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Cisco Employee Changes Lives Through Technology Donations

In 2013, Roland Holloway learned he was cancer-free. For 9 years, Roland, a Cisco employee, had battled neck cancer, but a surprising recovery inspired him to give back to his community. With the help of Cisco’s Employee Purchase Donation Program (EPDP), Roland is empowering a local nonprofit with new technologies and helping others in need.

Roland, who will celebrate his 20th anniversary at Cisco later this year, is taking advantage of his newfound health to create change in his own neighborhood. “I’ve had a lot of good fortune come my way,” he said. “I enjoy giving back; I can’t change world politics, but I can definitely help my local community.”

After recovering from neck cancer, Roland enjoys spending time with his family and grandchildren

After recovering from neck cancer, Roland enjoys spending time with his family and grandchildren

He started by visiting his childhood friend, Johnny Taylor, who founded a veterans’ outreach nonprofit called Promised Land Foundation. Doctors diagnosed Taylor with polio as a child, forcing him to use an electric scooter for transportation and making his goal of serving other veterans difficult. Roland saw his friend struggling, and helped Taylor purchase a wheelchair-accessible van in 2013. “I wanted to help him fulfill his aspirations to help veterans,” Roland said. “I saw him struggling to get around, and he’s using the van to make veterans’ lives easier.”

However, Roland didn’t stop giving back. In 2014, he learned about Cisco’s EPDP through a colleague who had used the program to donate equipment to his daughter’s school. Roland realized that as a Cisco employee, he could purchase equipment at a 75% discount for donation to qualified nonprofits and schools in the United States.

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#CiscoChampion Radio S2|Ep 3. Giving Back to the IT Community

CiscoChampion2015200PX#CiscoChampion Radio is a podcast series by Cisco Champions as technologists. Today we’ll be talking with Cisco Champions about giving back to the IT community. Rachel Bakker (@rbakker) is this week’s moderator.

Listen to the Podcast.

Learn about the Cisco Champions Program HERE.
See a list of all #CiscoChampion Radio podcasts HERE.

Cisco Champion SMEs
Priscilla Oppenheimer, @priscillaoppy, Network Consultant
Anas Tarsha, @anastarsha, Solutions Architect
Chris Partsenidis, @firewallcx, Network Engineer

Cisco Champion Guest Hosts
Noah Jaehnert, @njaehner, Security Architecture Program Manager

Highlights
Benefits of giving back
Ideas on how to give back to the IT community
How you can leverage your IT skills to give back to your local community
The positive impact of mentorship
Sharing your knowledge and expertise in your local colleges and schools
How to get kids excited about IT Read More »

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Fighting the Tragedy of Hunger

In Silicon Valley – home to one of the greatest economic engines in the world – there is a silent tragedy that affects more than 250,000 people every month – and that’s hunger. Hunger doesn’t discriminate. It affects the young and the old, families of every size, shape and background.  The challenge, sadly, knows no bounds. Ten thousands miles away – in India – the problem is acute. Here, some students who go to government schools often don’t have enough to eat.  Mothers sometimes don’t have enough to feed their children.

A similar story can be told in Brasilia, Bucharest, Boston, and beyond. The faces of hunger are different, but the challenge of making sure that all have enough to eat is just the same.

In every community, in every part of the world, hunger afflicts far too many– 805 million people according to the United Nations. It is the single-most addressable health problem that we face. No scientific breakthroughs are needed to solve hunger. We have the knowledge, tools, and resources at our disposal to solve this problem.

That’s why Cisco has made a major commitment to stopping hunger in our communities. Over the course of 11 years, our annual Global Hunger Relief Campaign has raised $39.9 million dollars for hunger relief, which translates into 159 million meals provided to those who need it most.

Donations from our 2013 campaign alone provided 23 million meals. These meals were provided through 162 agencies worldwide working to end hunger.

This year will be no different. Beginning on October 27, we launched a two and a half month campaign to raise $1.8 million in employee donations for hunger relief, which will be matched by the Cisco Foundation.

And the impact is incredible.

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Doing our part to stop hunger…in Silicon Valley and around the world

Earlier this week, I was privileged to join Cisco employees and executives to sort 27,100 pounds of food at the Second Harvest food bank in Silicon Valley. This food will go to help the 1 in 4 Santa Clara and San Mateo County residents at risk for hunger – roughly 625,000 individuals.

This event is just one part of Cisco’s largest annual giving campaign to help stop global hunger in Silicon Valley and around the world. We’re in the middle of our 12th annual Global Hunger Relief Campaign, involving over 160 food agencies worldwide.

Since we started this effort, we have raised $40 million dollars for hunger relief, which translates into 160 million meals for those who need it most.

And this year, the bar is set high.  We’re in the midst of a two-month effort to raise $1.8 million in employee donations for hunger relief, most of which will then be matched by the Cisco Foundation.

At Cisco, giving back is part of our DNA.  I’m proud to be a part of this effort to help stop global hunger.  And I’d encourage all of my Cisco colleagues to consider making a donation or volunteering at a local food bank during this holiday season.

Together, we can really make a difference.

Cisco execs and employees sorting food for 2nd Harvest

Cisco execs and employees sorting food for Second Harvest

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Take 3: Ride Across Britain (again) to Raise Funds for Paralympic Athletes

 

Paralympics GB

Paralympics GB

It’s 5:30am on Monday morning (10th June 2013 to be precise). ” Wake up it’s a beautiful morning” by the Boo Radleys  is blasting out of the speakers at the camp site.   “I shouldn’t be up at this time” is one of the lines of this songs which rings so true to me on this day. It’s not a dream although my head wishes it was.  I’ve been awake since around 4am – thanks to the and chirpy wildlife and early sunrise in the north of Scotland  where the sun appears at not long after 3am.  Yes I’m back on the Deloitte Ride Across Britain (“RAB”) again, aiming to cycle 220 miles over 2 days, to help Cisco raise funds for the paralympic athletes via the Paralympics GB charity.

The “RAB”, as we call it, is a cycle ride from John O’Groats, in the very north of Scotland, to Lands End, in the very south of England – top to bottom of the United Kingdom, in fact.  Cisco supports and encourages us to take part – around 50 of us were taking on typically one or two stages, with a few mad colleagues doing the whole 9 days of 100 mile+ daily cycling!  Yes we had “free” days off work, away from my usual work in Cisco Data Center Services around Cisco Domain TenSM – committing to achieve a fundraising target – however it’s not quite what most people would call a holiday!  And we also had a “Virtual RAB” in our offices to ensure everyone gets an opportunity to help further the fundraising cause.

As the video shows, we cycled through some amazing scenery, connected with new colleagues across Cisco UK & Ireland, and renewed old friendships.  Our fund raising is in progress and I’d appreciate any and all donations here!

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