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Winning Stories Bring Networking to Life: VNI Service Awards

Last week we notified the five winners of our inaugural VNI Service Awards competition.  When we launched this program on March 26, 2013 our goal was to inspire others about the human aspect of what it means to be connected. We wanted to learn how various communication technologies were being used. How does having access to the Internet and mobile services impact the daily lives of people and their community? This is how we want to measure the value of being connected, and having access to reliable communication channels.

VNI Service Awards

The final scores were based on a combination of the judge’s scores, and a ranking assigned to the number of comments per story. It was difficult selecting the top five stories as there were many tied scores. We had to go to two decimal points to get the final list. The point spread between the five winners was only 0.75 out of a max of 5.00 points. Read More »

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Lending a Helping Hand to Miriam’s Kitchen

I am excited to share the news of Cisco’s new partnership with Miriam’s Kitchen in Washington, D.C., near my home. Miriam’s Kitchen is committed to ending homelessness in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area by providing homeless persons with access to meals, counseling, clean clothes, medical care, permanent housing, and by ensuring they have the necessary support to remain in housing. Miriam’s Kitchen served 71,948 meals in 2012 and expects to serve 73,500 meals in 2013.

This is a wonderful organization doing good work for my local community. To help them feed and clothe even more homeless persons, Cisco has provided Miriam’s Kitchen with a $25,000 grant. The grant will help provide support for Miriam’s Kitchen’s meals and case management programs, which provide food and a range of services to thousands of people every day. Read More »

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How Community Technology Centers are Aiding the Recovery in Haiti

Angeline, 12, works in the computer lab at the Thomas Food Project in Thomas, Haiti.

Angeline, 12, works in the computer lab at the Thomas Food Project in Thomas, Haiti. She said she wants to be able to write and research because there are a lot of things she wants to know.

I recently had the pleasure of meeting  Neelley Hicks of United Methodist Communications. I was looking for people who work at the intersection of technology and education in developing regions. Her energy, compassion and dedication to this work is quite inspiring. As it turns out, the UMC team was  in Haiti this week and I wanted to provide a brief update of their trip.

The team arrived on Monday and traveled to Thomas, LeVegue, Mizak and Petit Goave through the week. Their objectives were to assess and report on how new technology is changing lives. This is an anniversary trip where they will check in on last year’s programs, and start new ones. The team posted a great summary of this week’s work on their website.

“These centers give people who are otherwise off-the-grid access to information through the Internet that can help them live more productive and economically viable lives,” said the Rev. Larry Hollon, chief executive of United Methodist Communications. “This is a key tool for the church to use for human empowerment.”

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What the Holiday Season is All About – Cisco Connects the North Pole to Children’s Hospitals

Throughout the years, I’ve been able to witness some great examples of technology’s ability to connect people when it really matters.  Now, with Christmas lights everywhere and the holiday season upon us, it’s the time of year where wishes really do come true.  And no one is better suited to spread holiday cheer than Santa himself -- that’s why Cisco established the Santa Connection program.

   
In its sixth year, the program aims to connect Santa with young patients unable to leave the hospital and allows them to “virtually” visit Santa. Through Santa Connection, Cisco engineers set up Cisco TelePresence solutions via iPad, laptop or cart in children’s hospitals across the globe. These children are then able to share their Christmas wishes with the man himself “in-person” over high-definition video and Santa’s elves are on hand in the hospital to give gifts.  What a great way to put smiles on children’s faces. Read More »

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Cisco Mudders Give Back Military-Style

October 2, 2012 at 11:42 am PST

“This isn’t about charity—it’s about giving back to the military.”

These were the words of the DJ as participants knelt down on one knee at the starting line of Tough Mudder, an 11+ mile course with 20+ military style obstacles. I took this challenge last weekend at Northstar Ski Resort by Lake Tahoe with four other Cisco employees, plus three friends.

Cisco employees raise money for wounded veteransCisco employee John Milo on the Log Jammin’ Obstacle at the Tough Mudder Norcal 2012

Tough Mudder benefits the Wounded Warrior Project, an organization that helps empower and support post-9/11 veterans as they heal their physical wounds (such as lost limbs) and emotional wounds (such as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) and re-assimilate into society. Many Wounded Warriors completed the course alongside us.

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