‘We give back’ is a statement that is thrown around often in the corporate world without much follow through. SAP, however, not only gives back throughout the year but dedicates 2 months to volunteer service projects in which all employees are heavily encouraged to attend. It is not a publicity stunt, or a mandated action, but a true community mindset and personal accountability to help those around us. It is SAP’s Month of Service.
I had the privilege of working next to employees from all over the company in this united mindset of helping others. From planting trees in Santa Clara parks, to assembling hygiene bags for veterans, I have felt that my time at work has benefited many individuals outside of the organization.
The veteran event was a perfect mix of service, creative projects, and teamwork. SAP partnered with Swords to Plowshare a non-profit that provides employment, training, housing, legal assistance, and needs for over 3,000 veterans in the Bay Area. We decorated and filled tote bags with a full kit of hygiene products. Sometimes the small things like a toothbrush or a clean pair of socks can make the biggest difference in comfort and self-respect. More than 20 SAP employees jumped at the chance to provide these small comforts, myself included.
We worked together and had our creative juices flowing to brainstorm patriotic and fun decorating ideas to add life to plain beige tote bags and filled them with necessities that we take for granted every day. By doing this, I was reminded that the items I often take for granted are available to me because of the service the veterans dedicated to the country.
Month of service is an amazing opportunity to give back to all types of communities and populations while bonding with employees you may have never met otherwise. Take time to step out of your routine and engage with the world.