Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Cyber Monday are embedded in American popular culture and these annual traditions have planned activities around each day. But while most people are considering their menus and shopping strategies or which parades and football games to watch, there are others were preparing for what’s been known as Giving Tuesday for the past six years.
The holiday season, despite its heavy commercial focus, is the time of year where charitable giving comes into focus as well. Launched in 2012, Giving Tuesday, observed the day after Cyber Monday, has become a movement celebrating and supporting philanthropy, giving back in both service and financial donations. The spirit of Giving Tuesday, the spirit of philanthropy, is part of the culture at Verizon Connect as well.
A history of giving and community support
Verizon has a well-established culture of giving to and serving in communities, with programs that match financial donations, donate funds for volunteer hours and support its employees in times of hardship.
As part of the Verizon family, Verizon Connect is working hard to build up our own efforts to support and enrich the communities around us using our vast pool of resources with a program called Social Impact. As a global company of more than 3,500 employees in 15 countries, the intent is to make our impact global as well.
Introducing Verizon Connect Social Impact
Verizon Connect Social Impact, launched in Spring 2018, focuses on three primary areas: skills-based volunteering, community technology partnerships, and team and personal passions.
Building skills for a bright future
Skills-based volunteering includes local programs around the world that bring the technology of GPS to practical applications. In Dublin, Ireland, 50 students and 40 employees gather biweekly to collaborate in project-based learning, like building drones and facial recognition programs, to inspire and teach the minds that will lead the world of tomorrow.
In Christchurch, New Zealand, engineers have been focusing full-time on developing sensors that will help 500 schools with electric gardens. In this area, three in four schools grow urban gardens to educate their students. Launching at the end of this month, our sensors will gather and transmit data on humidity, soil acidity and other environmental conditions to teach students how to use data to make informed decisions as well as grow food effectively for families in need.
Domestically, local Verizon Connect developers in Atlanta, GA, are creating a mobile application that will launch in January to support Second Helpings, a nonprofit organization whose vision is to fight hunger in the 5 county Metropolitan Atlanta area by rescuing surplus food and delivering it to those in need. With more than 750 volunteers, matching meals and deliverers manually slows down their ability to serve, so our app will help them optimize operations for maximum impact.
Telematics for (non)profit
Community technology partnerships are our opportunity to take our core business and enable local organizations to improve operations and lower costs with the help of GPS tracking technology. Leveraging the vast resources Verizon Connect has in implementation and onboarding, customer success, and even research and development, we aim to enable those organizations that do the heavy lifting in improving local communities by minimizing the headaches of running a business, particularly in managing fleets of vehicles that get their services to those that need it most.
Empowering our employees to give
Verizon Connect is also working internally to support its employees to live out causes important to them. Employees donations go further through an Employee Matching Program, which helps current and retired employees make the most of their financial giving and volunteering hours. To date, more than $11 million dollars has been matched in the U.S. as part of this program.
The Team Incentive Program provides the opportunity for employees to raise funds by participating in an organized fundraising event (eg, walk-a-thons, bike-a-thons) as a group and have their funds matched. The Volunteer Incentive Program matches 50 hours or more of volunteered time by employees with a grant of $750 on behalf of the eligible organization.
We also support U.S. employees who have lost their homes due to disasters like floods, fires, tornadoes and more through the VtoV fund. Employees can donate to the fund to help our U.S. coworkers purchase food, clothing, shelter and other necessities. Since launching in 2013, more than 2,500 employees have benefitted from the fund.
Getting involved in local communities through volunteering and financial giving is embedded in the fabric of Verizon’s culture, and Verizon Connect is well on its way to making significant contributions of its own. In preparation for Giving Tuesday this year on November 27, Verizon Connect encourages its employees, customers and all others to consider donating time, funds or even a voice of support to the causes that are most important to them.
Though this year's Giving Tuesday has past, you can visit GivingTuesday.org to research opportunities in your local area as well as ideas for how you can get involved in the #GivingTuesday movement throughout the year. Be on the lookout for more updates on how Verizon Connect is impacting local communities around the world.