(I asked before posting this; no trade secrets or anything; opinions expressed are my own…)

One of the things I find rewarding about working at Amazon is that I get to work with really smart and giving people. Today was our third charity shirt day; the first was at Dunlap Elementary, the second was at MLK Elementary.

Miguel, my boss’s boss’s boss who is the director of the group, one day asked “how are we making things better?” This isn’t one of the core Amazon leadership principles, but likely aught to be. That got the ball rolling on this bit of outreach.

Today we were at Mary’s Place. They are one of the local groups that are working with the local homeless population that I wholeheartedly support. They are really making a difference and not just out to make a buck.

Since we’re in the t-shirt printing business, we printed up a crap-ton of t-shirts for them and their staff. They do a lot of hard work with people in need. They also do a lot of community outreach and a lot of this also winds up being a branding exercise for them.

Amazon is working hard to support them as well. Along with other companies, we are letting them use buildings that are slated for redevelopment or otherwise unused and letting the good people at Mary’s Place use it for shelter for homeless women and families. In fact, one of our new buildings that is slated to get built in the next couple of years will be the future home of a permanent facility for Mary’s Place.

It’s one of those things that makes me feel a lot better about working for “big brother.” While Amazon gets a bad rap a lot of times for being a bad company to work for (not my experience, BTW), it also has the resources to do a lot of good for the community.

It’s one of the things I really like about working for Amazon — and my immediate team.

Go Merch by Amazon!  :-D

(The internal code-name of Merch by Amazon was “Orca” — this isn’t a secret any more… that’s why the team is all wearing our launch Free-Willy-themed shirts!)