Philanthropy: the gift that keeps on giving
The holiday season is upon us, a time of year marked by the spirit of giving and thankfulness as we celebrate with family, friends, colleagues and community. Many companies and their employees choose to give back around this time, whether it’s through volunteering, collecting donations or contributing to charitable organizations. While it is often easiest to contribute during the time of year when the feeling of good will and charity is at its highest, it’s important to remember that there is no bad time to give back and do good – and companies should encourage their employees to get involved in charitable and philanthropic efforts.
I joined Avaya a little more than two years ago – just in time for our first Month of Giving. The Month of Giving is one of the reasons I’m proudest to be an Avayan. It’s a month-long effort where employees come together behind a singular goal; to spend time helping their communities, both locally and globally. As part of the Month of Giving, all Avayans are offered one paid day to volunteer at a non-profit of their choosing, and this year especially, Avayans went out in force. Throughout the month of October, we collected food and other donations, helped out at animal shelters, volunteered at soup kitchens and other community-centered organizations and raised an incredible amount of money for charity. We even “walked around the world” thanks to a joint effort between our CMO Morag Lucey and Vice President, General Counsel Amy Fliegelman Olli and their organizations, raising more than $58,000 to build schools in Mozambique, Africa in the process. I know that we as a company are overjoyed with the results, and I can’t wait to see what we can achieve during next year’s Month of Giving.
While corporate-sponsored charitable events are great, and important, they’re not the only way to give back. #GivingTuesday, an international day of giving celebrated on Nov. 29, has already come and gone this year, but the sentiment can carry on beyond the single day. Events like #GivingTuesday are excellent reminders to take some time to give and to share, whether it is monetarily, or with one’s time and effort. Volunteering is an enriching experience, and working together with friends, family or colleagues goes a long way to strengthen bonds. When it comes to improving our communities and the lives of those around us, no effort is too small. The holiday season is a perfect time to reflect on how we can all do our part, big or small, to make the world a little bit better.