by: Shelly McCollum, Client Services Manager
Every June for the past 4 years, Remote Learner team members have “come together” virtually to support one of our favorite charities, The Alzheimer’s Association, by participating in their annual fundraising event, The Longest Day. Held every year on the summer solstice — the day with the most light — the 18-hour event is a relay of sorts, with each participant committing one hour of their day to a chosen activity in honor of those fighting Alzheimer’s disease themselves or supporting someone in the midst of that fight.
The event is a perfect fit for Remote Learner for a number of reasons. First and foremost, with more than 5 million Americans currently living with Alzheimer’s and a 146% increase in deaths from the disease in the past 2 decades, it is no surprise that the majority of RL team members have personal experience in the struggles that come with an Alzheimer’s diagnosis for a loved one. As such, the effort to support more research, better treatments, and a future cure hits close to home for much of our RL Family.
The structure of the event also happens to lend itself to Remote Learner’s distributed team. As a 100% remote workforce spread across more than a dozen states, two Canadian provinces, and 4 time zones, coordinating a company-wide activity can be challenging, to say the least. Traditional fun runs, construction days, and group volunteer situations can’t often accommodate our vast geography or allow our team to participate as an actual team. The Longest Day is a stellar exception to the charity event norms, easily allowing our team members to participate “together” from wherever they may happen to be.
Finally, the ability of the event to accommodate any desired activity is another plus for The Longest Day. Noon on the summer solstice may not be the best time for one of our team members in Texas or Nevada to go for a run or ride a bike, but it may be the perfect time to read a book with your daughter or work on a quilt or go for a swim. Remote Learner always participates under the “multiple activities” option The Longest Day provides for, allowing our diverse team to choose their activity and their hour to best represent those they are honoring with their participation.
This year RL had 28 team members participate in The Longest Day, 75% of our 37 member staff. Pictures and videos of their activities filled our staff Slack channel all day long, an endless stream of purple-clad smiling faces cheering one another on as the hours rolled by. Participants walked, biked, swam, gamed, crafted, cooked, read, and hopscotched, their way through the day. Their social media posts helped raise awareness for both the event and the cause, and in the process, they shattered our goal by raising over $3500.
But just because the day is over, that doesn’t mean our efforts have ended or that the fight has been won. We are already making plans for next year’s event with a goal of 100% participation across the company, and donations for this year’s event can still be made through our team page until July 31st. If you’d like to help us help this amazing organization, we encourage you to go to http://act.alz.org/goto/remotelearner to learn more about our involvement and how you too can help “shine a light on Alzheimer’s.”