So Many People Doing So Much Good: Samsung Day of Service 2018
Giving back: two little words, one huge commitment. Giving back to the community is at the heart of Samsung Electronics America’s philosophy of shared prosperity – and it’s a concept that inspires so many of the company’s employees.
On an otherwise ordinary Friday in October, Samsung employees participated in the company-wide annual Day of Service, creating something extraordinary and lasting. The day-long event covered 61 activities in New Jersey, New York City, Washington D.C., North Texas and Mountain View, California, across 50 local charity partners. Since the 2014 launch of Day of Service, U.S.-based Samsung employees have contributed nearly 128,000 hours of community service through the program. Among this year’s activities were youth education and sports, food distribution to people in need, and workforce re-entry coaching. Samsung made participation easy, and the takeaway for many employees – the joy of giving back – was nothing short of profound.
New faces at headquarters: Students from Parsippany Hills High School arrive at Samsung Electronics America, in Ridgefield Park, New Jersey for a day of career mentorship from employees, as the eighth company-wide Day of Service gets underway. The students are involved in Junior Achievement of New Jersey, a non-profit organization that helps young people develop the skills they need to succeed in today’s economy.
As part of the company-wide Day of Service, Tim Baxter, President & CEO of Samsung Electronics North America (second from left and center) and Samsung employees spend an afternoon with young people at Covenant House New Jersey, which provides food, shelter and immediate crisis care to homeless, runaway and trafficked youth between the ages of 18 and 21. “At Samsung, we are committed to supporting programs im our local communities and we are dedicated to serving our local charity partners in the communities where we live and work,” said Baxter. “Covenant House helps homeless teens re-establish themselves and seeing the hope and promise within these teens is truly inspiring.”
Samsung employees also worked with Table to Table at their weekly mobile produce market in Newark. Table to Table is a food rescue program that collects prepared and perishable food that would otherwise be wasted and delivers it to organizations that serve the hungry. Surrounded by grocery bags filled and ready to be brought home by the markets participants, Emily Force (above), the Director of Corporate Engagement and Marketing Programs at Table to Table, displays the kind of nutritious food that’s distributed. “We are so grateful to Samsung employees for coming to Newark and volunteering their time” Force says. “Samsung is a huge company that can make a big difference in people’s lives when partnering with organizations like Table to Table.”
Samsung’s Michelle Ng (left) and Sarabpreet Singh (right) feed the resident chickens at the Table to Table Newark Mobile Market, after sorting and bagging prepared and perishable food for the hungry. “Table to Table helps feed more than 700 families, and I’m proud to be just an iota of that effort,” Singh said. “Thanks to Samsung, we can get out and do what we are passionate about – give back to the communities we live and work in.”
Irwin Vogelman, of Center for Food Action, in Saddle Brook, N.J., guided another team of Samsung employees to sort and bag food headed to individuals and families in need, many of them children and seniors. Vogelman, who’s worked with Center for Food Action for 18 years, says community support is essential to the organization delivering on its mission to some 5,000 clients every month, most of them the working poor. “Samsung’s Day of Service enables us to get the food out to the community faster,” Vogelman says. “We’re not heavy with staff, so we have to depend on hundreds and hundreds of volunteers each week.”
Samsung’s Vallerie Walsh prepares to sort and bag food that’s headed to people in need, at the Center for Food Action, in her home town of Saddle Brook, N.J. “It means a lot to me to give back to my community,” Walsh says. “I’m so glad that Samsung does this every year.”
The sheer joy of learning, teaching and giving back was evident everywhere at Women Rising, a Jersey City, N.J.-based organization that helps women and their families move from crisis to self-sufficiency with domestic violence services, permanent housing, workforce development and youth and family education and services.
“People really do need help to overcome barriers that seem impossible,” said Michelle Crossan, Vice President of Strategy and Transformation at Samsung Electronics America (right). “It makes us proud to work for a company that gives us the time to help change people’s lives.”
The women behind Women Rising (clockwise from right): Rosemary Nwabueze, Director of Community Economic Development; Roseann Mazzeo, Executive Director, seated; Ilene Singh, Job Developer, and Linda Nation, Manager of the Workforce Development Training Center. As part of its many offerings, Women Rising provides help with job searching, workplace readiness and industry-specific training for a variety of industries, from hospitality to bookkeeping. “Learning about Samsung employees’ career paths is motivational and inspirational for our clients,” says Nwabueze. “With the hands-on resume and interview sessions, they’re making one-on-one connections and learning valuable skills.”
Several groups of Samsung employees also spread out across New York City to give back – some taking to the soccer field with America SCORES New York, an after-school program in under-resourced communities that combines soccer, poetry and service learning. “We spend a lot of time in the office working with tech, and it’s great to come out and make a different kind of impact,” says Samsung’s Cleveland Bonner (pictured above).
Samsung employees in Dallas, Texas joined North Texas Food Bank in their fight against hunger – sorting, boxing and bagging food for local residents in need. The North Texas Food Bank and its network of 200 partner agencies provide access to more than 190,000 meals each day for hungry children, seniors and families across 13 North Texas counties.
As education is a prominent focus for many of Samsung’s philanthropic initiatives, partners like Mi Escuelita Preschool benefited from a large group of Samsung’s Dallas employees that helped them get ready for Halloween. Mi Escuelita Preschool teaches English to children from all cultures and prepares them for academic success.
And over in Mountain View, CA, Samsung Electronics America employees worked with My New Red Shoes, to sort shoes and create custom cards for the children receiving fresh kicks. The organization provides new shoes and clothes for low-income, homeless and immigrant children in the San Francisco Bay Area.
At the end of the Day of Service, employees across Samsung’s U.S. locations expressed their feelings of a job well done and the personal satisfaction of knowing that how they serve has ripple effects throughout their communities. “I think the whole community benefits. That’s what Samsung is all about,” said Darlene Kumar at the Food Bank for New York City.