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Cisco Volunteers Helping to Feed the Hungry

March 31, 2014 at 8:00 am PST

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.

Group Photo of Cisco Volunteers

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Cisco Employee Volunteers Help Families Become Homeowners

March 11, 2014 at 11:30 am PST

Katherine_TochThis 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.

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Cisco Honored for Supporting Disaster Relief in the Bay Area

Cisco is proud to announce it has received the 2014 Humanitarian Partnership Award from the Silicon Valley Chapter of the American Red Cross. The award recognizes the support Cisco has given to the American Red Cross’ mission, and salutes the significant impact Cisco has made in Silicon Valley.

Cisco’s relationship with the Silicon Valley Chapter, and the American Red Cross in general, is deep, enduring, and reciprocal. We have been strategic disaster response partners for more than a decade, and we share a common focus. While the American Red Cross is frequently first on scene to provide food, shelter, water, and relief services during disasters, Cisco’s rapid response IT solutions – and its employees — are not far behind, as supporting critical human needs is a key component in Cisco’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) pledge.

Over the years, Cisco has supported the American Red Cross by making cash and product donations, lending technical expertise, and encouraging extensive employee volunteerism, not only in Silicon Valley, but throughout the United States and the world.

Cisco "Ready When the Time Comes" volunteers are a critical element in their communities' disaster readiness.

Cisco “Ready When the Time Comes” volunteers are a critical element in their communities’ disaster readiness.

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Cisco Employee Shares How to Pay it Forward

February 21, 2014 at 9:00 am PST

Screen Shot 2014-02-20 at 12.21.14 PMThis blog was written by Ricardo Benavidez, a government and community relations manager at Cisco, and originally published by Citizen Schools, one of Cisco’s nonprofit partners.

If you walk through my neighborhood of East San Jose you will hear this same story told again and again. The story of men and women who have come to this country in search of a better life, in hopes of securing a better future for themselves and their families. Often this never amounts to more than a hope, but in the case of my parents the goal of securing a better future was secured.

I have the fortune of writing this not only as the government and community relations manager for Cisco, but as a testimony to what one can achieve if given the proper tools. My parents migrated to the US in the ’70s from Mexico– my dad a butcher and my mom a janitor. Neither had much schooling when they arrived to the United States. I took note at a young age how hard they worked and how little they made.

Years later after having been given a strong foundation, I found myself wondering what can I do with the opportunities I have in some cases been handed, in others had to fight for, and in many ways have just been lucky to receive. The answer was a simple one, pay it forward. By sharing my time, my experiences, and my resources I have become a part of a movement to help inspire under-served students to achieve. 

As a volunteer "Citizen Teacher" Ricardo teaches a 10-week after-school apprenticeship on a topic his is passionate about.

As a volunteer, Ricardo teaches a 10-week after-school apprenticeship on a topic his is passionate about.

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