December 2015 Corporate News
This month, Altria engaged over 540 employee volunteers and participated in 13 service projects, completing over 1,100 hours of service.
- Laguna Beach, CAOn December 10, HandsOn Network Affiliate, OneOC, led Altria with a holiday project at the Boys & Girls Club of Laguna Beach. Volunteers were able to clean, design, and decorate for the holidays, set-up a tween wrapping social enterprise, assemble a photo booth display, provide STEM literacy gifts for club kids, and contribute to the homeless holiday project for the club. The project allowed club kids to experience the magic and joy of the holiday season, as well as offer more activities and meaningful surprises for the holiday club event.
- North Plainfield, NJAltria employees were able to lend a hand to the HandsOn Network Affiliate United Way of Northern New Jersey to prepare for the holidays. Volunteers assisted with sorting and organizing donated gifts for families and individuals participating in the holiday program. In addition to completing an inventory of all donations, gifts were labeled, packaged, and arranged for pickup by the volunteers.
- Nashville, TNOn Tuesday, December 14, HandsOn Nashville led Altria employees in the third annual Santa’s Workshop. Santa’s Workshop is a ten-hour day held on-site to allow employees of every working shift to lend a hand to the various volunteer projects. Highlights from Santa’s Workshop include assembling 140 fruit baskets and wreaths for seniors, 250 cookie and meal kits for military personnel and their families, and 800 care kits for homeless students.
American Express engaged more than 1,160 volunteers and contributed over 3,500 hours of community service globally. For the second consecutive year, Points of Light partnered with American Express to plan and organize more than 50 meaningful volunteer events in key company locations. Projects took place during January and December in England (London), Italy (Rome), India (all across the country), Canada (Toronto), Hong Kong and Japan (Tokyo). Points of Light and its HandsOn Network affiliates across the Globe brought a deep knowledge of local issues, insights into NGOs, and a track record of creating meaningful opportunities.
The volunteer projects were diverse and carefully designed to take into account the context and the social problems of each location. American Express volunteers were engaged in activities ranging from organizing a birthday party for senior citizens in Hong Kong, to conducting large facility improvements in Rome and New Delhi.
In Toronto, more than 200 volunteers assembled kits to be distributed to local nonprofits. Three organizations had been selected for this event:
- The Children’s Breakfast Club had an assembly line that built bicycle safety kits to be used at their upcoming Bicycle Safety Rally.
- The SickKids Hospital had an assembly line that put together six different craft kits. (Bead ladybugs, bead dogs, yarn butterflies, bracelets for girls, bracelets for boys and pom-pom critters)
- Volunteers at the OSPCA station made cat and/or dog toys that were shared with shelters across the province.
This past December, volunteers at Duke Energy participated in six projects in Charlotte, NC and St. Petersburg, FL. In St. Petersburg, Duke Energy volunteers returned to the Bay Pines Veterans Administration to not only interact with veterans at the facility, but also to complete a massive shore clean up, making the area more inviting and welcoming for the residents and their families visitors. At Duke Energy’s headquarters in Charlotte, the focus was on youth, veterans, and the environment. Volunteers contributed to the development of Seigle Avenue Farm, which serves veterans through horticulture therapy. Volunteers installed gravel surfacing between garden beds, which is more wheelchair and prosthetic limb accessible.
At the Duke Energy offices, volunteers participated in a project benefitting Baby Bundles. Baby Bundles is a nonprofit that provides a package of baby/infant clothing and related products (e.g., blankets, crib toys) to new families experiencing economic hardship. Duke Energy volunteers helped out in the agency's warehouse by processing and inspecting donations, organizing the storage rooms, and packing 72 bundles for delivery to local hospitals and social workers. The first year of the Points of Light and Duke Energy partnership has garnered over 3,300 hours of volunteer service hours impacting over 82,000 residents in North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Ohio and Kentucky.
Volunteerism is an integral part of GE’s culture with employees volunteering over 1 million hours annually. From November 9 through December 5, GE brought its commitment to service full circle with its first Global Month of Service. From packing weekend meals for students in Grand Rapids, MI to building a playground in Bangalore, India, thousands of GE employees from around the world came together to meet the critical needs of the communities where they live and work. GE employees created and led many of the projects, and Points of Light supported GE’s Global Month of Service in a variety of ways. Here are some highlights:
- To equip GE Volunteer Councils to plan and manage Global Month of Service activities, Points of Light created a custom toolkit. This resource detailed the step-by-step process for coordinating a successful volunteer project, provided information on how to best share the impact of the Global Month of Service project to the GE community and beyond, and offered communication templates to make volunteer recruitment easy.
- In six GE Veterans Network locations, 720 care packages were made and shipped to active military members stationed overseas – including GE employees themselves! These care packages provided a little bit of home with essentials such as soap and shampoo as well as tasty treats like beef jerky and cookies.
- On December 2, 33 GE volunteers revitalized the Salvation Army Men’s Shelter in Norfolk, VA. Organized by HandsOn Network Affiliate VOLUNTEER Hampton Roads, volunteers repainted the sleeping quarters, built new bunk beds, and created outdoor seating for the homeless residents.
