Taking the Plunge for SAFE
One of my favorite things about being a Liquibaser is the opportunity to participate in our many carefully crafted, creative traditions. Some are goofy, some are challenging, and some are just plain old feel-good. One of those ‘feel-good’ traditions is also arguably our most impactful — the Liquibase Yearly Giveback. In alignment with our company values, we are committed to choosing a worthy organization in our community, getting creative, and finding a meaningful way to support it.
Why we selected SAFE
This year Liquibase selected The SAFE Alliance, an Austin-based organization whose mission is to Stop Abuse For Everyone. SAFE has a myriad of ways they support abuse victims through advocacy, prevention, and community services. Domestic violence and abuse do not rest during a pandemic, and SAFE has struggled this year with fundraising efforts due to COVID-19. After hearing some of the struggles firsthand from representative Jacque Smith-Francis, we decided to pick SAFE as the focus of this year’s giveback.
Once the selection was made, a cross-functional team formed to brainstorm. We asked ourselves, “How do we make this fun?” “How do we make this impactful?” and “How in the WORLD do we bring folks together and keep it mindful of COVID?!” After hours of brainstorming, the SAFE Plunge was born.
What if we asked the leadership team to jump into freezing cold water?
The Idea: Liquibase leaders, employees, and friends would work to raise money to place against members of the Liquibase leadership team. The top three members of the leadership team, as measured by donations placed against them, would take a plunge into a local body of water (i.e., Lake Austin) on Groundhog Day 2021 – Tuesday, February 2nd, 2021.
Once we launched the idea, the race was on! We spent the full month of January fundraising, and each week we had different execs jockeying for the lead. The leaders rallied their networks and co-workers to help them NOT jump into the water. Employees were able to make donations FOR their managers (if they dared)!
Things got competitive…
We’ve got quite a few competitive folks on the team, so hilarity, camaraderie, and scheming ensued. There were backs and forths, surprise donors, teasing tweets & LinkedIn posts, and family members donating towards seeing their loved ones make the plunge. Co-founder, Robert Reeves, offered to have his highest donor pick his outfit. Risky move as it turned out, he ended up taking the plunge into Lake Austin in a groundhog costume. Our other co-founder, Pete Pickerill, added to the fun by serving as the event’s host — complete with a top hat with a rubber duck scepter.
The excitement of seeing one another in person for the first time in a year was palpable, even at a safe 6 feet. We encourage and celebrate experimentation, so we were not backing down from perfecting the hosting of a blended Zoom/In Person event.
We beat our goal and raised $11,740.92
We are proud to say that we exceeded our goal of $10,000! When all was said and done, the Liquibase community raised $11,740.92.
The thrill of watching our CFO, CEO, and Co-founder make the jump into the 57 degrees Fahrenheit waters of Lake Austin was something we won’t soon forget. We must also give a special shoutout to 4th place contender, Kristyl Gomes (Director of Quality Engineering) for jumping in solidarity with Patti.
While the event was a riot, we remind folks of the reason for all the hoopla. Jumping into a freezing cold body of water is nothing compared to what victims and survivors of domestic abuse go through.
As a result of the disastrous consequences of recent winter storms in Texas, SAFE is still in need of the support of our community. If you’d like to make a donation, please visit safeaustin.org.