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While SAP encourages and supports employee volunteerism year-round, our signature volunteering initiative is in October: our so-called Month of Service. In October 2015, SAP in Silicon Valley participated in more than 100 volunteer projects comprising nearly 7500 hours, a huge increase over 2014. This year in 2016 we plan to increase that yet again.

Over the last several years, many of us have volunteered at RAFT (Resource Area For Teaching), a non-profit whose main focus is to inspire, engage and educate children through the power of hands-on teaching. RAFT believes hands-on education translates abstract and complex subjects into fun activities that help children learn by doing. To support this mission, RAFT provides inspiring lesson ideas (Idea Sheets), affordable materials and the convenience of pre-packaged Activity Kits.

As volunteers our job was to assemble and quality-control these hands-on activity kits. Some of the kits were pretty complex but luckily no artistic or technical experience was required. We just had to follow directions – of course, that was harder for some of us!

Our team of 20 had a great time together. Not only did we feel the satisfaction of helping out teachers and kids but we learned more about each other with stories of first cars, favorite concerts, and unusual vacation experiences. Best of all, we had real impact – here’s the ledger we were given:

  • Tech Challenge (600 students reached)
  • Static Meri-Go-Round (2,000 students reached)
  • Puppy Programming (3,000 students reached)
  • Buzz Off (3,000 students reached)
  • Colors of Light (5,000 students reached)

That’s an incredible 13,600 students reached with 20 people in 4 hours. We’re looking forward to our next volunteering event on November 4.

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