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Last Monday Jean Case helped kick off our new Companies that Care blog series with her reflections on International Corporate Philanthropy Day. Today we're pleased to share the list that our friends at the HandsOn Network Corporate Service Council have developed to highlight their picks for socially conscious companies to watch this year. So, without further ado...
President Barack Obama has called service a “central cause of his presidency” and also pledges “a new level of participation for America's citizens” in governance. Corporations are responding to the President’s call, leveraging employees and customers to meet needs. Corporations are increasingly engaging their employees in programs focused on solving serious social problems such as poverty, weak education systems and the polluted environment, through employee volunteer programs, partnerships and pro-bono service. They also demonstrate the significance of persevering in community activism during uncertain economic times.
Some corporations have already realized this opportunity for corporate engagement and mobilized employees to meet critical needs in the U.S. and beyond. Below please find a few of the companies HandsOn Network partners with and recommends watching in 2009 as they continue making strides toward solving social issues.
These are just a few of the corporations leveraging resources to meet needs during the economic downturn. We support and encourage others to follow these examples and do the same, improving the health of our communities and uniting us. For more information, visit www.HandsOnNetwork.org
About the Companies:
Through leveraging its technology and employee volunteers, Cisco helps to transform education, assist with economic development, address basic human needs such as food and shelter, and support non-profit organizations to improve efficiency and reach. For example, during Cisco's 2008 Hunger Relief Campaign, employees helped feed 20,000 mid-day meals to poor children in India, processed 22,000 cans of food in Austin, distributed quilts to earthquake victims in China, and made donations to more than 100 food service agencies worldwide, totaling USD$1.3 million. Last year alone, Cisco employees donated approximately 100,000 hours of their time to make a difference in their local communities.
Disney is dedicated to brightening the lives of children in need around the world through global outreach programs, local community initiatives and the Disney VoluntEARS program. Last year, Disney donated more than $209 million in cash and in-kind support to various charities around the world. Disney VoluntEARS contributed more than 495,000 hours of service and provides opportunities for Disney employees to contribute their time and expertise towards making a positive impact in the communities they serve while furthering the traditions and ideals of The Walt Disney Company. Walt Disney said "My business is making people, especially children, happy" and we continue this legacy today, brightening the lives of children around the world when they need it most.
GE Volunteers are an integral part of GE's philanthropic and citizenship activities in more than 150 locations across 43 countries. Last year GE Volunteers engaged employees and retirees in over 2500 projects improving education, health, environment and communities around the world and donating more than a million hours of volunteer service. Service is a fundamental element of the GE culture throughout the global organization. John Rice, Vice Chairman and CEO of GE Technology Infrastructure, demonstrates that spirit through his leadership of the Hands On Network Corporate Service Council which calls all corporate America to volunteer leadership and high impact service.
The Home Depot
Giving back is a fundamental value of The Home Depot and a passion for its associates. Through Team Depot, their employee volunteer program, associates donate their time and talents to building healthy communities across North America. The Home Depot is passionate about the environment, as well, showcased by their wood-sourcing policies, progressive consumer education programs and commitment to carrying eco-friendly products. While focused on building affordable homes, The Home Depot Foundation is also committed to improving the overall health of our communities. Taking a long-term, comprehensive approach to building healthy, stable communities where families can thrive, the Foundation invests in the planting and restoration of trees along streets, in parks and in schoolyards; the building and refurbishment of community play spaces; and the revitalization of school facilities. The Home Depot Foundation is serving as the official “green” sponsor of the 2009 National Conference on Volunteering and Service.
Kaiser Permanente co-founded “Super Surgery Days” through Operation Access, an unprecedented volunteer service in the healthcare industry that mobilizes hospitals, supplies and volunteer surgical teams to provide outpatient surgeries that significantly increase the quality of life for low-income, uninsured people in northern California. To date, Operation Access has served over 5,000 clients and conducts over 600 procedures each year with a growing team of over 570 medical and administrative volunteers. Kaiser Permanente is a major contributor of both in-kind services through supplies, equipment and facilities and the major contributor of skilled medical talent.
Nike believes in the power of sports as a tool for social change. Nike has partnered with HandsOn Network to encourage Americans to serve, beginning on MLK and lasting throughout the year. The company’s 170 retail locations are connected with HandsOn Network Action Centers and promote volunteer opportunities. Nike has been recognized with numerous awards for its efforts to maintain sustainable and ethical operations.
PWC recognizes that college students today are committed to investing in their communitiesand the planet and want to work for companies that are responsible corporate citizens. This winter, PwC hosted a contest, offering college students an opportunity to spend three days volunteering with HandsOn New Orleans in June alongside partners and PwC employees. Students will create projects focused on PwC’s four CR pillars (marketplace, people, community, and environment).
Worldwide, Quaker is recognized for its commitment to health, families and communities. Through its partnership with Kids Care Clubs, Quaker has awarded more than $70,000 in grants in 43 cities to help youth volunteers bring good moments to more than 25,000 people in need through various volunteer projects across the country. In addition, Quaker helped Kids Care inspire more than 575 youth volunteerism advocates to start Kids Care Clubs in their communities. During MLK Day and Kids Care Week, children hosted a Quaker Birthday Party with a Purpose to provide young do-gooders and their moms with the tools to make a positive difference through youth volunteerism.
UPS has a long tradition of community engagement and sustainability innovations. Today, UPS is experimenting with solutions to lower the company’s environmental impact, including the purchase of hydraulic hybrid vehicles and the adoption of paperless printing techniques. Additionally, the company builds the capacity and sustainability of nonprofits through the Volunteer Impact Initiative, an innovative program helping nonprofits better recruit and manage volunteers. In just three years, this initiative has engaged more than 21,000 volunteers to serve nearly 215,000 young people. UPSers and their family members contributed 1.2 million hours of volunteer service in 2008, highlighted by more than 139,000 volunteer hours during Global Volunteer Month (GVM) in October.