Month of Service (10/15) – Volunteering, the Aussie Way
This October, SAP Global Month of Service goes into its 15th round! Are you ready?
Kicking off the celebration early, we are proud to be sharing a selection of 15 inspiring volunteer experiences over the coming weeks leading up to the beginning of October.
SAP Global Month of Service, it is our company’s largest volunteer initiative. In 2018, employees volunteered in more than 900 projects in communities around the world. And it doesn’t stop with Month of Service! Our employees are leading meaningful volunteer events year-round, when and where the need arises.
This weeks blog is coming to you from the second most liveable city in the world – Melbourne, Australia! Jen Williams has been a SAP Volunteer Ambassador for many years and contributes to society in a lot more than just one way. Her volunteer experience is remarkable and her positive spirit is truly infectious!
If not all of them, maybe there is one idea that inspires you, too?
Being a Volunteer Ambassador is and has been an awesome journey. I became a Volunteer Ambassador for two reasons: the first was, that I felt a sense of belonging to something tangible and rewarding. The second was to meet a need to contribute not only as an individual but as part of a larger tribe – in this case SAP.
When I started at SAP Ariba, I was fortunate enough to link up with an amazing woman – Narelle O’Connell. She is very much an inspiration to get people involved and is the driving force for a lot of volunteer activities.
Ever thought about collecting and donating hotel cosmetic supplies?
My favourite volunteering process is simple but effective! What is this process, I hear you ask? Many of us travel, and with this travel quite often comes a stay overnight at a hotel. Hotels usually have mini shampoo, conditioner and one or two other things in every room. Instead of using these things, we collect them, drop them off to a point in the office and then donate them to a homeless shelter. Here they are put into packs and given to those who really need it …See? Simple but AWESOME!!!
The impact of being a mentor
I am also a mentor for the Smith Family, an organisation that looks after children in low socio-economic families through the sponsorship of the children in these families. This is my 3rd year of being a mentor for a disadvantaged student and it has been a wonderful experience. Although, after 18 weeks (which is the length of the mentoring) saying goodbye is tough.
The way that this mentoring works is that you only converse with the student via a platform called iTrack. You do not know who the student is other than their first name and they only know your first name. This is a bittersweet process because after 18 weeks of close interaction, you don’t know how much of an impact you have had. But you do know that you have been assisting this student to move through their life from being a student to being a contributing member of society!!
5k for a good cause
In the 2nd most liveable city in the world (Yep-Melbourne), there are yearly events, such as Connors Run, the Red Kite Charity Ball, Movember (mainly for the gentleman to grow a Mo during the month of November) and the Smith Family Christmas Present Drive – all of which call upon SAP Volunteers. Each of these events is fully supported by SAP Volunteers and this is testimony to our commitment.
Each year I attend the colour run and the focus of the run changes. Last year we ran for White Ribbon, which supports women who experience Domestic Violence. The Colour Run is 5 kms in length, it is run in every state, but in Victoria, it is held at the Flemington Racecourse (Yes!! The one where the Melbourne Cup is run!!!) and people throw colour at you. It is soo much fun – and the unicorn medal it definitely a bonus!!!
Being a Volunteer Ambassador is about giving SAP team members ideas about how they can contribute and make a real difference to those, who may need a helping hand and support due to difficult circumstances, or to provide people power for a volunteer event.
Volunteering can scare people, because they think that they may have to make a big commitment and might be unable to. But however someone chooses to get involved – it is a valuable impact! It isn’t about putting pressure on people, but showing them a simple way to get engaged and providing positive outcomes for everyone.
I want to say thank you to all of the people, who contribute each day in every which way!