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Putting Our ESOP into Action: Cisco-Eagle Volunteers

Our Dallas, Oklahoma City and Tulsa offices help nourish our communities with food assistance

group photo of employees with pallets of canned food

As part of the community-focused spirit of our ESOP, three of our locations recently planned and participated in group volunteer days:

The impact on our communities

Three of Cisco-Eagle’s offices gravitated toward helping organizations that fight food insecurity, and for good reason.

In Oklahoma, 14.6% of households are food insecure, making it the fifth hungriest state in the nation. 20% of Texas children experience food insecurity. Hunger compounds the difficulties of life for these families. It exacerbates health problems for kids and adults, and children who don’t get enough to eat are more likely to have lower test scores and social difficulties. Babies born into food insecurity may have low birth weight and developmental delays.

“You’d be surprised who you know who might be a client of ours, or who could be,” Restore Hope director Jeff Jaynes told our Tulsa team.

How our teams went to work

So we were happy to pool our efforts as a company with those of other volunteers fighting hunger in our home states. Customer service is at Cisco-Eagle’s heart, so we tried to bring the same energy to the organizations we serve.
employee in a group of volunteers waving to the camera

  • The Regional Food Bank estimated last year that volunteers sorted 10 million pounds of food–or 8 million meals. Our Oklahoma City team packed 2,600 frozen meals for Oklahoma kids.
  • Metrocrest Services relies on volunteer efforts like those of our Dallas team to keep their food pantry flowing. In 2021, they saw a 376% increase over the previous year in meals served per day, requiring them to implement a model that requires lots of volunteer labor. Our Dallas group hustled to pack 276 boxes for distribution.
  • Restore Hope needed to move all the cans, boxes and personal care items in their pantry from the satellite location they’d used during the pandemic to a newly remodeled facility. The Tulsa crew worked in 107-degree heat to make it happen, getting a big job done in a single afternoon.

“One of our core values is to share our time and money to improve the lives of people in our communities,” said Cisco-Eagle CEO Darein Gandall. “We have dedicated time off just for volunteer activities, and we want everyone to participate in them. I’m proud of our teams for getting it done and can’t wait until we can do it again.”

The impact on our own teams

Group of volunteers around a table in food bank breakroom
Our goal was to help our communities, but volunteering together brings its benefits.

Cameron Wilson, Director of Sales for Oklahoma, said the OKC crew has volunteered at the Regional Food Bank previously. They enjoyed the feeling of making a direct impact, but also important was the opportunity to come together as a group while volunteering.

Like many office teams, Wilson said, our staff doesn’t have a lot of communal time around a table or a project. “Volunteering brings us together as a group.” During their service days, they don’t talk about work; it’s about helping these organizations and talking about our lives outside the office. “You get to see people in a different environment, and it shines a light on people’s personalities,” he said.

Elizabeth Rather, Systems Integration Group Sales Coordinator in our Dallas office, agrees: “It’s a good bonding experience.” Service days blend departments that don’t normally get to work together, which some surveys suggest is a more powerful team-building experience than social mixers.

A central theme of the ESOP ethic is working together to build something that benefits everyone. Working side-by-side on a common project—one that benefits our larger communities—turns out to be a great way to cultivate that teamwork.

We know we can’t fix everything, but we’re happy to put our energy into the things we can do. Stronger communities, stronger teams—volunteering is a win-win.

About our ESOP ownership

Cisco-Eagle provides exceptional service by employee-owners. We’re 100% owned by our employees.

We believe that no one provides better service than an owner, and based on our customer service ratings, our customers agree. We are all shareholders and partners in the business. For more information about our ownership culture, visit our ESOP page.

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