Waggener Edstrom Worldwide's global holiday giving campaign is designed to contribute value to society, engage employees, and apply company assets to support a social cause. The agency's 2011 Celebrate Giving holiday campaign, running November 26 to December 20, focuses on combating hunger.
According to the World Food Program, hunger is the world's No. 1 health risk, so Waggener Edstrom (WE) zeroed in on this cause. The firm partnered with 17 nonprofit organizations that help fight hunger and its root causes through education and by strengthening local food systems. In addition, WE is a signatory of the United Nations Global Compact and actively supports the United Nations Millennium Development Goals, including the goal to eradicate extreme poverty and hunger.
Celebrate Giving is designed around three key initiatives: volunteering, financial contributions, and local food drives. Up to 20% of the agency's more than 800 employees will participate in team volunteer events during the campaign period, spending 600 company volunteer hours supporting food-related charities. In November, employees in London kicked off the holiday volunteering at Kids Company, a charity that supports vulnerable inner-city children. The team spent the day interacting and teaching more than 60 children to cook. Here are some other ways WE employees have volunteered their time together this holiday season:
- Twenty-five employees handed out 500 food boxes at the Portland's Sunshine Division.
- Ten San Francisco-based employees packed 250 grocery sacks for local seniors in partnership with Groceries for Seniors at Old Saint Mary's Cathedral to help the seniors stay healthy and to support their ambition to live independently.
- A team of 11 Seattle employees prepared and served meals to the homeless under one of the city's bridges with Operation Sack Lunch, and another group of employees rolled up their sleeves to prepare holiday side dishes at The Sophia Way, a women's shelter.
In addition to volunteer efforts, the agency will invite employees to help the company determine how it will share a $10,000 donation among five organizations (FareStart, FareShare, SEED, Digital Green, and Mercy Corps (a pro-bono client) with missions that support food security and economic empowerment. WE will also invites employees to donate canned food to drives benefitting local food banks in regional offices.
WE promotes local volunteer opportunities throughout the year via its corporate intranet, targeted emails, and Out and About, the company's Corporate Citizenship newsletter. As events take place, WE showcases stories about employees' volunteer experiences on the corporate intranet, Twitter (@WE_Citizen) and its Careers and Culture blog with the goal to encourage others to get involved. WE will also amplify the campaign by sharing photos, links to stories, and updates about Celebrate Giving on Twitter @WE_Citizen using the #WEGive hashtag.