AbbVie Demonstrates What’s Possible When Employee Volunteers Band Together to Give Back

Oct 4, 2016
AbbVie employees lead a group of summer school students through Science Adventures, an interactive day of hands-on science activities in North Chicago, Ill.

Service and volunteerism have the power to impact and change lives. And when a corporation engages thousands of employees who are ready to give back to their local communities, innovation and advancement take place on a global scale.

This summer, Points of Light partnered with AbbVie for its third annual Week of Possibilities, a program that engaged more than 5,500 employee volunteers in nearly 25,000 combined hours to help underserved populations. As the global activation partner, Points of Light affiliates in the United States, Europe, South America, Canada, Mexico and Asia provided employee volunteers with meaningful service opportunities that addressed challenges in the communities where they live and work. The Week of Possibilities builds on AbbVie’s extraordinary year-round commitment to corporate social responsibility, which earned them recognition as a 2016 Civic 50 company.

AbbVie volunteers in Tokyo administered the SEEK Program (Science Engineering Exploration Knowledge) to children in group homes. The goal of the SEEK program is to expose underserved children to STEM topics and increase awareness and excitement.

“We are proud to be partnering with the AbbVie Foundation on this global service campaign,” said Delores Morton, president of programs for Points of Light. “Volunteers have the power to change the world, and Week of Possibilities demonstrates how nonprofits and the private sector can work together to empower that change.”

This year’s program included hands-on service projects in more than 50 countries, with a particular focus on improving educational opportunities and facilities by transforming schools and other learning spaces. Volunteers refurbished libraries, renovated buildings, landscaped and gardened, collected books for schoolchildren, assembled furniture, painted walls, repaired homes and much more.

“Week of Possibilities unites AbbVie employees around the world in an effort to give back to our local communities, with a special focus on building strong education systems,” said Tracie Haas, vice president of corporate responsibility, brand and communications for AbbVie. “We’re delighted and privileged to partner with leading national and international organizations to help local nonprofit partners tackle our communities’ toughest challenges.”

Examples of Global Impact:

AbbVie employee volunteers teamed up with Points of Light affiliates, dedicating their time, energy and skills to make a difference in communities around the world.

  • In Lake County, Illinois, where AbbVie is based, youth and veterans were the main focus as volunteers transformed schools and renovated three properties to provide housing to families of military veterans, in conjunction with North Chicago Community Partners. 
  • In North Chicago, teams partnered with Kohl Children’s Museum to bring the museum experience to kids who may not ordinarily have access, and provided a day-long Science Adventure program to more than 150 students.
  • In Menlo Park and San Jose, California, and Worcester, Massachusetts, AbbVie volunteers refurbished three under-resourced school libraries by improving the layout and providing new furniture, technology and library books.
  • In London, AbbVie volunteers worked at the Northside Community Center and painted more than 30 rooms from top to bottom, redid the computer lab with new carpet, 10 new computers and two new printers, and added new kitchen appliances. The impact was so great that the Center’s board chair reported that it is unlikely they could have stayed open much longer without the contribution made by AbbVie volunteers.
  • Nearly 50 volunteers in Tokyo spent more than 200 hours delivering the SEEK Program (Science Engineering Exploration Knowledge) to underprivileged children living in group homes. The SEEK curriculum is designed to spark interest in STEM topics.
  • In Singapore, volunteers participated in educational activities at Care Corner Student Care Centre.
  • In Montreal, 20 AbbVie employees participated with the Boys and Girls Club/Dawson Community Center, completing projects that had no staff support. From the moment they arrived, employees gardened, cleaned, painted and prepared for summer day camps.
  • In Guatemala at Escuela Vicente Rivas, more than 50 AbbVie volunteers worked on classrooms, while another 20 implemented interactive methodology and participated in STEM curriculum.
  • For five days, AbbVie volunteers and HandsOn CDMX worked with at-risk girls in Mexico at the Casa Hogar de la Santísima Trinidad, participating in painting and gardening projects.
  • Teams in Paris sang in nursing homes for National French Music Day, and in Thiais, AbbVie volunteers planted gardens and fixed homes for women.

Robert Montgomery