“Sleeping Out” in Support of Covenant House
As the CEO of Samsung Electronics North America, the best part of my job is hearing from employees how much they value our Samsung giving back opportunities. Through programs like Day of Service where we take the day “off” to support our charity partners, our STEM education programs that help shape future leaders, or veterans initiatives that honor our nations heroes, we give back not only because it is the right thing to do, but because we believe that it is our obligation to share our success by giving back to the communities where we live and work.
Since joining Samsung, I’ve learned first-hand that working for a company dedicated to giving back is so much more impactful when you get to experience it for yourself. This is why, for the third year, I was proud to participate in the Covenant House Sleep Out in Newark, NJ, to raise awareness and much needed funds to tackle youth homelessness.
For more than 40 years, Covenant House has taken in homeless, runaway and trafficked youth to give them food, shelter, immediate crisis-care and other services. Yet today, homelessness still afflicts two million kids across the country each night, according to the organization.
My first experience with Covenant House was participating in a Day of Service activity, where I got to interact with the young adults undergoing positive transformation, taking advantage of the holistic support the organization provides to help them build a happy, healthy and independent future.
My short time spent with the youth of Covenant House that day inspired me to do more. I participated in my first Sleep Out event in 2015 and that night opened my eyes to the reality of homelessness. This year, I was humbled and proud to have members of the Samsung executive team join me in supporting this amazing organization. Together with my colleagues Jamal Haughton, Tony Cicio, Jong Cheol Lee and Steve Kim, Team Samsung raised $61,709 for the cause.
This year the weather brought new challenges, with unexpected snow turning into freezing rain and making for a miserable evening to sleep outside, but a truly memorable experience when it was all said and done. Oddly, I found myself grateful for the conditions – because it rallied additional support for the cause. More people reached out to me than ever before, sharing well wishes, tips to brave the cold and of course, much needed donations to benefit those who every day face the bitter struggles that we only had to endure for one night.
In this season of Thanksgiving, we’re grateful to partners like Covenant House who inspire us and do so much good both here in New Jersey and around the world.
Please visit www.CovenantHouse.org for more information on how you can help. Here in the Northeast, we have a long winter ahead of us, let’s do what we can to ensure no one is left out in the cold.