2018 Year in Review: Robots, Pancakes, Rockets, and More

 In Company Culture, Events

2018 has been an exciting year filled with volunteering in our community and sponsoring a wide range of local events. From collecting Christmas gifts for D.A. Blodgett and flipping pancakes for Kids Food Basket to hosting groups such as Inforum TechnologyNEXT, Grand Rapids Young Professionals, Michigan Women Forward, and East Grand Rapids Robotics Club at our headquarters, we’ve had a lot of fun giving back to our community all year long.

We volunteered over 320 hours and raised a total of over $3,800 for various community organizations that matter to our employees. Here’s a closer look at the different ways we gave back in 2018:

D.A. Blodgett

In June, the SPAN team collected items for five care bags to donate to D.A. Blodgett – St John’s. We collected items to fill care bags for teens, children, and babies. Care bags are given to the children when they enter the home to make a difficult time slightly easier, and to give them possessions to call their own. These children often have nothing with them when they removed from their homes, so donations like these make a huge impact.

We also partnered again with D.A. Blodgett for its Christmas Wishes program to ensure that West Michigan children living in foster care will have a brighter Christmas this year.

Thanks to our generous employees, we were able to raise enough money to fulfill 10 wish lists.

Kids’ Food Basket

Our team helped ensure children in our community have access to nutritious meals by hosting a pancake breakfast to raise money for sack supper meals from Kid’s Food Basket.

Michigan Blood

SalesPad employees rolled up their sleeves for several blood drives this year. Our team collectively donated 86 units of blood, double red cells, and plasma so far, and we still have one more blood drive scheduled for Dec. 13! We ended 2017 with 86 units donated, so we’ve definitely beat our previous record.


We returned to MiCareerQuest for a second year to help inspire the next generation of STEM professionals. In April, we were an exhibiting employer for the STEM career exploration experience at DeVos Place in Grand Rapids. More than 9,000 West Michigan middle and high school students attended the event. We engaged students with a “Grocery Game”, based on The Price is Right’s popular game, that showed students about various aspects of our platform.

Grand Rapids Opportunities for Women (GROW)

SalesPad sponsored the Grand Rapids Opportunities for Women (GROW) annual fundraiser luncheon, Seeds of GROWth, in October.

Because of event sponsors like SalesPad, 100% of individual donations received at the event will go directly to supporting West Michigan’s women entrepreneurs.

University of Life 2018

For a second year, we sponsored the Michigan Women’s Foundation’s University of Life 2018 program, which is a 3 day long overnight camp at Grand Valley State University that prepares middle school girls (grades 6-8) for success in high school, college, careers, and community service.

The program helps young women understand how their talents relate to future careers and provides a mentoring experience immersed in entrepreneurship, STEM careers, and leadership. Several of our SalesPad employees volunteered as mentors at the event and had conversations with girls about their interests in STEM and their goals in life.

 41st Annual Fifth Third River Bank Run

In May, 25 of our employees laced up their shoes and hit the pavement for the 41st Annual Fifth Third River Bank Run in downtown Grand Rapids to raise funds for the No Surrender Running Club.

East Grand Rapids High School Robotics

We sponsored and hosted the East Grand Rapids High School Robotics Team 5980 in February for a demonstration of the team’s entry for their Robotics Competition. The FIRST Robotics Competition challenges students to raise funds, design a team brand, and build and program a 120-pound robot that will compete in games against other schools. Students work under the guidance of experienced mentors and gain valuable STEM and life skills, along with self confidence and knowledge that will aid in their future careers.

Fall Park Clean Up

This fall, 13 members of our team headed out to Millennium Park for our first Fall Clean-Up Project. The day was filled with team building activities like landscaping and trail support, invasive species control, and more. Kent County Parks provided all supplies and tools.

Movies in the Park

We partnered with John Rumery of Grand Circus to sponsor a STEM-focused night during a showing of “Hidden Figures” in Rosa Parks Circle in downtown Grand Rapids. Our very own Kandace Gordon was featured in this West Michigan Women in Tech video that debuted before the movie. This event was a great opportunity for families to encourage their daughters to explore coding and engineering jobs.

Alternative Spring Break Tech Trip

Exposure is one of the first steps to getting more kids interested in tech. This past spring, we sponsored a spring break trip to Detroit for 20 young men. They toured a variety of workplaces, including Quicken Loans and Bamboo Detroit. Students also got to check out Grand Circus and tour the Madison Building, which is a tech hub in Detroit. This trip was an inspiring and memorable trip for both the students and volunteers.

We had a lot of fun in 2018 giving back and making a positive impact within our community. We care about our community, and we’re passionate about giving kids an entry point into tech-focused careers. We are thankful for the opportunity to volunteer and contribute to causes that make a true difference, and we look forward to continuing our record of serving our community in 2019!

How did you give back in 2018? Share your experiences in the comments below!


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