Our Neighbors in Need

Apr 3, 2020

Operation Give Back

It’s a beautiful thing to walk through the front door at Operation Give Back in full swing. Volunteers breeze through the hallways with a smile, kids of all ages laugh and joke as they unpack their homework, the owner of Buckabee Brownies shows up with a surprise treat, and the facility is buzzing with warmth and energy. This inviting place is home to a food pantry, library, and gathering spaces – and it’s all for the students and families in our Blue Ash neighborhood who need a little extra.

Upstream had been involved with Operation Give Back for some time before the Executive Director approached us with a challenge. Their year-end ask was approaching, and they wanted to capture the attention of donors in a special way. Her vision was to create a video showing a day in the life of OGB – a clear depiction of the many different facets of their operation and why each one is essential. Could we help? 

Unique Challenges

Operation Give Back had unique challenges to overcome as a non-profit with limited resources. It’s difficult to dedicate time communicating your “wow” moments when you’re already busy doing the good work. They simply didn’t have the means or expertise to put together the kind of video they wanted to drum up much-needed support.

Helping Our Neighbors

Our team, however, was up to the task. We took a step back from our ideation sessions and product demos to tell a story that could make a difference to the people in our neighborhood. We came together to capture and share what a day in the life of Operation Give Back really meant for the students and families they serve. We didn’t need a big budget to work efficiently and with purpose, and we knew what we were doing would be instrumental to their cause.

A Newfound Partnership

When all was said and done, the result was invaluable for both of us – a newfound sense of partnership, founded on mutual appreciation of one another and the work we do. The video we delivered for OGB was shared extensively, which dramatically increased their reach while allowing those who are unfamiliar with their mission to instantly understand what they need and what they do. Upstream was able to tap into its community, forming new relationships and connecting with our city in a way we couldn’t possibly have planned.

Adapting to COVID-19

Speaking of things you can’t plan…a day in the life of Operation Give Back is exceedingly different since the COVID-19. No more buses dropping off students after school, snacks to share, or volunteers swarming the halls – but that isn’t stopping OGB from stepping up to the plate for the community they love so much.

Clare SalterItems on shelves

Someone smiling with a grocery cart

The food pantry is in full swing, but instead of parents shopping the shelves, volunteers pre-pack bags and set them on the curb to minimize contact. Restaurants are stepping up with food donations. Local organizations (including the police department) have made themselves available to deliver meals to the homes of students and families who need them now more than ever.

It’s incredible to witness Operation Give Back fighting the good fight, pivoting so they can continue to serve our community in a drastically changed environment. What a reminder that no matter what unexpected obstacles we face, it’s always possible to adapt our approach to a problem and tackle it head-on. Both in business and in personal life, we are all finding creative ways to charge forward without losing sight of what’s really important.

Operation Give Back has certainly inspired me to realize my full potential as a friend, neighbor, and advocate. I hope during these uncertain times, each of us can find a way to offer a helping hand to those who need it most.

*If you have interest in supporting Operation Give Back, here are some ways you can help:

  • Donate monetarily here – this is their biggest ask right now as donating actual goods increases the risk of spreading germs.
  • Link your Kroger Plus Card or Amazon Smile account so a percentage of every purchase you make is automatically donated at no extra cost to you.
  • Follow them on Facebook to find out what specific needs they have each day.
  • Share their video so others can learn about their mission.