As part of Daktronics celebrating 50 years in business, every month in 2018 will have a #DakGivesBack initiative to give back to local communities where company employees live. In April, the company is encouraging employees to pay it forward and participate in random acts of kindness happening throughout the month.“The #DakGivesBack campaign was designed as a way for our employees to celebrate the company’s 50th anniversary while making an impact in their local community,” says Laurie Smith, Daktronics commercial sales coordinator supervisor. “We are encouraging our employees – not only in the United States, but around the globe – to get involved.”

It’s a program that means a lot to Sheila Anderson and Jesa Pace, who work at the Brookings facility.

Anderson is the chief financial officer and has participated with the accounting and legal departments in #DakGivesBack activities, including raising money for Project Joy, the food drive, the Backpack Project, and volunteering at the Harvest Table.

“We try to do something … a few times a year to help out people,” Anderson said. “Personally, I think it’s important, like I said, to give back to the community and it’s just part of my DNA. I think there’s a balance between work, life and giving back and then, too, it’s also a fun way to get to know the people I work with a lot more, on a more fun basis, a lot more casual basis.”

Pace, along with other members of the marketing team, participated in the company-wide food drive and got into a little good-natured competition.

“We split into two groups; we tried to see which marketing team could bring more food for the food drive. That was a fun way to have some fun with your co-workers while also giving back,” Pace said. “I take part because I feel like it’s a great way to give back to the community and get to know others in the community, as well.”

The initiative kicked off in January as employees donated food items, time and money to local food banks as adults and children face hunger in every community. It was followed up in February with donations to local domestic abuse shelters including clothing, supplies and other essential items to help their victims live free from violence.

For March, employees were encouraged to volunteer their time at local youth programs with a goal of contributing to 50 youth organizations during the month. Donating time for youth ranged from volunteering at libraries, children’s hospitals, sports organizations, tutoring and any other activity helping to enrich the lives of the youth on a local level.

“Celebrating our anniversary by giving back is staying true to who we are as a company,” added Smith. “It’s a great reminder of our core values of honest, helpful and humble.”

Pace and Anderson agree.

“I’ve just really fallen in love with the community,” said Pace, who’s lived in Brookings about three years. “I think it’s a great way to show that and show that appreciation for your community.”

“I think it’s important,” Anderson said. “Some people do need that extra hand every now and then. If I needed it some time in my life, I would hope that someone would help me. We really are blessed to live in the community of Brookings.”

As part of April’s initiative, international “pay it forward” day is on April 28, and employees are encouraged to participate on this day as well as all month long.

Coming up in May, the company’s #DakGivesBack focus will be on environmental awareness while June will be focused on building your community.

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