At its centennial celebration, IBM took time to acknowledge its 300,000 workers who volunteered their time to community efforts on June 15.
HEIGHTS, N.Y. - In celebration of its 100 years in business, IBM employees around
the world took part in activities in their respective communities in one
collective IBM Centennial Day of Service on June 15.
At IBM's centennial celebration
event here on June
16, Stan Litow, IBM's vice president of corporate citizenship and corporate
affairs, said, "What happened yesterday was 300,000 IBM employees were involved
in specially designed and led community activities in 120 countries around the
world where they touched and served millions of people."
Known as the
IBM Celebration of Service, the project spans more than 120 countries where
IBMers live and conduct business. June 15 culminated months of volunteering
with an official IBM Centennial Day of Service.
Celebration of Service was designed to allow employees, retirees, clients and
business partners to donate their time and expertise during the company's
centennial year. Indeed, 300,000 IBMers around the world-close to three quarters
of its global workforce-are volunteering in more than 5,000 projects in 120
countries, meeting civic and societal challenges and serving millions in need,
2011, IBMers, retirees and their families have donated more than 2.5 million
hours of service to communities worldwide.
commemorate our 100 years as a corporation, IBM is setting a record for
community service by sharing the best skills of our employees, making a real
impact in the communities where we work and live," Litow said in a
statement. "While this represents a historic and record-setting amount of
service, what is most important is not the large number of employees
volunteering nor the millions of hours of service they are providing; it is the
high quality of the work that is being done. The impact will go far beyond the
one day. We are building on our strong heritage of skills-based service-a
commitment that is in IBM's DNA."
bringing together its employees, retirees, partners and community members, IBM
is undertaking the largest service challenge, of its kind, we have seen to
date," Michelle Nunn, CEO of Points of Light Institute, said in a
statement. "They are creating not only an impact on communities, but they
are applying the unique and powerful IBM assets to catalyze a movement around
service. We commend them for celebrating 100 years of corporate civic
leadership in such a remarkable way."
the IBM celebration event, Litow said the services IBMers delivered on June 15
were not things that would last for just one day. "They built skills and tools
that can help people for weeks and months. Litow said the IBMers could have
"painted fences and ladled soup" which are helpful efforts and which some
IBMers surely did. But many others "did much more," he said. Litow added that
if IBM had charged for the services it could easily have been worth $100
A selection of
IBM Celebration of Service volunteer activities on June 15 include the following:
and CEO Sam Palmisano will teach a classroom of high school students in his
hometown of Baltimore about science and math through a discussion around
Watson, the computer system that IBM invented that triumphed on the
popular TV game show "Jeopardy!"
Nigeria, IBM employees will mentor 100 small businesses for 100 days using
the SME Toolkit to coach entrepreneurs on various areas of business,
ranging from how to write a business plan, sales and marketing and small
business accounting. Each entrepreneur also will have a "meet the
mentor" session where IBM volunteers will help them achieve business
New Zealand, IBMers worked with Age Concern to assist senior citizens in
using mobile-phone technology to help prepare for emergencies such as
natural disasters, earthquakes or personal health issues.
Turkey, IBM hosted a "volunteer marketplace" for 600 employees, bringing
together 21 leading NGOs (nongovernmental organizations) to discuss and
initiate skills-based volunteering projects. Some projects include reading
and book recording for the blind and an introduction to science and
technology for middle school students.
Uruguay, IBMers mentored young Uruguayans from impoverished neighborhoods
to help them find their first jobs by partnering with NGO Projoven through
the National Institute of Employment and Vocational Training.
IBM and its client Citigroup partnered to improve literacy and technology
awareness. In Mexico, with The Hunger Project, the companies are
leveraging an IBM Reading Companion project to help reduce the level of
illiteracy among the indigenous population, which will improve their
overall quality of life.
In addition to
the millions of service hours IBM's employees, retirees, families, clients and
partners are donating, IBM is also donating some of its most successful
volunteer activity kits such as a solar car experiment, a clean-water project
and an Internet safety kit for children. These volunteer kits provide "how-to"
instructions and step-by-step details to successfully implement a volunteer
activity in the community. They are aimed to inspire volunteers to connect with
their communities and help create a smarter planet. Anyone can visit www.ibm100.com/service
to access service activity kits.
Also, as part
of its centennial celebration, IBM will deliver hundreds of new service grants,
valued at more than $12 million, which support employees' volunteer activities
to build a smarter planet. The service grants
include cash and equipment awards
that support employees' volunteer activities. The new technology and cash
grants expand IBM's commitment to communities by 140 percent over the last
year, the company said.