- On December 2 in Madison, WI, 31 GE volunteers supported hunger relief at the Second Harvest Foodbank of Southern Wisconsin. Organized by HandsOn Network Affiliate Nonprofit Center of Milwaukee, volunteers painted a sign that will welcome future volunteers to the facility as well as packaged holiday meals for over 5,000 individuals and families.
- Between December 3 and December 15 in the San Ramon/San Francisco Bay Area of California, 48 GE volunteers participated in four projects organized by HandsOn Network Affiliate HandsOn Bay Area. GE supported a variety of worthy causes including preparing and serving meals to seniors at Open Heart Kitchen and building “Little Libraries” for The Big Lift program of the San Mateo Public Library.
- On December 4, GE volunteers came together in Singapore to clean area waterways with the Waterways Watch Society. The event was organized by Empact and Points of Light Asia and it was an extension of recent visits from GE employees volunteering their time and expertise to devise and implement sustainable solutions to treat local pond waters.
- On December 5, GE Philippines, in partnership with Hands On Manila held an early Christmas party and gift-giving to 50 deserving children at one of Hands On Manila’s partner organization. The 50 GE volunteers were paired with the kids and joined the fun games, danced with them and even rendered several surprise numbers. The kids were treated with snacks and lunch and brought home loot bags and Christmas goodies for their families. The highlight of the day is GE and HOM’s challenge to the kids: at the end of the school year, the two best achievers will become full time scholars in the next school season in elementary level.
- During the month of December, 12 GE employees from Paris joined Benenova Paris to support Armée du Salut and CAFDA (Centre d'accueil pour familles demandeuses d'asile), volunteers sorted donated toys and clothes and organized them to be distributed.
From November 23—December 23, over 100,000 youth from across the country and the world spread joy by giving back to others through generationOn’s Joy Maker Challenge sponsored by Hasbro. To double the impact of kids and teens engaged in service, Hasbro donated a toy or game to Toys for Tots for each act of service (up to 1 million dollars’ worth). Some of the youth service included singing carols to the homeless, collecting food for the hungry, making cards for veterans and the deployed military, hosting holiday parties for seniors, wrapping and donated gifts, and collecting coats and mittens. Hasbro employees and their children participated in the Joy Maker Challenge and Hasbro celebrated its second annual Global Day of Joy on December 15.
- Ashburn, VA: Great service projects can happen even in a corporate conference room! On December 14, 15 Visa volunteers packed a total of 432 toiletry kits for the Loudoun Homeless Services Center complete with personal notes of encouragement. The kits included basic hygiene essentials such as shampoo, lotion, bars of soap, tooth paste, a tooth brush, and a washcloth. These kits help the Loudoun Homeless Services Center operate more cost effectively while also providing residents access to basic necessities that inspire dignity and bring them one step closer to self-reliance.
- Washington, D.C.: So Others Might Eat (SOME) helps break the cycle of homelessness by offering services such as affordable housing, job training, addiction treatment, and counseling to the poor, elderly and individuals with mental illness. SOME’s Family Services department heavily relies on volunteers and donors and they were delighted to welcome 14 Visa volunteers in December. Through the work of Volunteer Fairfax and Visa, SOME staff was able to provide a fun and meaningful project to the residents. Every family received a $20 gift card and individuals received a $15 gift card which is a great holiday gift that SOME could not have provided to all of their residents without the help of VISA. All residents benefited from this project because everyone receives a festive door hanger, a gift card and all can enjoy the decorations around the building. Finally, the artificial tree can be used for years to come!
- Miami, FL: 14 Visa volunteers worked with HandsOn Miami to paint large scale murals of notable children's storybook characters in the media center of Fairlawn Elementary School. Six large scale murals were painted, enhancing the physical appearance of the Media Center, making it a much more welcoming, and inspirational place for children to learn. This project was phase II in a series of ongoing enhancements to Fairlawn Elementary’ s Media Center. Phase I - repainting the interior of the Media Center - was completed by another group of Visa volunteers in June of this year. This most recent project allowed for a great continuation of the story of Visa's impact at this school.
Points of Light created a series of playbooks for United Airlines employee volunteers to use in a school setting. The Playbooks are:
- Easy to use yet comprehensive, allowing volunteers to work independently without oversight
- Focused on topics and activities related to United Airline’s business such as aviation and travel
- Flexible, including content that can is tailored for the elementary and middle school levels
- Engaging and interactive with hands-on activities such as creating passports, designing an itinerary, and building paper airplanes
The United Airlines team piloted the Playbooks in December with great results – United Airlines pilots engaged school children with the age-approporiate curriculum at Stoner Elementary in Los Angeles.
Corporate Service Council Learning Lab: Technology and Volunteering, Part 2
In December, the Corporate Service Council wrapped up its webinar series on technology and volunteering. Speakers in the December webinar included Cynthia Jones from Grainger, Manu Juneja from GSK, Karena Cronin from Charities Aid Foundation Southern Africa and Pablo Millanes of Hazloposible, Points of Light’s Affiliate in Spain. This discussion presented best practices for choosing a technology vendor for corporate community engagement programs, and strategies for using technology to accelerate corporate volunteering. Points of Light’s global affiliates also shared insights around how they are using technology to scale volunteering around the world.
For more information about any of these events, or to find out how you can get involved with Points of Light, please contact Madeline Eaton ([email protected] or 404-979-2926).