G-Team Service Week

Thanks to Jennifer on the G-Team for writing about their latest G-Team efforts:

Groupon high school, undergrad, and MBA interns joined together with their “buddy” and other Groupon employees to volunteer at Working Bikes and Growing Power, two non-profits located here in Chicago.

Growing Power is a large urban farm located in Chicago’s Bridgeport neighborhood. On site Growing Power composts garbage that they collect from local restaurants. The composted soil is then used to grow fresh vegetables that are sold in the community. There are also bees making money on the roof, worm composting bins large bins, and aquaponic systems on site. Growing Power has many programs that employ and educate Chicago youth about urban farming. Groupon employees got to get their hands dirty by helping Growing Power repair hoop houses, plant basil and tomato plants, transport freshly composted soil and build aquaponic systems. It was not only a great way to give back to the community but also a fun opportunity to interact with new people within Groupon.

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G-Team and Cabrini Connections

How it all began…
Groupon’s G-Team recently ran a campaign on its Chicago page to help raise money for Cabrini Connections. Cabrini Connections is a volunteer based tutor/mentor program specifically created for 7th-12th graders located in Chicago’s Cabrini-Green neighborhood. Cabrini Connections was officially founded in 1992 but its history extends much deeper. It all began in 1965 when a small group of employees from Montgomery Ward traveled to Cabrini Green to tutor elementary school students. The 600 W building where Groupon is currently located is home to the former Montgomery Ward office building and is where the 2nd-6th grade version of the tutoring program operated from 1980-1999. Today, four Groupon employees serve as mentors at Cabrini Connections. So running a campaign with Cabrini Connections could not be a more obvious fit for Groupon’s G-Team.

Calvin and Romello

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Bike to Work Week Results

From June 11th-17th, Groupon and many other companies in the Chicago area participated in the Bike Commuter Challenge in the hopes to rally employees to bike to work. With phenomenal results for a company our size, Groupon is proud to announce that 400 people took part in the challenge, making our over all company participation 22.17%.  Last year, Orbitz took the prize for most riders in the 500+ company category with 14.27% participation.

With the overall goal to get people on bicycles and educate them about how to safely ride in the city, different departments went head to head for bragging rights and a trophy. Each department grew increasingly creative and showed great teamwork by organizing group outings and bike shuttles for those who did not own bikes. But with 66.67% participation, the winning department was Human Resources. Their secret? A winning attitude, team spirit, and Quadcycles.

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G-Team Video

We’ve always been a fan of philanthropic organizations and ways to help out in the community. Now we can convey our excitement with the help of one of these nifty YouTubers all the youths are talking about on their walkie-talkie texting phones.

Discover and share ways to make a difference in your local community. To learn more, check out the G-Team.

G-Team and 826CHI

A lot of work and fun went into many of today’s Groupon write ups. Our G-Team and editorial department worked hand in hand with 826CHI, a group that encourages students to develop a unique writing voice, something for which Groupon is well known. After a series of workshops at the Groupon office, 826CHI students authored many of the Chicago deals featured on June 28.

Groupon’s Managing Editor, Brandon Copple, took the time to tell us about the experience:

We had three workshops, on consecutive Saturdays in June, with 18 kids, grades 5-8, from the 826CHI writing program. Each week a different group of 18 or so Groupon writers/editors came down to work with the kids.

The curriculum was designed by details writer Jill Klostermann, a former 2nd-grade teacher. She took a kernel of an idea and turned it into an incredible experience for the kids and writers. Jill also led the workshops. She knows how to work with kids…how to make sure they have fun but also do what you want. She was nothing short of amazing on this.

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Earthquake Relief Update

After the coast of Japan was struck by a devastating earthquake, countless recovery efforts from communities and charity organizations worked together to help those affected by this tragedy. Groupon paired with the International Medical Corps, a group of health professionals dedicated to global support and relief, who dispatched response teams and supplies to mitigate the hardship and suffering.

Photo: Kasper Nybo/International Medical Corps

We received an update from Rebecca Milner, Vice President of Institutional Advancement within the International Medical Corps, about how the funds raised are helping communities slowly recover:

I wanted to share with you and your colleagues at Groupon the latest update on International Medical Corps emergency response in Japan.  Groupon was instrumental to our success – thank you again for promoting our work.  The [G-Team] campaign was so great for us on so many levels…

As you well know, three months ago this week, a 9.0-earthquake – the fourth largest globally since 1900 – struck off the coast of Japan, triggering a tsunami that buried coastal villages in a wall of water. An estimated 23,000 people lost their lives and while the waters have long receded, the devastation and loss is still paralyzing.

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G-Team History

In addition to weekly campaigns, our G-Team recently set up an Earthquake Relief Fund, spoke at SXSW and the Chicago Forward panel. G-Team representative Dillon shares the brief but mighty history of our social action team.

From teen pop star/heartthrob to cute and cuddly animals, take a quick cruise with us from our humble beginnings to a bountiful spring harvest.

Fresh from launching G-Team campaigns in six new markets on March 8th—now ten in total with more on the way—we are unearthing some of our most cherished treasures before the British Museum snags them up for the world to oohh and ahhh at. Groupon was birthed from a group of mystics and hobnobbers who called themselves The Point. The Point had this clever, unique, and compelling idea for a platform, which sought to bring people together for effective group action, thus making positive social impact in the communities we call home. And after crossing this core idea with the modern Groupon reality we’ve adapted and evolved to what the world now knows to be the G-Team.

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SXSW Wrap Up

Groupon returned from a stint at South by Southwest Interactive with a canvas satchel and a medium sunburn. We were very excited to be a part of the festival this year and accomplished a lot in the past few days.

We partnered with the local business, Mmmpanadas, to give away over 4,000 tasty mouth-foods over the weekend. Thanks to all who followed the @Grouponadas handle to track down our location and congratulations to the lucky $100-stuffed Grouponadas winners! Even without the Groupon decals, the Mmmpanadas truck is still frequenting the streets of Austin, so follow them on Twitter to support a great business and find out where they’re headed next. The Green Chile Chicken was our favorite.

With 1,527 guests passing through Iron Cactus’s doors, Groupon’s Hangover Brunch successfully served 2,240 eggs, 3,150 tortillas, 96 lbs. of guacamole, and 18 gallons of the specialty cocktail, The Typsying Point. The animated and talented band The Jitterbug Vipers kept everyone entertained over the course of the morning.

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Earthquake Relief Fund

We are saddened to hear of the devastation caused by the recent earthquake in Japan. In the effort to assist those in need, we’ve created a G-Team campaign to help gather donations during this tragic time.

Through our site, you can give to the International Medical Corps. They are a group of health professionals dedicated to global support and relief, who are dispatching response teams and supplies to mitigate the hardship and suffering that still await the people of Japan and other affected areas around the Pacific.

You can read more about the charity as well as donate at levels of $5, $10, and $25 to the cause HERE.

Getting the G-Team Out

Do you feel unsatisfied? Lacking a sense of achievement? Tires slashed? Friends calling you a hater? Is your license plate KRMUGN? Regardless, get your connect on with the G-Team and make everything a bit better and brighter before heading home for the weekend.

Sticking to our social activist roots and extending our philanthropic reach, the G-Team is excited to give honorable mention to our recent campaign for the Chicago Dance Institute (CDI) . After successfully raising $1,300 (which was more than double our goal) for the [CDI](http://www.chicagodanceinstitute.org/index.html) we the Groupon nation should pause for a moment and let the intrinsic satisfaction wash over us.

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