At Matchfire, we believe in social good. We believe your purpose is intrinsic to the way you do business every day—it’s part of your company and brand DNA. Our team—and our clients—share alignment on this position frequently. We all long to be part of something bigger than ourselves. No doubt, this is what makes our employees passionate about coming to work every day. It is part of our culture; it is part of our clients’ culture.
This is why at Matchfire, you’ll hear us frequently ask our team and our clients “what sets your soul on fire?”—and then tell them to do more of that.
I’m thankful to work for a company that pushes and supports our team to carry out these dreams. Matchfire walks the talk when it comes to purpose work. Receiving paid time off for volunteer work—with the support of my co-workers and management to step away from the office—is a gift that is rare.
Eager to feed my craving to get out of the country for a bit, and spending countless hours in the mousetrap of Pinterest and millennial travel blogs, I stumbled upon sites dedicated to voluntourism. For the uninitiated, voluntourism is a combination of travel while volunteering your time to causes in the places you visit. The spark was ignited!
Embarking on a volunteer trip then made its way to my bucket list. To unite both experiencing a new culture and giving back was the right adventure for me to pursue. After finding an organization missioned after something I, too, share a passion for—education—and an opportunity to travel abroad during the Thanksgiving holiday, it all just felt right and committing to the cause was easy.
Enter Give and Surf. By their own definition, Give and Surf is “not your typical non-profit, Give and Surf is a family.” The simple explanation: They are a 501(c)3 that helps the indigenous tribes of Bocas del Toro, Panama (Ngäbe tribes). But what Give and Surf really does is undoubtedly unique: They offer sustainable support year-round by living within the community they are supporting, through educational and community development programs. Most charitable organizations tend to have a smaller impact on a larger number of people; Give and Surf works towards a larger and long-lasting impact within these small communities.
My time in Bocas was eye opening. Seeing what so many young minds are up against in order to simply go to school was particularly heartbreaking. If it weren’t for Give and Surf, many of these kids would not even have access to school, as the organization helps boat kids to and from school and has built elementary schools that previously did not exist within the communities that they live.