Giving back — the social business component of a company

A couple of weekends ago, I got to do something that I truly believe in. I leveraged my passion for photography to help a non-profit capture the moments of a unique event they were hosting.

The non-profit is the Mentor Connector, a Rutland-based organization that empowers youth through mentoring. They connect at-risk youth, those who have no one to turn to for support, with highly qualified mentors.

Their event was a minigolf outing @Otter Creek Fun Center for both mentors and mentees, as well as for the staff from the Mentor Connector.

It was a fun-filled morning for everyone, as you can see from the photos.

I strongly believe that any company should have a social business component to it. Besides giving you the feeling that you accomplished something good, it also helps you reinforce values within the company, create a great culture, and much more.

When you are a company like Local Captures, working with partners and customers who also share that same passion for photography and for capturing the beauty that surrounds us -- how do you create a platform where everyone can participate in your social activities?

We can do one of two things.

First, we can create causes that shine a light on a particular group of under-served people through photography, such as homelessness and deep poverty, discrimination of minorities, etc. We could then solicit photographic contributions, visual stories, and documentary short movies from our tour guides and guests who have an affinity for those causes.

In another scenario, we could team up with organizations that focus on specific causes such as environmental issues and nature preservation, endangered species, animal abuse, and others. We could then create social-impact photo tours where we donate all the photos taken during the tour for the organization's promotional purposes, and where we donate a part of the tour proceeds to the non-profit as well.

We are slowly starting to support both models, and you will see more of that from us soon.

Are there any other models that you can think of that would let us involve not just our employees, but our whole ecosystem in our social activities?

We'd love to hear it!


A trip down Artisans Park in Windsor VT

This weekend we took a ride down to Windsor's Artisans Park -- always a favorite Vermont hangout for us.

We love the Silo products, the Harpoon Brewery beers, and the cheeses and other products at the Cheese Board. It is  always fun to take friends to the local Simon Pearce glass blowing factory, where you can actually see glassblowers, and their apprentices, at work.

Since we were there last, there have been two new additions to the Artisan Part -- Oh!Veggies, and Black Hill Preserves, where you can actually book a tour to make your own preserves.

Artisan Park, and its immediate surroundings, is also rich in beautiful imagery -- no matter what the weather is like. From the majestic German-made copper distillery column at Silo, to the glassblowers at Simon Pearce, to the abandoned barns on the road to get there. Also, do not forget the covered bridge over the Connecticut river, which is supposedly the longest wooden covered bridge in the US (see photos below).

Whenever you get a change, get out there and capture the beauty that is around us. If you'd like some company, or some advise on what to shoot and how to shoot it, we have many great photographers in the area who can take you on photo tour in Vermont. Just browse through our Vermont collection for some ideas. And as always, we can customize a tour for your enjoyment.

Abandoned barn in Windsor VT
silo windsor vt
Distillery Column at Silo in Windsor VT
Simon Pearce glassblower
Glassblower at Simon Pearce in Windsor VT

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