By Elissa Nesbitt
You should see my inbox. It provides a running commentary on volunteerism at Xerox. The idea of corporate social responsibility at Xerox is not a new one. We – our company and our people – have practiced various elements for years. This is more than donating money to worthy causes – which we do. It’s about making sure that the money we donate has the largest possible impact. That’s why we encourage our people to help us identify great causes in their communities and get involved.
What follows is sample – a very small sample – of the kinds of organizations we and our people support. Maybe you’re heard of one or two.
Job readiness, mock interviews, and opportunity
SOAR (Solid Opportunities for Advancement and Retention) is one component of the Urban League of Greater Cincinnati’s job readiness programs. Xerox employees have supported SOAR monthly since 2010 by conducting mock interviews with the Urban League’s clients. Our people provide real time feedback about their client’s resume and interviewing skills, because felony records and prior incarceration have made it difficult for many clients to find work. From the mock interviews, Xerox people provide feedback and help the clients understand their strengths, regardless of how they learned them.
“I often hear from the Xerox volunteers that it is just as rewarding for them as it is for the participants,” said David Strange (photo, left), vice president of Xerox Technical Services for Midwest Operations. “You get a great sense of satisfaction knowing you helped someone get a job.”
Care packages for deployed troops
Xerox employees Norfolk, Vir., joined other community volunteers and packed 500 Care Packs for Troopster. The Troopster blog reports the November packing event allowed them to send 1,200 holiday care packages to deployed U.S. troops. The Troopster website provides a way for people to send personalized military care packages and donation packages.
Apple baggers and food organizers
Our Sales Excellence and Revenue Enablement (SERE) team helped out at Foodlink, a regional food hub and the Feeding America food bank for several upstate New York counties. The Xerox team split into two groups: food organizers and apple baggers. Our people packed multiple pallets of food in about four hours, and benefited from no small amount of team building. Afterwards, the team regrouped review SERE’s year-end performance and make plans for 2018.
Speaking of 2017 performance, Foodlink distributed more than 17.4 million pounds of food in 2017 — including 4.9 million pounds of produce (apples, et al), offered more than 200 nutrition education courses, and created new access points for healthy foods in underserved communities.
Presents and a party for foster children
Xerox people in Cincinnati have provided holiday gifts for adoptable children in the Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky area for 25 years. Our people worked with The Foster Child Enrichment Council in 2017, and threw a holiday party for 70 children and their foster parents or potential adoptive parents.
Our employees decorated the Montgomery Community Church where the event was held, served food and drinks, organized the children’s gifts, handed them out, and helped the younger children open their gifts. Santa was available for pictures, a live band performed, and several players from the Cincinnati Bengals signed autographs, handed out memorabilia, and had their pictures taken with the children. A photographer took pictures of the children for their life albums, which the children take with them wherever they go in the system. The album is theirs to keep when they are adopted or age out of foster care.
“Overall, it was a lot of fun and very rewarding to watch the children’s smiles as they took part in the festivities,” said Team Xerox member Bobbi Quillen.
The bicycle on the Xerox assembly line
Not your typical day on a Xerox assembly line in Webster, N.Y. Xerox employees from several organizations carved out a space where they assembled tricycles and bicycles for a few hours. In its 14th year, Trikes for Tykes is a Xerox employee group that raises funds and other donations throughout the year, purchases un-assembled trikes and bikes, then assembles and donates them to families in need. Since the group’s inception, they have donated more than 1,000 bicycles and tricycles to the community.
A little KINDH-ness in Washington, DC, area
In and around Washington, D.C., Xerox people adopted more than 380 families for the holidays, purchasing and delivering gifts, food and holiday cheer. The effort was organized by Michele Cahn, vice president of Global Government Affairs and Philanthropy, and is in partnership with KINDH (Kids In Need During the Holidays) a non-profit serving low-income families in Montgomery County, Md., and Fairfax, Prince William and Loudon Counties in Virginia.
“My husband and I delivered the gifts one evening,” recalled Gail Gordon-Donegan, a senior counsel at Xerox who has served on the Alexandria Social Services Advisory Board. “When we knocked on the door, we could hear the kids yelling in anticipation.”
“Simply magical for my five-year old to experience the true act of kindness and love toward others,” Warren Losey, vice president of Financial Services East, wrote. “I really appreciate being part of this cause, and proud that Xerox has sponsored this program.”
Xerox people and KINDH have partnered for more than a decade.
Christmas Jumper Day and more raises funds for the UK Charity Trust
Xerox people in Uxbridge, United Kingdom, used their annual Christmas Jumper* Day to cap-off a year of fundraising for the UK Charity Trust. Employees who donned their favorite Christmas jumpers made a donation in order to be considered for winner of “best Christmas jumper.” First prize was a £40 gift card to a popular local restaurant. Even those who didn’t wear their jumpers donated generously and helped raise £210. All 2017 fundraisers for the UK Charity Trust that our placement students organized at the Uxbridge campus raised more than £1,150. They included:
- Super Friday: The entire office finished work early and donated towards a raffle with various prizes for a nice lawn party outside.
- LinkedIn Photos: A professional photographer took headshots for LinkedIn profiles.
- Biking to Birmingham. Employees volunteered 30 minutes to an hour on stationary bikes and pedaled the equivalent of 200 km for the day – the distance to Birmingham.
- Krispy Kreme Donut Sale: Students walked around selling Krispy Kreme Donuts.
- Hal’s House of Horror: Students donated money with half the proceedings going to charity for a student-organized Halloween event.
- Xmas Cards & Calendars: Sold customized Christmas calendars and cards.
- Student (Christmas) Party: Students and grads in Uxbridge hosted an office Christmas party in Central London.
- Sweets in a Jar: Participants donated to have a chance at guessing how many sweets were in the jar. The winner kept the jar and its contents.
* Jumper: (noun) (British) A knitted garment typically with long sleeves, worn over the upper body. (OxfordDictionaries.com) Translated to “sweater” in North America.
We’re proud to not only work in a variety of communities, but also give back. ❤️ Today employees past and present, volunteer their time to help @OpFoodBasket bring holiday food and cheer to #ROC area families. #TeamXerox pic.twitter.com/as1ywT5Dr7
— Xerox (@Xerox) December 21, 2017
Operation Food Basket in Webster N.Y.
For nearly four decades, Xerox employees and retirees have volunteered to help get food to those who need it most in the Rochester N.Y. area as part of Operation Food Basket. An army of 450 volunteers packed and delivered 45,400 pounds of food to families in need. (Video above.) This year, Xerox and its community partners have raised $53,000 to support 1,816 individuals, or 287 local families. In addition, 2,000 homeless people will receive hot meals during 2018.