Each year, BlueGrace female (Team Cats) and male (Team Dogs) employees compete against each other to see who can collect the most amount of pet food in total pounds. The food is then donated to a no-kill shelter to feed homeless animals in the community and used for pet owner assistance programs that benefit homebound and elderly residents on a fixed income. This year, the employees of BlueGrace collected over 60,000 pounds of food between Tampa & Chicago - reaching a new record for the contest on a location-wide scale.
Employees at BlueGrace Headquarters in Tampa were able to collect over 31,000 pounds of pet food to donate to Humane Society of Tampa Bay. Lon Savini, Shelter Operations Manager, gives us a breakdown of how impactful the donation is to supporting all of the services the shelter provides to the community:
Animeals Delivery Program, a service delivered to over 170 recipients in need one Saturday each month: Will not need to buy dog food for 2 months and cat food for at least 1 month for a cost savings of roughly $6,000.
Food Assistance Program, a service where food is broken down into smaller bags and handed out to the public in need of assistance to feed their pets: Will not need to buy food for the remainder of the year for a cost savings of roughly $16,800.
Shelter Operations, food used to feed animals living at the shelter throughout the year: Will not need to buy dog food for 4 months and cat food for a at least 1 month for a cost savings of roughly $6,500.
Since inception of the 'Cats vs Dogs' pet food drive in 2010, BlueGrace has now donated over 206,000 pounds of pet food to Humane Society of Tampa Bay. The drive culminates each year with an adoption event at BlueGrace headquarters in Tampa, where 8-10 dogs and cats are brought in by the shelter and employees have the opportunity to take a new family member home. Almost all of the animals were adopted and welcomed home to their new BlueGrace families this year!
The competition is fierce each year - from catchy team names ("Check Meowt" & "Woof Pack") to secret meetings in the restrooms, it's a good old fashioned battle of the sexes for the entire duration of the drive. BlueGrace employees are not shy about their love for competition, some would argue that drive's success has a large part to do with the fun of competing against each other. Team Cats had been the reigning champions EVERY year… until just last year. Team Dogs finally defeated the ladies in 2017 and claimed their crown - and they didn't think twice about rubbing it in. But not for long. Team Cats took the W this year and regained their title as THE champions…. and to Team Dogs they say - "Who's cryin' meow?"
While the competition aspect of the drive is fun for employees, the ultimate goal is to provide as much food as possible for homeless animals in the community. It's an effort we are completely dedicated to and every year try to find ways to improve the drive.
With the amount of growth BlueGrace has experienced over the last few years, the contest extended to other regional locations. This resulted in a major win by our Chicago team for animals at the Animal Rescue Foundation of Illinois this year, where BlueGrace employees collected over 32,000 pounds of food. One employee even secured the largest part of the donation, 30,000 lbs., by himself.
"What one office collected as an entity, one employee collected by himself - this is just beyond epic. We just think it's really awesome that Scott [Collack] reached out and made this opportunity happen - these animals are truly cared about, we've got some really great people with some really big hearts in this company" Bobby Harris - CEO of BlueGrace, on Chicago employee Scott Collack securing the 30k donation.
Core Value #1 is Be Caring of ALL Others at BlueGrace and is probably our most called upon value. It's essential to our hiring process, the success of our business and the energy of our culture that our employees have some sort of empathetic trait. We work best with those who have compassion for others and truly show it.
One of the biggest contributing factors to the success of the drive in Tampa was the involvement of the community.This year our goal was to get as many people and organizations as possible involved in the Tampa community, and we knew exactly how to bring everyone together. There are two things we can always count on for a big turnout when planning a fundraising event; One: people love animals. Two: people love happy hour.
Hosted by Fuzzy's Taco Shop, BlueGrace, Humane Society of Tampa Bay and Tampa Tails, the 2018 "Yappy Hour" fundraising event was wildly successful - raising over $4,000. Silent auction prizes were donated by top local companies like the Tampa Bay Lightning, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Florida Aquarium, Tampa Bay Rays and many more. Several other local businesses and organizations donated resources such as pet food, money, transportation services, raffle prizes and much more to make the final drive donation totals possible.
See our full video at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BnRMsqJ-pYM&t=127s
Founded in 2009, BlueGrace Logistics is one of the largest third-party logistics (3PL) providers in the United States. With over 500 employees and working with over 10,000 customers to provide successful shipping solutions, the company has achieved explosive growth in its nearly 10-year operating history. Backed by a $255 million investment by private equity firm Warburg Pincus, the company operates 11 locations nationwide, and its headquarters are in the sunny Tampa Bay area of Florida.