Volunteerism - Beyond the Numbers
By Brandee McHale, President of the Citi Foundation and Director of Corporate Citizenship at Citi February 19, 2015 07:40 PM
I am often asked what impact our volunteer efforts have on the hundreds of communities around the world where our employees give back year-round. We can start with the numbers: 70,000+ Citi employees, families and friends turned out for our annual Global Community Day in 2014, for example, contributing 350,000+ hours of service, across 93 countries and 479 cities. We know that 63,000+ meals were served, 31,000+ youth were engaged, and nearly 1,400 houses were built for families.
But the real heart of our impact moves beyond the numbers, and is centered around the individual stories that result from these service experiences – both from those who act in service and those on the receiving end.
From the Citi volunteer who spends a day with nonprofit professional or small business owner helping to refine their business plan to help scale their work and provide better services, to the colleague who teaches financial education to high school students to help sow the seeds for future financial success; these individual actions roll up to a broader impact that goes beyond a quantifiable number. These service activities are not only addressing the immediate needs (that we can count), but they're also investing in the future of our communities and cities for years to come.
This week I had the privilege of accepting an award from the Voices for National Service on behalf of Citi and the Citi Foundation, alongside political leaders, nonprofit professionals and corporate colleagues who are all working to elevate national service. Citi and the Citi Foundation were recognized for our commitment to highlighting national service as a way to tackle some of the most important challenges in our country, specifically through ServiceWorks, a key component of the Citi Foundation's Pathways to Progress initiative to improve youth career readiness. Through Serviceworks, AmeriCorps VISTAs and Citi volunteers, are helping young people develop the leadership and workplace skills they need to compete in today's workforce.
The success of programs such as ServiceWorks is driven by our shared belief that civic engagement and service leadership can be a pathway towards success. It is one of the reasons why so many Citi employees give their time and talents to volunteer and make a difference. Their actions make clear that we understand the responsibility to each other, our clients, and our communities in all of our work, including volunteerism. It is simply who we are.
Because of this, I am proud to work side by side with so many colleagues who are advancing progress by giving back.