Have you ever wished you could put your job or your career on hold and take a hiatus-for a few months, maybe even a year -to do your community some good?  Well, Xerox employees are doing  just that.  Through the Social Service Leave, a sabbatical program, Xerox this year “donated” seven of its talented people to volunteer at their local non- profit organizations.

When I met these seven, extraordinary people and heard their stories I was incredibly inspired and moved.

Jocelyn talked about how she was going to help women in her culture lead better lives for themselves.  Steve, having experienced the need for more scouting troops in rural areas decided to do something about it.

Xerox's Alex McNulty with kids at the Near West Side Community Development Corp.

Alex, knowing first hand how peer pressure and a kid’s environment can shape their perceptions and unfortunately for some, their lives, deciding to take an active role with inner city youth.  Then there is Joe.  His child with special needs inspired him to help others with special needs, showing them how to make a living and feel independence, perhaps, for the first time ever.

The others’ stories are just as moving.

For years Xerox has held true to its mantra that a successful corporation must be an active participant in society.  The social service leave is but one way Xerox and its people are giving back.  While the non-profit benefits from a well-needed resource, Xerox and our people benefit too.  Our people often return to work energized and more focused than ever.  We’d love to hear what you think about our program-and learn about what you’re doing, too.

To get more information about the Leave and this year’s recipients, check out the 2011 Social Service Leave press release, and   to learn more on how Xerox supports education and the STEM initiative-science, technology, engineering and math check out the Xerox STEM backgrounder.