The outcomes of community service can be surprising. In addition to the value it offers to people in need, there’s also a shared opportunity for collaboration and ongoing progress. Having had some direct experience with those in need, I believe that giving back to the community is an important and noble component of corporate citizenship in our industry.
It all began in February during the 2013 IBM PartnerWorld Leadership Conference in Las Vegas, when IBM partnered with Three Square Food Bank of Las Vegas with the goal of packing 2,000 bags for the “BackPack for Kids” program. With the help of our Business Partners, we actually managed to pack 2,550 bags of food over just two days at the conference, and collected over USD1,000 in additional donations from attendees. Thank you again for helping us successfully support Three Square’s excellent program!
Participating in community service like this can also open up new opportunities to deepen our involvement and help in new ways. When we came back from Las Vegas, we applied for a matching grant of funds to our “sweat equity” and received USD3,000 in cash funds to pass along to Three Square. And then we realized we could take it a step further.
Because of the infrastructure and integration expertise IBM has to offer, we are now working on helping the Three Square team optimize operations by looking at work that has been done by IBM with the Oregon Food Bank, as well as a food bank in Canada. This community service work has opened dialog for both companies to explore how, together, we can ensure more people in Las Vegas benefit from the work Three Square is doing in the community.
For additional information on the “BackPack for Kids” program and other childhood nutrition programs run by Three Square, visit http://www.threesquare.org or follow them on Twitter @threesquarelv
And don’t forget to use the “Comments” area below to let me know what you think!
Jamie Mendez (@JAMENDEZ11)