Community Engagement

‘Tis the Season: Giving Back to Our Employees and Local Community

There is no ignoring the fact that 2021 proved to yet again be a year full of challenges and uncertainty for us all, including for the communities where we live, work, and play who continue to feel the many impacts of this global disruption. This is no different for the neighborhood around our own Boston headquarters – affectionately known as our “Wayborhood’ – which has felt the absence of business from office workers, many of whom have been working remotely throughout the pandemic.

Despite these challenges, Wayfair’s employees from across the company have not only managed to consistently rise to meet these challenges and deliver incredible results, but they’ve done it all with a tenacious and optimistic attitude.

As 2021 came to a close and we approached the holiday season, one question swirled in our minds: is there a way we can both help our employees celebrate the incredible work they’ve done throughout this difficult time, while also supporting the local community we know and love? It turns out that the answer is yes – and in more ways than one.

A look at the SoWa market building, which has snowflake images projected onto it, as the festive building looms over a crowd of people.

Supporting the Wayborhood

Thanks to support from Toast – a fellow Boston-based company who shares our desire to support our local community – we launched a new program for our Boston-area employees called “Support the Wayborhood.” This program, which ran from October 18th to December 1st, provided each Wayfair employee with $50 in Toast credits to use at nearly 100 restaurants right here in our neighborhood. By using these credits, employees could dine-in, pick-up, or take-out food from some of their favorite restaurants while also reconnecting with our local community and each other.

This program wasn’t limited to restaurants, either, as it offered perks for some of Boston’s best entertainment and culture destinations – including one year of free admission at the Museum of Fine Arts, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, and the New England Aquarium, to name a few. Additionally, Wayfairians were treated to a dedicated night of free bowling, shuffleboard, arcade and billiards at King’s Bowling, as well as a free one-time tour of Boston courtesy of our friends at Boston’s Duck Tours.

A few Wayfair employees talk with a vendor while examining the merchandise he has on display.

While our local Boston neighborhood is full of many fantastic businesses and iconic destinations, it’s also home to non-profit organizations who are doing incredible work to support our communities throughout the year – including those that share our belief that everyone deserves a place to call home. As part of this program, and together with Toast, we chose to make a donation to four local non-profit organizations who are doing outstanding work supporting individuals who are experiencing or have experienced homelessness:

  • Bridge Over Troubled Waters - Dedicated to serving homeless, runaway, and at-risk youth through effective and innovative services that guide them towards self-sufficient and stable adulthood.
  • Women’s Lunch Place - A unique day shelter that’s dedicated to helping women in need with healthy meals, essential items, and one-on-one advocacy.
  • Rosie’s Place - On a mission to provide a safe and nurturing environment that helps poor and homeless women maintain their dignity, seek opportunity and find security in their lives.
  • Pine Street Inn - On a mission to end homelessness by providing housing, street outreach and job training to homeless men and women in Greater Boston.

The Holiday Gift of Giving Back

On the heels of our “Support the Wayborhood” program, we hosted our office holiday party at Boston’s SoWa Market, an outdoor venue that’s home to many incredible local artists, artisans, jewelers, and makers of all stripes. SoWa’s annual Winter Market was about to begin, and we were fortunate enough to have access to these nearly 100+ local vendors a day early, along with offerings from local favorite food trucks, drinks, music, and holiday cheer.

Wayfair co-founder Steve Conine wears a look of concentration as he carves the Wayfair logo into a block of ice with a chainsaw.

At the event, Wayfair employees were each given $50 to spend directly with these vendors however they wanted – perhaps shopping for some holiday gifts or treating themselves to some hand-crafted goods – while also supporting the talented artisans who made them.

Additionally, our holiday party was also an opportunity for employees to contribute toward Winter Walk, a local initiative that believes ending homelessness is within reach. Their mission is to raise awareness and funds towards that goal in order to support organizations in the Greater Boston area that are working on prevention, support, and care for our homeless community.

Ahead of the event, Wayfair employees were asked to bring winter-weather items like coats, gloves, hats, sweatpants, and backpacks that could be donated towards the initiative – and they could also donate any amount of the $50 they’d been given for vendors towards the initiative, too. As a result, 200 Wayfair employees had contributed enough to fill seven cars with clothing items, as well as $3,000 in funds that will go directly to Winter Walk.

We’re proud to have so many community-minded employees who go above and beyond to give back and make a difference.

From our homes to our communities, Wayfair is committed to making the places we work and live in better places to call home. Read more about our commitments and corporate responsibilities here.