One of our core values as a company is the idea of “impact” – taking the resources we have as a startup and prioritizing our efforts to achieve the greatest good. For our annual holiday #Clarifestivities, we decided to apply the notion of “impact” to charitable giving. Every Clarifool was given $100 and two hours to spread the most holiday cheer they could – you’ll be surprised at what we came up with!

If you were handed $100 in cash, given two hours, and challenged to do as much good as possible in your community, what would you do? That was the question we had to answer with our first ever charitable holiday team activity: “#Clarifestivities: Spread Holiday Cheer!”

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It all started with a mysterious invitation from our amazing People Team asking us all to gather together for a surprise announcement. After we were treated to a gourmet hot chocolate bar with whipped cream and marshmallows, we were divided up into teams. Each team got an envelope full of cash, and a note explaining that we had two hours to go out into the community and use the money for a good cause and make an “impact.”

Once we finished tearing our hair out and crying at the prospect of leaving our computer screens for two hours, we put on our scarves and hats, stepped out into the cold NYC day, and embraced the challenge wholeheartedly!

When we came back to the office, we all shared our stories. The presentations were really touching. Here’s what the #Clarifools came up with:

  • Purchasing all the books on the wish list for Books for Kids, a local nonprofit that promotes children’s literacy, and hand-delivering them to their office.
  • Buying McDonalds gift cards, distributing them to people in need, and sticking around to chat with the recipients and listen to their holiday wishes.
  • Making a one-on-one connection with a homeless veteran and buying him groceries.
  • Paying it forward by giving away $5 at a time away to individuals and telling them to do good with it, and to email us their experience. Since then, we’ve been receiving emails detailing acts of kindness and thank yous!
  • Taking the time to think hard about causes that are important to us and nonprofits that are impactful, and donating cash directly.

Before we headed out to our holiday party, we were proud to know that we spent a few hours turning cold hard cash into warm-hearted moments. Happy Holidays from the #Clarifools!

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Does this sound like a good time to you? Check out our careers page and join in on the fun. Keep up with the “Inside Clarifai” blog series to hear more about our Cheer Enforcement Task Force’s office antics and what it’s like to be part of the #Clarifam!