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Last Saturday, Oct 8, I volunteered together with a group of SAP colleagues and our families at the Stanford dish hill. As a Stanford alumnus and active member in the Palo Alto community, I was looking forward to the opportunity to give back to the community that has given so much to me and my family. We watered hundreds of shrubs and trees that had been planted earlier this year and last year. The goal is to give the plants a chance to take hold and grow despite the drought we are experiencing in California. A water truck with recycled water from Stanford provided the water and we used 5 gal buckets to reach each of the plants. One would always carry two buckets to balance the load. The trees were planted and are being cared for by local volunteer groups under the leadership of Ecomagic (http://ecomagic.org/planting.shtml).

The event was a great way for SAP to contribute to our local community and to help prepare the hiking trails many of us use on a daily basis (often during lunch) or for an after-work run for the next hundred years. Beyond the contribution we made, this was a great and fun way to take our families out, teach our children about nature and our responsibility, meet colleagues outside the office and to get a good workout in. My son Tyler will always remember the opportunity to climb on top of the water truck and look into the tank – he concluded that we had another “200 buckets of water left”; I think he was pretty spot on with his estimate as we emptied the truck shortly thereafter.

I have been at SAP for 14 years, and each year I have volunteered my time alongside my team and peers to give back during Month of Service. Month of Service, now celebrating its 12th Anniversary at SAP, is an opportunity for employees to drive positive change in the communities in which we live. Here in Silicon Valley, Month of Service has gone beyond 30 days to ensure that every employee has the opportunity to participate. Month of Service is a time for team building, cross collaboration, and the chance to take action in supporting SAP’s commitment to improve people’s lives.

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