IBM to volunteer 2.5m hours of service

IBM today announced that as part of its Celebration of Service, designed to allow employees, retirees, clients and business partners, to donate their time and expertise during the company’s Centennial year, 300,000 IBMers around the world, close to three quarters of its global workforce are volunteering in more than 5,000 projects in 120 countries, meeting civic challenges and societal challenges serving millions in need.

Since January 2011, IBMers, retirees and their families, have donated more than 2.5 million hours of service to communities worldwide.

“To commemorate our 100 years as a corporation, IBM is setting a record for community service by sharing the best skills of our employees, making a real impact in the communities where we work and live,” said Stanley S. Litow, VP, Corporate Citizenship and Corporate Affairs, IBM.

“While this represents a historic and record setting amount of service, what is most important is not the large number of employees volunteering nor the millions of hours of service they are providing, it is the high quality of the work that is being done. The impact will go far beyond the one day. We are building on our strong heritage of skills based service – a commitment that is in IBM’s DNA.”

“By bringing together its employees, retirees, partners and community members, IBM is undertaking the largest service challenge, of its kind, we have seen to date,” said Michelle Nunn, CEO of Points of Light Institute.

“They are creating not only an impact on communities, but they are applying the unique and powerful IBM assets to catalyse a movement around service. We commend them for celebrating 100 years of corporate civic leadership in such a remarkable way.”

The IBM Celebration of Service spans more than 120 countries where IBMers live and conduct business. Today, June 15, is the day before IBM officially recognises its founding 100 years ago, and culminates months of volunteering with an official IBM Centennial Day of Service.

IBM Celebration of Service volunteer activities on June 15 include in the UAE, IBMers are working with schools and educational NGOs, to support classroom activities, career and skills development and mentorship, in  Nigeria,  IBM employees will mentor 100 small businesses for 100 days using the SME Toolkit to coach entrepreneurs on various areas of business  ranging  from,  how  to  write  a  business plan, sales and marketing  and small business accounting. Each entrepreneur also will have  a  “meet  the  mentor” session where IBM volunteers helped them achieve business goals; in  New  Zealand, IBMers will work with Age Concern to assist senior citizens  to  use  their mobile phone technology helping them prepare their  mobile  devices  for  an emergency  such as natural disasters, earthquakes or personal health issues;among many other community service activities across the globe.

In addition to the millions of service hours IBM’s employees, retirees, families, clients and partners are donating, IBM is also donating some of its most successful volunteer activity kits such as a solar car experiment, a clean water project and Internet safety for children. These volunteer kits provide “how-to” instructions and step-by-step details to successfully implement a volunteer activity in the community. According to IBM, they are aimed to inspire volunteers to connect with their communities and help create a smarter planet.

As part of its Centennial celebration, IBM will deliver hundreds of new service grants, valued at more than $12 million, which support employees’ volunteer activities to build a smarter planet.  The service grants include cash and equipment awards that support employees’ volunteer activities. The new technology and cash grants expand IBM’s commitment to communities by 140% over the last year.

Earlier this year, the company also released “The Systems of Service,” a white paper with findings from a Service Jam, an online brainstorming event that brought together 15,000 experts from non-profit organisations, corporations, academic institutions and government agencies across ideology and geography. The intent of the Jam was to begin a global conversation about improving the delivery of service in the 21st century. The white paper concluded that there are new steps needed in the service industry in the areas of: service learning and incorporating volunteer service into school curriculum, measuring the impact of service, and reviewing ways that non profits can prepare to receive volunteers and corporations can offer volunteers.

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