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How a Mobile App Will Feed Many

Wesley_KingThis post was written by guest blogger Wesley King, a business systems analyst at Cisco

It’s that time of year again. No, not quite Christmas in July; not Thanksgiving. Forget Daylight Savings Time, Memorial Day, and Bring your Daughter to Work Day.

I’m talking about the time to give back. Here at Cisco, it’s a big deal – every single day of the year.

For me, most everything in my life is in flux – I just moved from the East Coast to the West, transitioned into being a mobile worker and volunteered outside the country for the first time. On top of all that, I took my first trip through a black hole with Interstellar.

The Impact of Change

Here on this planet, however, there is no sadder distinction between haves and have-nots than the disparate contents of our stomachs. The malnourished and the underfed need our help. Thankfully, I work for a company where both the leadership and larger employee base want to do their part in providing a great life for every one of Earth’s inhabitants.

Several years ago I stood in line at a Cisco food sort and listened; I heard some astounding things. I heard that for every hour I spent serving an organization Cisco would donate $10 to that organization. For me, this meant that any time I spent playing with the kids at Learning Together or in a RedCross recliner donating plasma, Cisco would be multiplying my impact. However, I also heard that if an employee forgot to log their volunteer hours, the organization they volunteered for would lose out on that Cisco money. Giving back, as gratifying as it was, was not an easy process.

Wesley King volunteering with children at Learning Together, a nonprofit that meets the developmental, educational, and health needs of young children of all abilities.

Wesley King volunteering with children at Learning Together, a nonprofit that meets the developmental, educational, and health needs of young children of all abilities.

I set out to make a change. Through a partnership between our internal app development team and Cisco Community Relations, a new, easy-to-use tool was created. Employees can now record their volunteer hours and donate money directly to organizations in just minutes.

But time is relative, and sometimes minutes can seem like hours. It was still too long before the difference could be seen. The next step? Go mobile!

Last fall, we released the app to our mobile workforce just in time for Cisco’s annual Global Hunger Relief Campaign.

The Power of Mobility

As I hold my phone to send donations and record volunteering hours, I feel the weight in my chest, not my hand. Now, tens of thousands of my coworkers can connect more quickly with their favorite nonprofits. With this change, I can guarantee you the Cisco Foundation will be spending more money and matching employee giving.

Now, through this technology, every day is a day to give back.

See how Cisco employees give back, and get inspired to do the same.


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  1. Wes, thank you sharing and your partnership with the latest development of Cisco’s matching gifts tool for employee giving and volunteering. since launching Community Connection in late 2009, we have processed over $63M in employee donations and Cisco Foundation matching gifts. plus, employees have logged more than 750,000 volunteer hours. specials thanks to you and all involved over the years including… Aish Kalley, Ann-Marie Yap, Ashok Chotai, Baskar Vangili, David Clark, Helena Findikaki, Jagadeesh Jeeva, Jessie Monroe, Julie Rose, Kylie Owen, Monica le Blanc, Nannette Nobel, Nilesh Tanna, Praveen Subramanian, Ruchi Kohar, Sachin Dushe, Sharat Bhattiprolu, and more.

  2. My favorite way to use technology is paired with giving back!

  3. Inspiring message! Thanks for your contribution.

  4. Really cool, Wes! Nice job!