Corporate Spotlight – Austin’s Couch Potatoes
The Salvation Army’s unique corporate partnerships magnify brands and enrich our partners’ workplaces. Our corporate partners are a critical component of The Angel Tree program, providing Christmas assistance to local families in need. Last Christmas, nearly 8,500 children were served, which relieved financial stress that the holidays put on many families in our community. This is our busiest time of year, and we rely heavily on the generosity of volunteers to help sort, organize, and inventory all the gifts. Last December, employees from local Austin furniture store “Couch Potatoes” volunteered for more than 260 hours over a course of an eight-hour work day.
We were so appreciative of their work, and could tell giving back to their community was a priority for their company culture. Brian Morgan, CEO of Austin’s Couch Potatoes, took the time to reflect on their volunteer experience with The Salvation Army and the impact it had on his staff and company culture. “Volunteering with the Salvation Army – wow. It’s been nearly 4 months and I still haven’t gotten over that service day at the Christmas present warehouse,” Morgan says. “You know that joy you get when you give? When we help someone in need…That feeling you get is grander than any promotion I could gain in this life.” His servant heart is so apparent through the way he views and approaches service. “We want to be change agents in this city, we want to give through our work family, not just write the checks. Writing a check is only fulfilling for me as an owner, but asking our work family how and what are you passionate about giving and serving with…or heck, maybe they’ve never had the opportunity to give back – we give through them. Giving sacrificially continuously puts our hearts in check. When I get my hands dirty or a little sweaty after packing gifts at Salvation Army, I’m reminded of the real need in our city.” Striving to do more than just write the check, to put in the time and effort needed to make change in our community, Morgan makes it clear he cares about his employees as well, as he even mentioned the way he refers to all of them as family.
During the height of the pandemic, Couch Potatoes’ leadership team presented an idea “to take a day off from the traditional work and serve the city,” Morgan says. “In fact, it’s gone over so well, every month now we take a day off (that’s paid) for all of our employees and we serve together in the areas of greatest need in our city. We live here, extensions of our families are all over this city and surrounding suburbs. We can humbly lead and do our part of making a difference and we can soak up a little joy along the way.” The Couch Potatoes are an inspiring example of how integrating volunteerism into company culture motivates staff to catalyze change in their communities.
For those with the capacity and aspirations to create positive change for the communities in Austin, but without the know-how, Morgan has a message. “If there is any fellow entrepreneur in Austin that doesn’t know how to take the first step, I’d love to step with you. Don’t miss out on the joy you will receive from serving at The Salvation Army. It’s worth it, can you even imagine what it would look like if our businesses all had an attitude of give first, and give greater next year? Wow…I want to see a taste of that in my lifetime for the City of Austin.” Like Morgan, we hope to witness an Austin where giving is an integral component for any business. To learn more about how you can get involved, go here.