Cisco has a strong culture of giving back – deeply rooted in our DNA spanning back to the early days when we were headquartered in East Palo Alto and then-CEO John Morgridge encouraged employees to hop the fence over to the elementary school next door and help mentor, tutor and help contribute to the upkeep of the buildings.
What I appreciate most — and what I have learned the most– in contributing to Cisco’s efforts over the years has been in the concept of engagement. Financial contributions are important – they are the underpinning of most of our community resources in terms of their ability to ‘open up shop’ every day. That said, ongoing, roll-up-your-sleeves engagement makes such a tremendous difference – it allows you to truly understand the need, genuinely ‘touch’ the people and organizations you are partnering with to support, and most importantly it creates relationships and commitments that last longer and run deeper.
Cisco every year has a global hunger relief campaign, which is largely employee driven. In fact, this annual campaign has become our ‘signature’ employee program, and a great example of our ability to focus and drive results as a truly global team. Last year, we exceeded our stretch goals with more than 4,000 employees in over 30 countries contributing to 100 non-profit organizations. We are off to a good start for this year’s effort, with a goal of raising $3M and employees volunteering 1,000 hours combined. Our Chairman Emeritus John Morgridge, CEO John Chambers and handful of executives including CIO Rebecca Jacoby and EVP of Worldwide Operations Rob Lloyd helped to kick-start the effort last week by sorting food at Second Harvest Food Bank in San Jose, California.
Take a look at this short video clip and you will see how much fun we had, while sorting 660 boxes of food totaling 21,780 pounds.
The Second Harvest team split our group into two – which provided a great opportunity to compete with each other (at Cisco, we love healthy competition!).
We encourage you to roll up your sleeves and engage as well. Contact one of the international relief organizations including CARE, Feeding America , Friends of the World Food Program, Oxfam, and Save The Children Federation to learn how to get involved.