather, it was a highly-interactive gathering. Led by Executive Director of DocuSign IMPACT Amy Skeeters-Behrens, Family House Director of Volunteer Programs, Karen Banks, and myself, we started by focusing on DocuSign IMPACTS three pillars: Our product, our people, and our profit. We then launched into a conversation about practical advice on how employees could leverage these three pillars to directly benefit Family House — whether it be volunteering, donating, or simply getting the word out about the nonprofit’s mission.

Attendees also put together St.Patrick’s Day bags for the children of Family House. These included: tie-end pillows, hand drawn cards, rubber ducks, and more. As attendees put together these gift bags, we called on people to talk about how they bring IMPACT to life in their respective cities. We encouraged attendees to talk about IMPACT not only with their colleagues, but with customers and partners as well.

In total, 109 gift bags were put together for the children of Family House, all while raising awareness about the nonprofits’ and IMPACT’s overall mission.

Closing Statements

After the breakout session, we closed all of GKO with remarks on the mainstage from DocuSign IMPACT Executive Director, Amy Skeeters-Behrens, DocuSign President of Worldwide Field Operations, Neil Hudspith, and Family House CEO Alexandra Morgan.

Onstage, the speakers shared about the impact Family House has on families affected by cancer. Through the organization, families no longer need to worry about the basic trials and tribulations of daily life, whether it be preparing meals, or arranging transportation to the hospital. Some residents of Family House live 50, 100 miles or more away from the San Francisco hospital where there child needed treatment. Some, like Tsentol’s family, lived in an entire country altogether. Family House’s mission is to eliminate these concerns altogether so that the family and the child can focus on treatment.

Following these remarks, Tsentol took the stage to thank volunteers. It was then announced that 50 GKO attendees in the audience were randomly selected with donated funds in their Benevity account to donate to Family House, or the other three organizations selected for double-matching by DocuSign.

Family House and the Future

It was an honor to highlight the important work of Family House at this year’s GKO. While Global Kick-off is now over, there are numerous opportunities to support Family House. DocuSign IMPACT will continue double-matching gifts to Family House until March 9, and Family House is always seeking volunteers.

You can also learn more about DocuSign IMPACT here, and Family House here.