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Culture

The United Way of the Ozarks’ Community Field Trips

As corporate team building expands beyond the office, companies are looking for outside opportunities to build a more meaningful workplace environment. The United Way of the Ozarks’ Community Field Trip program has been a great place to start.

By Jennifer Johnmeyer

Jan 2024

United Way of the Ozarks
Photo courtesy of United Way of the OzarksTeam members learn how they can impact local nonprofits at United Way of the Ozarks’ Community Field Trip.

When KPM’s Vicki MacDonald heard about Community Field Trip, she recognized it as a fulfilling opportunity for her team to learn and grow together while learning of needs in the community.

It’s a benefit echoed by Amber Alcorn, formerly with the United Way of the Ozarks. “Recent studies have shown that employees want to know that their workplace is giving back, and they want to be involved in that,” Alcorn says.

Community Field Trip has proven to be the answer for several businesses looking to build that corporate citizenship, with KPM and Paddio being two of the most recent.

The outings cost $2,500 and involve groups of 20–25 employees from a company who go out into the community and learn about issues affecting local nonprofits. When selecting the field trip, participating companies can choose one of two focuses: championing children or pathways out of poverty.

“They have a little say in what nonprofits they visit that day, so we tailor the curriculum accordingly,” Alcorn says.

KPM selected championing children as their community focus.

“Springfield is such a giving community, and our children unfortunately need resources,” KPM’s MacDonald says.

She adds that social responsibility and building strong relationships with local organizations are two integral pieces of KPM’s “why,” adding that employee engagement increases morale, job satisfaction and purpose.

“By fostering their desire to give back, it increases morale, job satisfaction and purpose. Plus, what better way than to do it as a field trip to see all the amazing things in our community as a group!”

Alcorn points out that Community Field Trip is a great solution for businesses that might not know where to start.

“This is a good starting place to educate teams and individuals about issues specific to our local area,” she says.

KPM now plans to make this an annual event. “It was so worth it, and I encourage anyone on the fence to really consider it,” says MacDonald. 

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