As long as the word “Salesforce” has been in my job title, I’ve been coming to Dreamforce. That has been 4 times now that #DF15 is under our belt. However, I have also had the pleasure of acquiring what I can truly say was and is a #dreamjob at FinancialForce.com about a year ago. In that year, I’ve traveled quite a bit to San Francisco… and being the pack-rat that I am, I saved as many travel-sized toiletries as I could (without really knowing what to do with them). At the end of the first week of doing this, I looked at my plastic zipper bag of cleanliness potential and a small thought seed was planted
— Nathan Pepper (@SForceBeWithYou) September 19, 2015
From what started as a desire to give something small back, I started digging further. I wondered, “If one person can do this in one week, what could a Dreamforce-sized population could do in one week?!” I put my feelers out on Chatter and my team’s Skype channel for recommendations of organizations that might benefit from something like this, and that’s when I came to know La Casa de las Madres:
- Founded in 1976
- Nation’s second and California’s first shelter for those escaping domestic violence
- Provide services that extend far beyond just shelter
After lining up a call with a FinancialForce.com team member, and one more call with us and La Casa, Courtney Leslie got to work on implementing the framework that would need to be in place to make this dream a reality.
I was pretty much hands-off from the time Courtney got an idea of what I wanted to set up and got in touch with Katherine Berg from La Casa. They even set up a FinancialForce4Good event to make journals for La Casa!
This Dreamforce was one of my craziest, yet one of the most relaxed. Having attended 3 times before (and climbing quite a ways up the learning curve of development), I de-prioritized sessions except for two. I wanted to focus on meeting people and getting the word out for this brand new charity event I started.
Tuesday morning, first official day of Dreamforce, I ran through the continental breakfast lines… and then I ran to a local Mexican restaurant for a breakfast burrito! While eating breakfast, I struck up a conversation with someone nearby, and something amazing happened. After talking for a while, I brought up that this year I was excited because I was helping throw a toiletry-drive for La Casa de las Madres… and this business-woman’s eyes lit up. “I know them very well!” It turns out that she had recently sought resources from La Casa during a recent time in her life. My heart melted. I had started my Dreamforce this year by meeting a complete stranger that ended up being more connected to me than I could have imagined.
We are not as separate as we often think, and the afflictions that may not affect ourselves still affect us directly since they affect our community. We are all connected, and helping out is easier than we think. I’m so glad that by having a seed sparked inside of me and talking with the right people that it grew into something that can bring hope and comfort to a community that desperately needs it – and that community is us.