UN International Volunteer Day: Corporate Giving in Troubled Times

unintlvolunteerday.gif The United Nations has designated today, Dec. 5, International Volunteer Day, and while financial turmoil and recession news is dampening holiday spirits and people’s aspirations, there are corporate leaders out there who recognize that in times like these civic minded actions and giving back to the communities that empower and support them is more critical than ever.
In celebration of the industry leading pioneer’s 40th anniversary, Intel CEO Paul Otellini earlier this year pledged that employees would give back to their communities by volunteering 1 million hours of their time and effort. Looking to spur them on and compound that, he pledged that Intel would expand its volunteer matching grant program, which matches volunteer hours at local schools and non-profit organizations with Intel Foundation cash grants.
Today, Intel announced that its employees met the 1-million volunteer hour goal and that the company will donate nearly $8 million to its communities. Moreover, the Intel Foundation said it will maintain its charitable funding at a historically high level in 2009, including a recently announced $120 million commitment to encourage more youth to participate in math and science.

‘Tis the Season
Fifty-four percent of Intel’s employees in more than 40 countries volunteered at more than 5,500 non-profits during 2008, according to the company. These efforts were as varied as they were numerous.
Environmental and social causes – from contributing to efforts to save endangered kestrels and turtles to working at community supported food banks that grow fresh, seasonal produce–were prominent among Intel employees’ volunteer work. Some 4,000 Intel employees volunteered at 40 food banks around the U.S.
Collecting more than 14 tons of food while five teams from Intel’s Hudson, MA campus put in more than 400 hours at the Brigham Hill Farm for the Community Harvest Project, Inc., which grows food for the Greater Worcester Food bank.
Elsewhere in Massachusetts, Intel employees built wooden nesting boxes now being used to try to save the kestrel, a type of falcon in danger of extinction. Near its Santa Clara headquarters, employees contributed to the efforts of Lose the Training Wheels, helping young people with disabilities learn to ride bikes.
Such efforts extended outside the US. Intel employees mentored disadvantaged youth in Brazil, adopted turtles in Malaysia, made stuffed bears for hospitals in Micronesia, taught geometry, physics and other challenging subjects to Israeli students, and worked with paramedics conducting health screenings in Turkish villages.

An independent journalist, researcher and writer, my work roams across the nexus where ecology, technology, political economy and sociology intersect and overlap. The lifelong quest for knowledge of the world and self -- not to mention gainful employment -- has led me near and far afield, from Europe, across the Asia-Pacific, Middle East and Africa and back home to the Americas. LinkedIn: andrew burger Google+: Andrew B Email: huginn.muggin@gmail.com

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