Local Entrepreneur Gives Back – March’s Baltimore “Woman to Watch” – Rebecca Teaff
MyCity4Her is lucky to have in our midst some amazing subscribers and women business owners. From time to time we like to feature things they are doing OUTSIDE of their business in the hopes it can provide our audience with some inspiration about how to use their business to make an impact in the community beyond the obvious. Redstart Creative Principal and female entrepreneur Rebecca Teaff recently decided to explore giving back with her team by volunteering in the community. We decided to feature Rebecca as our March Baltimore “Woman to Watch” and asked her to share with our audience about her experience giving back. Rebecca is definitely a visionary business leader and a woman business owner in Baltimore who is committed to making a difference. Here’s what she had to say in her own words…
On Friday, February 22nd members of the Redstart Creative team gathered for our first official service day. When I founded the company I knew I wanted to incorporate service into the mix. While social responsibility is a current buzz word, I was lucky to be raised by amazing parents who taught the value of giving back from a young age. The concept was to do two service days a year as a team – in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and September 11th. I feel serving in honor of these days is the happy medium between business as usual vs. taking a holiday.
While we have done pro bono design work in the community, my plan for service days never quite happened. Over the last few years our team has grown and I decided 2013 is the year to get started. So earlier this month we gathered for a belated service day in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.
Art Director George Hoffmann and his wife Sue, Web Project Manager Jenn Pak, Junior Designer Lauren Torres, my brother Jon Stevens (visiting from Texas) and myself arrived at Our Daily Bread Employment Center around 9am to get ready for the lunch shift. We quickly registered and got to work on pre-lunch tasks such as cutting up desserts, filling up water pitchers, receiving deliveries and other prep-work.
At 930 Brandon, our volunteer liaison, led a most entertaining orientation. Lunch is served between 1030-1230 and within those two hours ODBEC feeds between 500 & 800 people depending on the time of the month. This is an amazing feat and the team at ODBEC has it down to a science.
New volunteers help support a team of regular volunteers during the lunch service. (I learned that the other 4 volunteers in my section volunteer every Friday morning and have done so for years.) Each section has a server, runner, bread server, tea server and cleaner. These individuals act as a team and serve the people in the section. The guests are served with table service similar to a restaurant to show them respect.
I was assigned to be a cleaner in the family section. While I was there I helped to serve men, women and five families. This included three children and three babies all under 10 months old. I was very much struck by how tough times hit everyone. Three of the families had the dads bringing the children in to the meal, which was unique. I was able to say hello to many and even have a conversation with the mom of a 10 month old baby (my son is the same age) about getting sleep. And I made sure the kids got to pick out a book on the bookshelf to take home.
The two hours of serving passed quickly. All of the guests were polite and appreciative. I was amazed at the efficiency of the dining room and the hard work of all the volunteers and staff. We are so lucky to have them in our city caring for those less fortunate.
George recently shared his thoughts with me, “It was a really awesome, exciting, and humbling day. I am really happy you gave Sue and I the opportunity to come along. It has been a long time since I have felt like I have done anything to help someone else in need, the experience was something I really needed, and it came at just the right time.”
I couldn’t agree more!
I look forward to further projects with my amazing Redstart team members and definitely a return trip to Our Daily Bread.
About Rebecca Teaff
In 2009 Rebecca founded her graphic design and marketing company with the mission of creating clear communications for those who drive positive change in the world. (These are the people who make good things happen!) Raised in a rowdy, civically engaged family, Rebecca has a passion for good causes that match her passion for design. Rebecca and her team work their magic in print and web materials for non-profits and small businesses.
Rebecca has been the recipient of The Daily Record’s Leading Women Award and NAWBO-BRC’s Rising Star Award. She runs the B’more Creatives Mentoring Program, is the Marketing Chair for NAWBO-BRC, is the Marketing Chair for her college’s Class Leadership Team and is a member of the Parish Council at Church of the Nativity.
About RedStart Creative
Redstart Creative was established in 2009 with the mission to create clear communications for those who are driving positive change in the world i.e., people who make good things happen.
Their team thinks creatively on how to use the client’s internal and external resources, staff, budget, etc., to make sure their clients are actively marketing their business to reach their goals.
Redstart combines targeted messaging with great design to communicate clearly to the audience. They specialize in identity work, collateral, direct mail and websites for non-profits and small businesses.