Monday, August 16, 2010

Corporate Volunteers Get Into Gear For Back To School

While millions of children are heading back to school within the next few weeks, many schools across the country are desperate for additional support in classrooms and for their students and teachers. Businesses have been supporting local schools by volunteering and making contributions all throughout the past years, and it is time to re-assess how they can continue to contribute for the 2010/2011 school year.

These following companies have been creating unique and exemplary programs that help support the schools with tutoring and mentoring, hands on projects like fixing up buildings and classrooms, and donating their time to collect and compile classroom materials and supplies.

Target -Volunteers School Library Makeovers, is a program that provides year-round volunteer opportunities for Target employees to get involved with their local schools and literacy programs. Target team members will improve over 1,500 school libraries this year. Check out their before and after photos of library transformations that Target volunteers have brought about.

IBM -More than 6,000 employees and retirees have spent hundreds of thousands of volunteer hours introducing young children to technology and promoting technology careers in the classroom. Each year, during EWeek (Engineers Week) volunteers help promote an interest in mathematics, science, and technology among students, teachers, and parents in activities brought to schools or at IBM sites.

Cisco - named RAFT's Resource Area for Teaching, top corporate volunteer in 2009, where employees work together to assemble teachers kits and educational materials.

Best Buy- has supported innovative employee volunteer programs that use technology to make learning fun for kids, where employees volunteers bring them the love and understanding of technology. Partnering with  Junior Achievement, 330,377 volunteers teach 379,968 classes to 9,795,485 students a year

ConocoPhillips- volunteers enjoy participating in the Junior Achievement program, which educates students in grades K-12 about entrepreneurship, work readiness, and financial literacy through experiential, hands-on programs.

BlackBaud -In a previous post we featured Blacbaud as a leader in corporate philanthropy where volunteering is an important component of their community engagement. As an example, in a regional project in Cambridge, MA,  Blackbaud volunteers participate in the Everybody Wins Power Lunch, where they visit local underprivileged schools during the lunch hour. While serving nutritious meals volunteers sit down to read a book and assist students with their reading skills.

Comcast-Every year on Comcast Cares Day, tens of thousands of Comcast employees, their families, and friends come together to make a positive impact on their communities across the country. On April 24, 2010, spanning 39 states and Washington, D.C., Comcast Cares Day projects included fixing up schools. Watch this clip to see Comcast volunteers at the James Rhoad elementary school in West Philadelphia and hear about what it means to the volunteers, the teachers, and the mayor, to help the school on Comcast Cares Day.Check out the Comcast Cares Day site for more clips of schools that have benefited from Comcast volunteers helping out.

Education is a cornerstone of communities. That's why businesses are helping schools and students with volunteering efforts,innovative giving programs and partnerships with educational organizations. Any amount of support can change the lives of the children and have tremendous impact on all communities.


Tutor Mentor Connections said...

Thanks for sharing this list. How many of these companies point to map/directories like the Tutor/Mentor Program locator, with a goal of encouraging volunteering at many locations where the same type service is needed? How many have strategies that tie workplace fund raising to the same places? The Program Locator can be seen at

If we can build a list like yours, showing the good things some companies do to support multiple non profits in the same geography, the same way they support multiple stores, banks, fast food and drug stores in the same city, we might motivate more businesses to do this.

Lalia Helmer said...

Hi Daniel,
I think his is a terrific idea. I am seeing this kind of thing, directories and mapping gradually happening.
I know the scholarship program I am supporting locally, has been thinking of doing some mapping, and has been checking out your work as a model!
Keep up the good work-and I hope to connect with you some more on this!