Supporting LGBT youth programs as part of Month of Service
Month of Service is a great initiative by SAP to provide volunteer opportunities to employees. This is an opportunity for employees, along with their family and friends, to support a cause that connects with them. I personally wanted to dive in and make the most of this program.
I have recently joined the SAP Pride Group in Silicon Valley, and wanted to create a volunteer opportunity that specifically caters to the LGBT youth. After researching with a colleague, I had gotten in contact with 2 separate LGBT youth centers to see how SAP and employee volunteers can help. I was able to confirm 2 MOS activities with LGBT youth programs in San Jose and Palo Alto.
Our first event was with the Outlet Youth Program. This nonprofit provides counseling services, group discussions, and fun activities for the LGBT youth. They are also one of the few LGBT youth programs in the Bay Area with a Spanish speaking LGBT group. The youth group leader along with eight members visited SAP Labs in Palo Alto for a day of learning & collaboration.
A team of around 10 SAP volunteers was there to make sure the youth got the most from their visit to SAP. A few of the youth spoke Spanish only, so we had one of our wonderful SAP colleagues translate the entire session for them in Spanish. We introduced the group to SAP and how we are nurturing a culture of diversity. We shared stories about SAP’s participation in the SF Pride Parade, what’s it like to be an LGBT employee at SAP, and shared with them the SAP video “It Get’s Better[SS1] .” The group enjoyed their day so much that they ended up staying 45 minutes longer than planned!
Our second Month of Service activity was with the LGBTQ Youth Space in downtown San Jose. This is a wonderful Youth Center that provides counseling & psychiatric services, a medical bus that stops by the center once a month, as well as a free/safe place for youth to hang out together. The center often organizes group discussions, events and field trips for the youth.
On a tour of the youth center with its program director, I noticed that a lot of the furniture at the center was getting old. My immediate thought was that SAP can donate furniture from our offices. Working with the Facilities team, we found furniture at our campuses for the center’s requirements. Not only did SAP donate furniture, but they had a box truck deliver the furniture on our day of service!
SAP employees also volunteered to re-paint some of walls at the center. We had a 3-hour time frame for this, but completed the job in 2 hours! In the extra time, we helped re-organize the newly donated furniture from SAP. My dad joined team SAPsv as well. He has more than 30 years of experience with building, and helped set up a shelving unit to store craft supplies. This is what I love about Month of Service – it brings together colleagues, friends and families for making a difference in the community.