Rocket and TJX team up in support of Heading Home
As Rocket celebrates its 25th year, many of us have been reminiscing about our time with the company. I have been with Rocket for five years, while others have been along for the full ride and some have only started in the past few weeks. I was in the 5th grade when the company was founded, and aside from learning about long division and dominating gym class, I learned an important lesson that year–one that continues to resonate with my experiences at Rocket today.
It was just an average day at school and my class was walking back from an assembly. Once we had finally shuffled back to our seats, our teacher revealed he had conducted a small experiment on the walk between the cafeteria and the classroom. He had placed a piece of paper on the floor in the hallway and then watched as scores of us walked right over it, either not noticing it or ignoring it altogether. Except that is, for one student, who picked it up and threw it away.
On the surface, this encounter seemed simple and innocuous enough, but I learned that day the importance of doing the right thing no matter who you are. The girl who picked up the paper wasn’t the janitor or a staff member; she was someone who benefited from a clean school and did her part. She led by example and fixed something that needed fixing without any expectation of recognition.
Leading by example and problem solving are two key elements, I believe, to Rocket’s success, and two elements that have only become stronger over the years. Just recently I witnessed how these key elements and our core corporate values of Customer and Partners First, One Rocket, and Rocketeers are the difference, had a direct impact on the community we live in.
One of my colleagues, Sales Account Executive Ron Bleakney Jr., was having coffee one day with his customer Rick Palafox from TJX (parent company of TJ Maxx, Marshalls and Home Goods) and they realized they both had a lot of passion for a particular charity – Boston-based non-profit Heading Home. They talked about how the two companies might work together to help local families, and the end result was that a group of employees at both Rocket and TJX teamed up to move Franchesca, a single mother, and her 6 month old daughter Franjeisi, from a homeless shelter into their very own home!
This was a grass roots effort led by Ron and Rick and with support from their companies in the form of volunteers and donations. Ron later confessed he had been worried he wouldn’t get much support. To his surprise, he was met with van loads of enthusiasm, clothing, furniture, baby supplies, and food as well as many monetary contributions. With Ron and Rick’s guidance, we all rolled up our sleeves, rented a truck, and spent the day moving and assembling everything the family would need for their new home. It was an incredible and heartwarming experience for everyone involved and a great example of how our strengths can be put into action outside of work.
After 25 years, it is wonderful and important that Rocket continues to support community outreach and engagement. Not everyone will participate in every event and some of the causes won’t resonate with everyone as meaningfully as others will. However, continuing to reach out to the community and leading by example will remain key components of our success. The point is that teams can accomplish more than individuals and we have a lot of people who want to work together to serve the communities and perhaps represent the ideals of my 5th grade teacher’s experiment. Like the student who picked up the paper, we are the team and company that notices problems, assesses them, and does the right thing without hesitation.
As a Business Unit Controller at Rocket, I see and hear about dedicated Rocketeers from around the world who consistently go far above (and below and beside) their job description to provide the best possible experience to our customers with the same level of passion that we did for Heading Home. I believe it is this incredible work ethic that will continue to produce far-reaching results and also improve the communities where we work and live over the next 25 years.