This month we are celebrating the United Nation’s International Volunteer Day, and I am happy to say that Intel employees reached our goal of celebrating 1 million volunteer hours in 2008. Through our volunteer matching grant program, the company will also donate approximately $8 million to its communities.
In 2008, 54 percent of Intel’s employees volunteered in more than 40 countries and with over 5,500 non-profits. For example, my business group provided me with three opportunities to volunteer during regular work hours at local shelters and food banks.
As they say, “giving is better than receiving.” Following are three quick tech tips on volunteering your time or resources this holiday season:
- Share Your Passion: Are you a powerpoint pro? Can you pitch a reporter with the best of them? Can you write prose in your sleep? Are you networked online like no other? Many non-profit organizations are strapped for talented, tech-savvy individuals. Volunteer Match has a search function where you put in your area code and your personal talent/interest, and they match you with local opportunities. I live in the Bay Area, and they have a site that lists local organizations looking for help – most metro areas have a similar online database. Also, Intel’s Inspire site lists several national organizations seeking mentors with tech, math, science and engineering skills
- Give the Gift of Hope: What is a cause that has
personal meaning for you? For my family, instead of exchanging gifts,
we are all giving money to the American Cancer Society
to honor the many friends and family we know that have suffered from
the disease. Almost all major organizations allow you to make online
contributions. They can even email/snail-mail a card to let someone
know you’ve honored them/a loved one through your gift.
- A Family Affair: You can select an organization as a family that you want to support. One example is the One Warm Coat organization
where you and your children collect coats to provide to the local
shelters in your area. They provide online tools, such as advice on
how to organize the coat drive and where to donate the coats. Another
example would be to adopt a family for the holidays and have your kids
help select and purchase the items to gift. In the Bay Area, my family
is supporting Brighter Beginnings.
honor of my foster/adopt children, we selected a mom through the online
tool who had previously been in foster care. You can look for similar
organizations in your area who offer online tools for outlining your
family preferences or even donating money to the family online
is an international organization where your family can provide a
micro-loan to entrepreneurs in need. Your children can see the
specific ways your money will go to help another. Another simple,
low-tech idea is to purchase socks with your family – fill them with
toothpaste, toothbrushes, combs – and hand them out to homeless in your
city or to a shelter.
What ways has technology enabled you to
share your talents, passions and resources to help others? Share your
tips and advice. Happy holidays!