A Year in Review: How We Built a Better World Through Teamwork

Reflecting on the many ways we did better together in 2023

With thousands of volunteer hours logged in support of non-profits and charitable projects in our local communities, AEO associates proved just how much good we can do when we work together!

From associate organized fundraising initiatives, team-based volunteer projects to annual service events, follow along below for some of our favorite moments making the world a better place through TEAMWORK in 2023.

Community Day

Our 2023 AEO Better World Community Day included hundreds of associates from Pittsburgh, New York City, San Francisco, Hong Kong, Mexico City, Hazleton, Ottawa and Mississauga. Our teams came together to volunteer a combined 1,600+ hours of service in support of the communities where we live and work. 

In Pittsburgh, more than 500 gathered to pack 100,000 meals for the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank, while associates in San Francisco spent a morning helping to preserve Ocean Beach by picking up trash with Surfrider. Throughout the five boroughs, NYC associates tended to beds in community gardens with Green Guerillas, sorted salvaged fabric and notions at Materials for the Arts, and spread out across the city to give back.

Associates in Hong Kong accompanied elderly neighbors to shop for necessities and prepared more than 6,000 meals for the disadvantaged; in Mexico City, teammates brought joy to childhood cancer patients with visits to Casa de la Amistad.

In Hazleton, associates dedicated a day to beautifying and preserving local greenspace in St. Arthur Park. Associates in Ottawa split up in groups to support several projects, including caring for animals at local Prairie Paws and cleanup of their local Main Street corner; meanwhile, associates in Mississauga spent the day stewarding Meadowvale Conservation Area with Credit Valley Conservation.

Team of Ten 

This past year, more than 1,000 AEO corporate and store associates formed 59 teams, to contribute 4,000+ hours of volunteer service in communities across North America! Projects ranged from stuffing backpacks full of supplies for low-income students, playing with and cleaning up after animals in shelters, conserving spaces through gardening and park cleanup, making meals for the hungry, and more!

Team of Ten is a global initiative designed to empower our AEO community and support their volunteer efforts. As part of the program, the company provides up to $1,000 in additional charitable donations when groups of associates participate in charitable activities together.

Holiday Wishes

Pittsburgh, New York, Ottawa and Mississauga associates spread HUGE amounts of holiday cheer in 2023, fulfilling almost 500 wishes for youth and teens who might otherwise not receive gifts. AEO worked with Mars Home for Youth, Pressley Ridge, Kids Voice, Services for the Underserved, TFI and Our Place Peel, non-profit organizations who provide education, behavioral and medical services for young people in need.

AEOmazing Race

In September, hundreds of associates came together for a good cause—and a bit of friendly competition— at the second annual AEOmazing Race! Department teams competed in relays, raising almost $10,000 to support the AEO Foundation’s Community Grant programs and Holiday Wishes program.

From providing access to clean water through the Water Project, to helping residents in-need prepare for winter through the annual Cold Weather Drive, 2023 was full of inspiring examples of collaboration, camaraderie and teamwork.

Stay tuned for the final installment in our Year in Review: Building a Better World series! Need to catch up? Check out how we helped make the world a better place through inclusion and service in 2023.