Today, Cisco’s Patrick Finn, Senior Vice President, Public Sector, joined U.S. President Barack Obama and 9 other leading U.S. technology companies and education nonprofits to launch US2020at the White House Science Fair.
US2020 is an all-hands-on-deck initiative that aims to connect more science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) professionals to students from kindergarten through college.
As part of the US2020 initiative, Cisco will utilize the expertise of its workforce and culture of giving back, with the goal of having 20 percent or more of employees volunteering at least 20 hours a year as STEM mentors by the year 2020.
Hunger is the world’s number 1 health risk, killing more than AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis combined each year.Close to 900 million people do not have enough to eat and 98 percent of them live in developing countries. Even in developed countries like the United States, 15 percent of households were food insecure at some point during 2011, meaning its members had uncertain access to adequate and safe food.
Cisco’s annual employee giving campaign, Global Hunger Relief, is focused on providing immediate support to those in desperate need.
At locations around the globe, Cisco employees contribute time, dollars, and expertise in support of more than 140 organizations working to help those who don’t have reliable access to food and clean water. Collectively, we donate over $1 million to hunger relief annually through the Global Hunger Relief Campaign.
In the summer of 2010, Veronica Recanati, Security Partner Account Manager for Cisco Italy, spent one month of paid time off volunteering at an orphanage in Tanzania. It turned out to be a life-changing experience not just for her, but for many of her colleagues in Rome.
In Tanzania, Veronica realized just one euro could buy ten meals for children. She realized more help was needed, not just in Tanzania, but at home in Italy and around the world. And she realized she wanted be involved.
“It was like a bomb that exploded in my head,” Veronica says. “I wanted to use my experience with Cisco to help.”
Today, Veronica is part of a very active Italy Civic Council – a group of Cisco employees that leads volunteer and charitable activities at the local level.
Recently, I visited Arletta Jorgenson, an American single mother of three who relies on food pantries to help feed her family (see video below). Arletta, who lost her job as an administrative assistant three years ago and has survived on public assistance ever since, reminds us that financial hardship can happen to anyone – our neighbors, our cousins, colleagues…and us.
In the U.S., 49 million people are “food insecure” (families with at least one member who sometimes is hungry because they can’t afford enough food), according to Feeding America. These people aren’t necessarily homeless – or even unemployed. In fact, more than a third of them have at least one working adult.
On August 17th, over 20 volunteers from the Cisco Enterprise and Mid-market Marketing group gave their time to support InnVision, Silicon Valley’s leading provider of housing and services for homeless families and individuals:
InnVision is a primary gateway for homeless families and individuals seeking shelter and resources that lead to self-sufficiency. Our comprehensive system of care promotes self-worth and dignity at multiple facilities throughout Silicon Valley, including shelters, longer- term housing options and service centers, each equipped to meet emergency and transitional needs of diverse, at-risk people. InnVision is…the Way Home!
Volunteers spent the day sorting clothing for InnVision’s store, prepping food for daily meals, and reading stories to children.