Yesterday, 500 Cisco employees assembled kits for two of our nonprofit partners, making the World Wide IT Manager’s Offsite (WWITMO) “Giving Back” event Cisco’s largest volunteer effort ever. Two-hundred volunteers assembled hands-on activity kits for Resource Area for Teaching (RAFT) and 300 assembled hygiene and snack kits for HomeFirst at the Fairmont Hotel in San Jose, California.
Nearly 60 10th graders from the Plano Independent School District STEM Academy came to Cisco’s Richardson, Texas, campus today to gain hands-on experience with the technology of tomorrow.
These students, who focus on science, technology, engineering and math – known as STEM — got career counseling from technology professionals, saw demonstrations of Cisco’s cutting-edge video and collaboration technologies, and engaged in speed mentoring. To cap of an incredible day, the students had an opportunity to build their own ethernet cables and test them on phones by making live calls.
This is part of a series of STEM mentoring events taking place all week at three of Cisco’s campuses – Richardson, Texas; Research Triangle Park, North Carolina; and Silicon Valley. Nearly 200 students and 200 Cisco employee mentors will participate in these events.
Last night I was proud to join other Cisco staff and executives in accepting four “Making Hunger History” awards from the Second Harvest Food Bank near our San Jose headquarters.
Cisco has supported Second Harvest for more than 20 years, and in that time we have raised the equivalent of 55 million pounds of food for the organization!
Our employees volunteer there and make donations through our annual Global Hunger Relief Campaign, and we’ve provided several product and cash grants over the years, most recently to help the organization’s clients better utilize the CalFresh food stamp program (read my earlier blog on CalFresh). In 2012 Cisco employees contributed more than 4900 volunteer hours to Second Harvest.
Second Harvest does important work. One in 10 residents of Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties receives food from Second Harvest, and 40% of them are children. According to the 2014 Hunger in America report, clients receive assistance from Second Harvest Food Bank an average of 13 times per year, compared to the national average of 8 times. This could be a reflection of the high cost of living in California’s Bay Area.
Little known to most people, including residents of Houston, Texas, there is a peanut butter cannery here, and it is capable of producing over 1 million jars of peanut butter a year. Thanks to the coordination efforts of Terry Edge, a Cisco Channels Manager, two teams of Cisco employee volunteers produced 12,595 jars -- 21,254 pounds -- of peanut butter this month.
This post was written by guest blogger Katherine Toch, Senior Marketing Manager, Cisco Corporate Affairs
A home, at first thought…seems like a pretty simple concept. Four walls, some windows, a couple doors and you have a house. But it is more than that, it is a place to put down your roots and become part of a larger community. It’s a safe and secure place to call your own. It’s a place to make memories and recall them through lively dinner conversations throughout the years. It’s a feeling of knowing you can keep the ones you love safe. Something so many of us take for granted. Whether here in the U.S or around the world, more people than not do not have a place to call home.
The statistics on housing are staggering: Globally 1.6 billion people live in substandard housing conditions. In addition, 1 in 4 people live in conditions that harm their health, safety, prosperity and opportunities. The current U.S. homeless population is estimated to be between 1.6 to 3 million people, and one-third of the homeless are children.
In my own backyard, the San Francisco Bay Area, fewer than 40 percent of families can afford to purchase a home. For hard-working families whose earnings place them in the low to very-low income classification, finding a decent, affordable place to live in the San Francisco Bay Area is an extremely difficult, if not impossible task. The current need for additional housing is unmet, and every day the number of families living in substandard housing continues to rise. As more families seek opportunities in the Bay Area and the population grows, the lack of affordable housing is becoming more pronounced and distressing. Families need and deserve a home.