The holiday season always reminds me of exactly how lucky I am. I consider myself lucky to work for an organization that I am truly proud of. I am proud of the success and growth VCE has earned. I am proud of the products and services that we deliver. And I’m proud of our position as the market leader. But I am just as proud to say I work for an organization that cares deeply about the community and the world around it. VCE, through various donations and opportunities for volunteer work, empowers employees to find ways to make a difference.
Across the globe, VCE has identified areas of need and provided opportunities for employees to give back to their communities. The list is long – in the US, we’ve contributed to the Red Cross on the Texas tornado and Hurricane Sandy relief efforts and food bank drives in Massachusetts, Texas and California, while our coworkers in India have started a corporate social responsibility program for community development, career enablement and a focus on IT.
The Snowman Project has provided VCE employees the opportunity to work with the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families. For the past two years, VCE has run the Snowman Project to provide gifts to local foster children and needy families. The VCE Boston office has provided gifts to nearly 130 children. They’ve asked for a variety of items, ranging from dolls and movies, to hats and mittens, to pots and pans and shampoo. One teenager asked for something for his future college dorm room, so a VCE employee bought him a mini-fridge.
With all of this in mind, it should come as no surprise that as I brought my VCE Engineering Services team together in Durham, NC earlier this year for our annual “All Hands” meeting, charitable activities were a focus of the event.
On the surface, charitable activities may seem strange activity for an engineering event, but my managers and I feel they afford us the opportunity to simultaneously help those in need and build a strong sense of community with the team. This year we helped two charities: the ALS Foundation through the Ice Bucket Challenge and a local school in need.
Ice Bucket Challenge – Earlier this summer, Steve Steir, VP of Platform Engineering, challenged me to an Ice Bucket Challenge after completing his. Of course, I readily accepted this challenge and decided to take it a step further. I “volunteered” my entire leadership team to participate, as moral (and physical!) support. So our team started our week together with a ‘chill’, made contributions to ALS and nominated Todd Pavone, Chris Sullivan and Val Corniello for the challenge!
Click here to see the team complete their challenge.
Contribution to local education – But the team didn’t stop there. As a part of an activity modeled after The Amazing Race, the engineering team filled 24 backpacks with school supplies for children in need. These back packs, along with an additional $5,000 worth of school supplies generously donated by VCE, (based on a wish list provided by the school) were presented to the principal of the YE Smith Elementary School later that evening. It was a moment that I was honored to be a part of. The principal’s gratitude reminded us why it is so important to give back to our communities. She explained the dire needs of some children attending her school. In fact, about 90% of the attending children receive some form of assistance from the state. VCE’s donation of everything from printers to pencils and paper will make a material difference in the educational experience the kids take away.
As I look back at my 2014, the opportunities provided by VCE to give back to the community were some of the highlights of my year. Whether it is providing school supplies or my time, I am reminded how truly lucky I am to be in a position to give back. I am truly lucky to work for an organization that recognizes how important charity is.