Posted on : 18-01-2011 | By : Frank Eliason | In : Business, Inspirational
Tags: Citi, Comcast, LexisNexis, MLK Day of Caring, Salesforce, Shauna Causey
Yesterday was the day we recognize a great, peaceful leader in Martin Luther King. I sometimes wonder how Dr. King or other prominent historic figures would look at our world today. At times it seems like we have grown so much in society, while other times it seems like we take a number of steps backwards. Dr. King sought major change via peaceful means, yet today it seems we are sometimes attacking each other in vicious ways over silly issues. Of course there are other times where everyone seems to come together for a common cause. I can easily think of Haiti and other natural disasters where the world seems like a smaller place.
What I love about MLK Day is how it has evolved into a day of caring, with volunteerism throughout the US. Many companies take the day and encourage their employees to volunteer for the day. Of course I wish we did this more often. Many companies offer their employees a benefit that allows days off just to volunteer. This is over and above the usual allotment. I know Citi, LexisNexis, and Comcast offer a few days a year to do this. My wife works for LexisNexis and they have participated in many events through the year. A few years back we did a lot of work with a local park, and the team at LexisNexis took the volunteerism to a new level helping to beautify it. One of Carolyn’s favorite charities is Cradles to Crayons. With the proximity to her LexisNexis facility, they were able to have employees there many times throughout the year. I want to take this opportunity to challenge all companies to come up with similar programs. It is a great way to give back to the community you serve and it is not about creating a PR event for your company. It is genuine.
I have been inspired regarding this because of the company my wife works for, as well as my recent employers. I always thought it was a benefit not known well enough by employees. In December I had the opportunity to attend the Salesforce Dreamforce event. During the one session I had the privilege to be further inspired on the topic and I wanted to take the time to share the inspiration with you. I have posted the video from the event below (If you are receiving this via feed the direct URL for the video is: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qq5aTaMnhuY ). The beginning focuses on Salesforce and the work of their employees. After that there is also an inspirational conversation with Stevie Wonder. If you have time I would recommend checking it out.
What I have found in social media is everyone is committed in giving back in one way or another. My friend Shauna Causey and the entire SMC Seattle Team created something called VolunTweetup as a way to help non-profits with social media. We all want to find a way to give something back. How do you do it? What companies inspire you? What can companies do differently? Does your company provide time off to give back to your community?