Build a Bike was part of a team building exercise sponsored by the CU in which the 190 staffers from across Oregon gathered in a conference ballroom and were told to assemble bikes in three hours.
"There was a bit of groaning at first since they were not told what it was all for. But there were smiles all around when their 24 assembled bikes were handed over to a roomful of excited youngsters," said Laurie Kresl, vice president of business development.
The youngsters receiving the bikes were members of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Portland. All of the bike assembly was done on Columbus Day when the CU was closed.
Janet Towne, Unitus' organizational development specialist, said the bike building project was particularly meaningful since "the team-building experience that didn't end at the end of the day and didn't end with solely our employees."
That's because the event, which received media coverage "had an impact that continues to ripple into the community, our members, our employees and their families."
To handle the bike building exercise, Unitus used a Fort Worth, Tex., training consulting firm, Leader's Institute, said Kresl. Towne of the HR department said the CU has had "a wide range of positive employee feedback" since the session was held.
"There were several employees who hugged me when the day was done and told me it was the best Columbus Day ever," said Towne. "One woman shared that while building the bikes she told her teammates that what would really knock her socks off was if the kids came in to pick them up. And then they did!"